Review by Cee-Jay Aurinko

04 Aug 2015, 05:32

4 out of 4 stars

[Following is the official review of "Hands Across The Sea" by Brian Cook.]

Brian Cook brings the faces behind the Office of the Sheriff (the Agency) to life in Hands Across The Sea. First, the author allows us to share and experience the joy with the deputies and command staffers we meet as they get promoted to higher positions. We are then taken back in time, where we meet an elderly man named Garrison Cottrell, the sheriff who single-handedly transformed the Agency which had once been regarded as "a laughing stock in the law enforcement community" to the best in the country. Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease spells the end of Cottrell's illustrious career, and now the time has come for this iconic figure to step down and pass on his torch. 

Brendan Callaghan, handpicked by Cottrell to be the 17th sheriff of Vasco, is but one character in a book filled with more than a dozen different storylines. The sheriff is concerned about fluctuating crime statistics that "dip and spike in all the wrong places". Powell, who just became a commander, carries knowledge of a female deputy "servicing" a fellow commander. Meanwhile, Cottrell takes a dab at spiritual healing, something he doesn't entirely believe in, to help with his disease. The list goes on and on; overall though, this novel is about strong family and friendship bonds in a work environment filled with conspiratorial colleagues pushing forward their own clever agendas. 

This is a phenomenal novel which sketches the personalities of a wide cache of command staffers all the way from the sergeant to the Sheriff and his Three Wise Men. The realistic politics provided by this dialog-driven jewel of fiction is the first in a literary saga which promises to be nothing less than exceptional. Divided into fifteen parts, all of which centers around their own individual themes, this novel promises to captivate readers with all the elements necessary for a novel in the other fiction genre to be great. 

I admire everything Cook has done with this book. I found it so easy to follow that I merely reread certain paragraphs because they deserved a second look. Humor is supplied in abundance. The dialog might make up most of this book, but without it, I don't think I would've enjoyed this novel as much. With a pleasing narrative voice inserted here and there, this book had me nodding, smiling, contemplating, and giggling like a chat slave all the way.

Hands Across The Sea is a long read; in other words, if big books are not your thing, try the shop across the street. This book will give readers a new look at the folk they see clad in blue. If you are in any way affiliated with law enforcement, you'll definitely love this book. Don't be surprised if you want everybody you meet to read it, either. My rating is 4 out of 4. That's a capital 4; that is, if such a thing is possible.