Why I Wrote THE FIFTH REFLECTION by Ellen Kirshman
The Dot Meyerhoff mysteries are inspired by clients I've treated in my 30 years as a police psychologist. I want my readers to learn something so new that the next time they see a cop, they’ll look at him differently.
The first book, Burying Ben, was about police suicide. Most people don’t know that cops are nearly twice as likely to kill themselves as they are to be killed in the line of duty. The second, The Right Wrong Thing, is about a female cop who kills an unarmed pregnant teenager, mistaking her cell phone for a gun. Badly treated by her male colleagues, she is repulsed when she becomes their hero.
My newest book, The Fifth Reflection, was inspired by the wife of an officer who was assigned to an Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) task force. The spillover from his job was damaging his family and contaminating everyone and everything he touched.
The Fifth Reflection is not a book about pedophiles or pornography. It's about the people who investigate pedophiles. I did a lot of research, but I was fortunately never exposed to the sounds and images my character Officer Manny Ochoa confronts—on the job and off. I enrolled in Shift Wellness training for ICAC investigators, did several interviews and read a lot. I learned that one of the toughest jobs in law enforcement gets the least support. Take Manny's computer. It's a terrible irony that, in Silicon Valley where I live and where my books are set, pedophiles have faster computers and better software than Manny's police-issued clunker.
Police psychologist Dr. Dot Meyerhoff is pulled into the vortex of a terrible crime involving an eccentric photographer whose images of nude children make her a prime suspect in the disappearance of her own daughter. The principal investigator in the case is a young officer whose dedication to work and obsession with finding the missing child is tearing his own family apart. Trapped between her allegiance to the investigator, her complicated connections to the photographer, and her unstable relationship with the police chief, Dot must find a way to help everyone involved. As Dot’s psychological expertise and determination contribute to solving the mystery, her involvement with the missing child’s extended, dysfunctional family brings her face-to-face with painful psychological issues of her own. The Fifth Reflection delivers a chilling, up-close look at the psychological strain of investigating Internet crimes against children, the complexities of being married to a cop, and the deadliness of jealousy.
Ellen Kirschman, PhD. is an award winning public safety psychologist and author of I Love a Cop: What Police Families Need to Know, I Love a Firefighter: What the Family Needs to Know, lead author of Counseling Cops: What Clinicians Need to Know and three mysteries, Burying Ben, The Right Wrong Thing and the forthcoming The Fifth Reflection, (July 2017) all told from the perspective of police psychologist Dr. Dot Meyerhoff. She is a member of Sisters-in-Crime and Mystery Writers of America. She blogs with Psychology Today and The Lady Killers. Questions about police psychology? Drop by her website,