5 Books That Changed My Life: Janice Cantore

Janice Cantore, author and retired Long Beach police officer, provides inspiration to readers through engrossing suspense novels. Her twenty-two years of experience on the police force lend authenticity to her stories. Cantore is also an active blog writer on the topic of police service. She is the author of nine novels including The Pacific Coast Justice Collection, the Cold Case Justice series, Visible Threat, and Critical Pursuit. Her most recent book, Crisis Shot, is the first in The Line of Duty series. Enjoy her reflections on five books that have changed her life.

Beyond Ourselves by Catherine Marshall

This was not the first book by Catherine Marshall that I read, but it impacted me the most. I was searching for a deeper knowledge of God, and each chapter seemed to hit me where I needed it most. The author covered unanswered prayer, and this touched me at a point in my life when I thought God couldn’t hear me. This book helped to solidify the knowledge that the Spirit of God lives in the believer and can make our lives so much richer if we listen.






Through Gates of Splendor by Elisabeth Elliot

Jim Elliot was the first missionary to inspire me. As much about Elisabeth as Jim, this story touched me on so many levels. Anyone who wants to live their life squarely in the will of God will appreciate this book. God’s way is not always the easiest way. Sometimes it is the most painful path; but it is the best. The dedication of Jim Elliot and the obedient, faithful heart of Elisabeth, are inspiring. This is truly a story for the ages.





The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

This is a fantasy to get lost in, but it’s also a great story of change, growth, and friendship. I read this first as a kid, then a few more times after that. The journey of Mary Lennox from sad, unwanted, spoiled child to a person who cares and becomes a loyal friend is something to root for. A book like this makes me want to create an equally great story world. This book made me want to write and be able to touch people as profoundly as I had been touched.






The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler

I’ve read all of Chandler’s books, but this story, this mystery, inspired me more than all the others. The way Chandler saw people and motivations, as well as his prose, inspired me to say, “I wish I could write like that.” It is so much more than a simple detective novel. I recommend the book to anyone who likes detective stories. He not only defined detective fiction but he also did it better than anyone else.






Demolition Angel by Robert Crais

I had started writing by the time I picked up this book. This story is well crafted on so many levels: characterization, mystery, and suspense. The book inspires me to try to craft stories as complex and riveting. He slides into the world of police and police work in a way that is believable and realistic. Crais is one of my favorite authors, and this is one of his best books.







by Janice Cantore, author of Crisis Shot

Tess O’Rourke dreams of becoming the first female chief of police in Long Beach, California. As commander of the East Division, she is well on her way . . . until the night she responds to an officer-needs-assistance call and fatally shoots an unarmed teenager. Despite being cleared of wrongdoing by a grand jury, Tess is so hounded by the public that she takes a job in Oregon to escape the bad press.

Winning over the residents of Rogue’s Hollow might be more difficult than adjusting to her new role as police chief in the small, backwater town. Especially when her closest friend, the pastor’s wife, goes missing and the woman’s cousin is found shot. Tess finds an ally in sheriff’s deputy Steve Logan, but as they track down Rogue’s Hollow’s first murderer, she worries that she’s breaking one of her rules and getting too close to him.

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