To write this review properly, I have to tell you about the author, Jessie Chandler. My friend from college and I visited Minneapolis last year for spring break to find the coolest small business bookstores in the city. We walked into Once Upon a Crime and Jessie was working behind the desk. She had so much to say and recommended some books to my friend and me. She also gave me a free copy of her book Operation Stop Hate and a free tote from Once Upon a Crime. To say that my friend was impressed with Once Upon a Crime is an understatement. We both had a great spring break vacation in Minneapolis thanks to Jessie.
Yesterday, I finished reading Operation Stop Hate and I absolutely loved it. My biggest regret is that I didn’t start reading this book earlier.
Operation Stop Hate takes place in the heart of the Twin Cities with Detective Cailin McKenna. She’s employed by the National Protection and Investigation Unit that’s drawn to two school shootings in the Minneapolis area. Each of the shooters was listening to hate music produced by a record label in Minnesota that is linked with Soldiers of Christ, a hate group based in Minnesota. (I’m hoping that this group is fictional because they really angered me.) This hate group is an evil organization that plays a bigger part in this novel. (It’s excruciating to know that there are people who have so much hate for the world and different cultures.) I liked the case that Cailin has to investigate. It also had some twists that I didn’t see coming and a very satisfying conclusion.
In any book review I do, I always try to find representation of diverse identities in what I’m reading. I see and read about plenty of women who are white and straight and who look like me. It’s cool that the main character is in a healthy relationship with another woman. I don’t really see enough healthy lesbian relationships in the novels and TV shows I watch, so it’s refreshing to see it done perfectly in this novel.
I’m also biased towards this book because it takes place in Minnesota. It’s cool reading a book and being able to picture the freeway Cailin is driving on and the restaurant she and her partner are eating at. I will read anything and everything, but there’s a special place in my heart for books that take place in the Midwest.
Supporting local authors is very important to me, which is why I’m happy to review this book. I’m kind of disappointed that I got this book for free because this book is worth more and I wish I would have paid for it. As soon as I read the last word of this novel, I quickly checked Goodreads for the sequel, but I didn’t find one. Thankfully, Jessie has the Shay O’Hanlon series that I can’t wait to check out. This book should be sitting on the top of your to-be-read pile, especially if you love mysteries and Minnesota.
Operation Stop Hate is available in Paperback and on Kindle.