Operation Stop Hate by Jessie Chandler

In 2015, me and my friend spent our spring break driving around to local bookstores in the Twin Cities. While visiting Once Upon a Crime, I met local author Jessie Chandler. She was so nice and convinced both me and my friend to buy her book. Operation Stop Hate was the first book in a series she was writing about a local federal agent. While I read Operation Stop Hate in 2016, I had this on my re-read pile for a while. I decided to bring it to my husband’s parents’ house and read it throughout the Thanksgiving Holiday.  I’m happy to say that I enjoyed this book just as much as I first read it five years ago.

Cailin McKenna is a special agent focused on domestic terror threats. She’s called in to investigate two school shootings in the Minneapolis area. From her investigation, she realizes both shooters were listening to white power music which involves Cailin going undercover in a hate group. It’s clear there’s more at stake as the group is planning an attack on a liberal area in Minnesota. Can Cailin stop the event in time without blowing her cover?

I loved Cailin as a character. I liked her tomboyish nature and I adored her relationship with Alex. At the heart of this book is a healthy lesbian relationship. Besides their relationship, I liked seeing the local places mentioned where their characters visited. I think Chandler as an author did a great job at listing various parts of Minneapolis that anyone could follow along not just those who are from the area. The only thing I disliked about Cailin was how she put off confronting her ex. Other than that, I liked Cailin as a character.

Operation Stop Hate focused on hate groups and how hatred can lead to violence. I thought the hate groups were interesting to the plot and allowed Cailin to go undercover. While Minnesota is a liberal place to live, there are several pockets within the state where I wouldn’t be surprised if some of these groups are active today. It seems like Chandler did a lot of research on hate groups while writing this book and it showed.

I think the only minor critique I had is at times the writing could have been better. I believe the author used the word “bluetoothing” at one time when she was explaining how Cailin was connecting her phone to her car. The only other thought I would add is I’m not a fan of the title of this book. While it summarizes the plot of the book, it’s not an enticing title. If I knew nothing about this book and I saw this sitting on a shelf, I’m not sure if I would pick it up to read.

Operation Stop Hate was an intriguing and fast-paced read. I’m excited to check out Chandler’s other series which seem similar to this book. Unfortunately, I don’t think there’s a sequel to this which is a shame because I would read it in a heartbeat.

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