Rookie Year

A Novel

Fiction - Drama
430 Pages
Reviewed on 04/08/2024
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Rookie Year is a work of fiction penned by author J. Kilburn in the interpersonal drama, slice-of-life, and crime subgenres. It is best suited to the adult reading audience owing to its subject matter surrounding crime and police work. The author presents a captivating exploration of the intersection between love, law enforcement, and the tumultuous journey into adulthood. We follow our central protagonist, a rookie police officer navigating the complexities of a promising law enforcement career and a blossoming romance. The narrative delves into the excitement, joys, and challenges of young love and new careers, offering a realistic portrayal of the adventure-filled years between adolescence and adulthood.

Author J. Kilburn has lovingly crafted a novel that explores every detail of the most harrowing law enforcement experiences, detailed police tactics training, and unexpected romantic drama. The characters are well-developed, each with unique dialogue and a clear backstory that informs their attitudes and decision-making, and their struggles feel authentic and relatable as a result of this dedicated developmental work. The novel provides insights into the challenges faced by those entering the field of law enforcement, and it’s clear to see that the author relished researching and presenting such an interesting aspect in a way that many crime-drama novels do not touch upon. The fast-paced, character-driven storytelling keeps the reader engaged and utilizes dialogue really well, and the narrative unfolds with a mix of suspense, humor, and heartfelt moments. Overall, I would certainly recommend Rookie Year as a compelling journey through the highs and lows of both a new couple and a new cop, certain to please fans of crime-centric dramas and family stories alike.

Keith Mbuya

Everything seemed to be slowly falling into place for twenty-three-year-old Bruce Sutton. Post-college, he was going to be an Auxiliary State Trooper in Vermont. This was an ace up his sleeve for the career he eyed in law enforcement. Then there was his girlfriend, Brittany Wendell. After going through a confusing time and surviving a confession that threatened to rock their relationship, she was finally ready to settle down with him after school. Apart from living on a farm in rural Vermont, Brittany had a lot of plans for them. But Brittany’s plans could get in the way of Bruce’s career. And perhaps Bruce’s fate may be in the hands of people high up in the ranks of Vermont’s law enforcement authorities. Will the love birds survive the hurdles their careers and lives are going to throw their way? Find out in J. Kilburn’s Rookie Year.

If you are looking for a fast-paced romance suspense novel, J. Kilburn’s Rookie Year is just what you should be looking for. Featuring a fascinating and dynamic cast, Kilburn weaves an intriguing plot. The colorful, evocative descriptions breathed life into the scenes, hurling me into a world of spicy romance, love triangles, secrets, deceit, family drama, adventure, thrills, and so much more. Kilburn has a knack for whipping up tremendously dramatic scenes, accompanying them with a robust sense of humor. I could not hold back my laughter as I imagined how some scenes played out, such as when Bruce and Brittany were bound for New Hampshire on a romantic escapade and they were pulled over mid-way. Kilburn brings out the cast’s emotions and complex traits, allowing readers to connect with them. Rookie Year is a magnificent piece of work and I loved it.

Grant Leishman

Rookie Year by J Kilburn is a police drama with a few differences. Bruce Sutton is a young man seeking his future in the world. He obtained a business degree at a small Vermont College and contemplated what lay next. He was envisaging a career in law enforcement and was currently enrolled in the Williston State Police Barracks. Back in Collegeville, a young woman was searching the university dorm for her lover, who had disappeared it seems. Brittany Wendell was crazy about Bruce and was picturing a future together for the pair of them. Just out of high school, Brittany lived with her grandmother on the family farm in rural Vermont. To complicate matters, Brittany’s father, a professor at the university, was also Bruce’s faculty advisor. As Bruce gets set for a summer as a trainee Auxiliary State Trooper, Brittany and his future are determined to track him down. What neither of them realizes is that the powers that be in Vermont Law Enforcement have big plans for both Trainee Auxiliary Trooper Sutton and his State Trooper trainer, Christine Awhree. Romance rarely runs smoothly and this will certainly be the case for these two people.

Rookie Year is a powerful combination of a police procedural drama and a coming-of-age story for the two lovers. Author J Kilburn has created some incredibly likable and identifiable characters in the two main characters, Bruce and Brittany. I particularly appreciated the questions regarding Brittany’s sexuality, her previous affair with her girlfriend Tabitha, and the confusing aspect of Brittany claiming fatherhood over Tabitha’s young baby. This messy situation perfectly summarizes the often chaotic relationships many young people find themselves in the middle of as they explore their horizons. The politics, inter-agency rivalries, and jealousies that invariably arise when you have different policing organizations within the same localities were well handled and explored in this narrative. The romances are well-written, believable, and mildly exciting without being over the top or too descriptive. I did enjoy the character of the grandmother who was desperately trying to keep the family together and protect her darling granddaughter from both physical and emotional harm. The entire story has a warmth and charm about it which is perhaps a reflection of its locale. I was pleased to note that this is not the end of the story for these characters and I look forward to reading more about them in the future. This was an enjoyable read that I can highly recommend.