Crisis Point by Dwayne Clayden - In the spring of 1976 Brad Coulter is a somewhat maverick Calgary police officer. After working in a training exercise he is on a regular shift with Curtis Young who is about to leave regular duty to become a Canine officer.
(Kevin) Giles is an active member of the Canadian Airborne. Torres and Nadeau are former members of the same unit. They had all served together. With the aid of a guard at Brinks they plan a robbery at a bank branch in a mall. They will strike just before midnight when the Brinks guards enter the bank with their money cart. It is a good plan but the second Brinks guard starts shooting. Giles wounds him and they escape with $80,000.
As they try to leave Calgary Coulter and Young intercept them. A shootout leaves Young dead.
After the funeral Coulter is offered Young’s dog, Lobo. He accepts.
After a short leave Coulter returns to active duty where he encounters a pretty young paramedic, Maggie Gray. She is spirited and quick witted. They are soon a couple.
One of the consequences of the shootout is the establishment of a SWAT unit in Calgary based on the Los Angeles model of SWAT teams. To distinguish them from American teams they are called the Tactical Support Unit (TSU).
Coulter continues to have physical confrontations at work. While his returns to duty are quick they are not the impossibly swift recoveries of Hollywood heroes.
The robberies by the ex-soldiers continue with few clues for the police.
Coulter is chosen for the first group of TSU officers. The description of the demanding training was interesting. They are extremely fit.
I was disappointed by Coulter secretly taking evidence from a crime scene. His actions interfered with the investigation and were a surprise from an author who has worked as a police officer.
The TSU is not embraced by regular police officers who cannot see the need or purpose to a special unit.
The book complains about the criminal justice system being weighted in favour of accused. I am old enough to have been a defence lawyer in 1976. I would disagree with Clayden’s characterization of the criminal justice system.
While there is more action than I need I appreciated the development of a credible relationship between Coulter and Gray. As well, Coulter’s partner, Briscoe, is married and has a family. I do wish the good guys were not perfect. None of us are.
The bad guys have some character though, as usual, no families.
The dialogue flows nicely. The banter between officers felt realistic. There is genuine wit.
It is a good thriller.