From Ferguson to Baltimore to Hattiesburg, police officers face an unprecedented challenge—how to keep the law while maintaining public trust, as well as their own safety. Theirs is a balancing act that largely goes on behind closed doors.
Riding with the Blues explores the inner world of the Sarasota (Florida) Police Department as it strives to meet its mandate in an increasingly critical world. Veteran journalist Jeff Widmer takes a look behind the badge in this new work of nonfiction, coming this fall to Amazon, iBooks and other channels.
For the heroine of Peak Season, life at the beach is murder. The first in the CW McCoy series, the crime novel debuted in July on Amazon and Smashwords in both e-book and paperback formats.
Written by Jeff Widmer, the book features detective-turned-real-estate-agent CW McCoy, a woman who surrendered her gun, her badge and her confidence after shooting a fellow police officer. She flees the Northeast for sunny Florida but even in paradise during peak tourist season, violence finds her like a divining rod.
When a fugitive kidnaps her family, the former detective must decide which side of the law she’s on.
“Writing from a woman’s point of view has proven challenging and rewarding,” Widmer said. “CW has a strong sense of justice as well as a soft spot for motorcycles, underdogs and country music, all things we have in common. It seems a natural fit.”
While McCoy hales from Northeastern Pennsylvania, the novel takes place in the fictional city of Spanish Point, a wealthy tourist mecca located between Tampa and Naples on Florida’s Gulf Coast.
Widmer said fans of Sara Paretsky, Robert B. Parker, Jennifer Crusie (Agnes and the Hitman) and Chelsea Cain (One Kick) should enjoy the book.
Widmer is the author of several works of nonfiction, including the Spirit of Swiftwater and the forthcoming story of the Sarasota Police Department’s Citizen Academy, Riding with the Blues. He has contributed to national publications such as National Geographic World, US Airways and Advertising Age as well as Sarasota’s Herald-Tribune, SRQ Daily and BIZ 941. A former city editor for the Pocono Record in Stroudsburg, Pa., he worked as a public relations professional in the Lehigh Valley, Pa. His blog about commerce and culture appears regularly at jeffwidmer.com.