The Right Wrong Thing

Ellen Kirschman (Author)


Officer Randy Spelling had always wanted to be a police officer, to follow in the footsteps of her brothers and her father. Not long after joining the force, she mistakenly shoots and kills Lakeisha Gibbs, a pregnant teenager. The community is outraged; Lakeisha's family is vocal and vicious in their attacks against Spelling. Suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, and filled with remorse, Randy is desperate to apologize to the girl's family. Everyone, including the police chief, warns her against this, but the young police officer will not be dissuaded. Her attempt is catastrophic. Dr. Dot Myerhoff, police psychologist, plunges herself into the investigation despite orders from the police chief to back off. Not only does the psychologist's refusal to obey orders jeopardize her career, but her life as well, as she enlists unlikely allies and unconventional undercover work to expose the tangled net of Officer Spelling's disastrous course.

Product Details

Oceanview Publishing
Publish Date
November 15, 2016
6.06 X 9.02 X 0.63 inches | 0.78 pounds

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About the Author

Ellen Kirschman, Ph.D. has been a police psychologist for thirty years. She is the recipient of the California Psychological Association's award for distinguished contribution to psychology as well as the American Psychological Association's award for outstanding contribution to the practice of police and public safety psychology.

Ellen is the author of the award-winning I Love a Cop: What Police Families Need to Know, I Love a Fire Fighter: What the Family Needs to Know, and lead author of Counseling Cops: What Clinicians Need to Know. Her works of fiction feature amateur sleuth Dr. Dot Meyerhoff, a police psychologist who should be counseling cops, not solving crimes. The Fifth Reflection is the third in this acclaimed series, following Burying Ben and The Right Wrong Thing. Ellen and her husband live in Redwood City, California.


"Ellen Kirschman's richly nuanced The Right Wrong Thing rings with authenticity. This fiction is so gutsy and emotionally anchored in real life that it will stay with you long after reading its final pages."

--Hallie Ephron, New York Times best-selling author of Night Night, Sleep Tight

"Riveting, compelling, and authentic! Ellen Kirschman's been-there, done-that experience makes this a real standout. She gives readers not only a terrific story, but a chilling insight into the hidden dangers police officers face every day."

--Hank Phillippi Ryan, Agatha, Anthony, and Mary Higgins Clark award winning author of Truth Be Told

"Ellen Kirschman is a no-nonsense writer. She manages to set the scene smartly, populate it with sharply drawn personalities, and pour the story over us without wasting a word. Her confident wit, energetic prose, and special insight into the workings of the human mind make The Right Wrong Thing an outstanding read. In this timely novel of strained community relationships, where police department psychologist Dr. Dot Meyerhoff is held hostage in a way, there's no relief from the suspense and the exciting journey into the motivations of people on both sides of the law. But even as Dot is pushed to the limit, she's determined to do the next right thing, no matter the cost.

--Camille Minichino, physicist and award-winning author of the Periodic Table mystery series

"Ellen Kirschmann's Dot Meyerhoff is the most intriguing character in contemporary fiction. Her narrations remind me of a cabbie I had in Istanbul. He drove too fast, took me down dead ends, and through dangerous neighborhoods. He yelled at pedestrians and cursed at dogs. And just when I finally decided he was hopelessly lost, he delivered me safe and sound to just they place I wanted to be and left me on the sidewalk, shaking and smiling."

--J. Michael Orenduff, award-winning author of the "Pot Thief" murder mystery series

"Kirschman understands cops inside and out and writes a sure-handed tale here. The Right Wrong Thing is gripping, honest, knowing, and so very human."

--Sgt. Adam Plantinga, author of 400 Things Cops Know; Street Smart Lessons from A Veteran Patrolman

"Ellen Kirschman is one to watch... She...provides intimate knowledge of police procedures, sort of like 'Law & Order' on steroids. ... I found enlightening--though disturbing--just how difficult is the life of a law enforcement officer, especially one forced to kill.

"Kirschman, herself a psychologist who has served as a police department consultant, perceptively treats complex racial, feminist, personal, and political issues while providing intimate knowledge of cops' shop procedure."

--Publishers Weekly

"Those looking for a meaningful story forged against the backdrop of a relevant social construct will enjoy going on this adventure.

--Foreword Reviews

"Ellen Kirschman knows and understands the police world and The Right Wrong Thing is an intense and very timely read. Thoroughly recommended."

--Simon Wood, the Anthony Award winning author of The One That Got Away

"Ellen Kirschman is not only a terrific writer, but an award-winning professional police psychologist. If you're looking for a taut, suspenseful crime thriller with vivid, fully realized characters, look no further--you've found it in The Right Wrong Thing."

--Kelli Stanley, award-winning author of City of Ghosts

"This story couldn't be any more timely. It looks behind the headlines, into the lives of those involved in these tragedies and the events that might lead up to them."

--Rosemary Smith, Public Librarian