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Robin Burcell

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Visit the Lodi Police Department (California) Website.

Face of a Killer
Robin Burcell  More Info

Every Move She Makes
Robin Burcell  More Info

Fatal Truth
Robin Burcell  More Info

Cold Case
Robin Burcell  More Info

Deadly Legacy
Robin Burcell  More Info
When Midnight Comes (Harper Monogram)
Robin Burcell  More Info

About the Lodi Police Department 

The Lodi Police Department has 125 full-time employees, including 78 sworn officers, 47 non-sworn personnel and four part-time officers. Additionally, the department has 108 volunteers in the form of 85 Partners, 15 cadets and eight chaplains. The Lodi Police Department subscribes to the community policing philosophy and works closely with neighborhood groups and business owners to promote a safer community. This approach builds on basic policing practices and emphasizes prevention.


The city is divided into three districts that encompass five patrol beats.  This allows Police Officers assigned to a particular district, the ability to get to know the citizens living there and address crime-related problems by the use of preventative measures.


The General Investigations Unit is responsible for the thorough investigation of major crimes, including homicide, robbery, rape, child abuse, elder abuse, burglary, forgery, embezzlement, identity theft, and grand theft. There are four full-time detectives and one part-time detective assigned to G.I.U. along with a sergeant supervisor. 


These specific crimes are assigned to individual detectives who then, working solely or as a team, collect evidence, secure statements from the involved parties, and then bring the investigation to a close.  Detectives work very closely with the prosecutor’s office.


All of the detectives have ten or more year’s experience as police officers.  The detective special-assignment is rotated amongst the police officer staff with each individual assignment lasting about five years in duration.  Detectives attend specialized schools of instruction dealing with subjects such as homicide investigation, robbery investigation, sexual assault investigation, etc.


Investigating dirty and unhealthy homes, often times the homes of drug abusers, has come to the forefront in criminal investigations.  The parents of the children living in these conditions are charged with various forms of neglect, and often receive more sentence time than they receive for the drug charges.




A veteran of over 20 years in law enforcement, Burcell joined the Lodi Police Department at the age of 23.  At that time, she was the first woman police officer in the department.  As a police officer, she worked a variety assignments including patrol, detectives and as a hostage negotiator.  After leaving Lodi, Burcell, an expert in forensic art, fingerprints, and child abuse joined Sacramento County as a criminal investigator


Her first book, When Midnight Comes, was a romance novel about a police officer. It was a finalist in both the Romance Writers of America's Golden Heart for Historical and the prestigious Rita for Best First Book. Burcell then picked up her pen and began the first in a series of police procedurals featuring the character Kate Gillespie, a homicide inspector in San Francisco, California.


According to the book description of Fatal Truth, “A homicide inspector with the San Francisco Police Department, Kate Gillespie worked hard to get where she is. But a frantic phone call from a snitch threatens to destroy everything she is and everything she's earned. Pulled from the bright lights of the Homicide office onto the shadowy night streets, she arrives at a clandestine meet just in time to see the frightened informer shot dead ... by another cop. Now Kate is a target, on a trail of dirty deals, corruption, and escalating violence that reaches back into her own troubled family history and deep into a department riddled with dark secrets and truths that kill. Suddenly Kate Gillespie is teetering on a "blue wall of silence" and being set up to take a long, fatal fall -- by a relentless killer who's hiding in plain sight.”

According to the book description of Deadly Legacy, “San Francisco P.D. Homicide Inspector Kate Gillespie's investigation into a bizarre apparent murder/suicide is threatening to careen out of control. A dead man might not be dead. The families of the deceased are hiding something. And there are blood-soaked threads reaching into some very lofty places. But most perplexing of all are the shocking revelations of one of the "victims" dark and dangerous history -- the more Kate learns, the less she knows. It's a case that has placed Kate Gillespie on the hot seat as her investigation gets bigger by the moment -- and puts her perilously high on a rabid killer's hit list.”


Harriet Klausner, an Amazon reviewer, commenting on Burcell’s book Deadly Legacy remarked that it was “an exciting tale starring a strong cast of characters. Kate is an ethical lead protagonist whose conscience reminds her that she tampered with evidence when she removed the photo. Though everyone insists that Eve was a highly ethical person, Kate knows first hand otherwise. Rocky provides a steady balance and an internal affairs cop adds a romantic angle. The who-done-it is complex as the so-called loving relatives of the victims do everything to avoid exposure. As she did with Every Move She Makes and Fatal Truth, Robin Burcell provides the audience with a strong mystery.”

Publishers Weekly said of Every Move She Makes, “Kate Gillespie, the first female homicide detective in the San Francisco Police Department, and her partner, Sam Scolari, are investigating the discovery of a dead body in a freezer when Sam's wife, the coroner on the case, is murdered, perhaps by a serial killer who has been terrorizing the city. Sam suddenly disappears, leading everyone to think he is the murderer--and leaving Kate to solve the mystery and prove his innocence. She is thwarted, however, by three men competing for her attention: Mike Torrance, the Internal Affairs investigator following Kate in the hope that she'll lead him to Sam; her devious ex-husband, Reid Bettencourt; and Nicholas Paolini, a local crime boss against whom Kate is about to testify and who has been making threats on her life. Real-life police officer Burcell's (When Midnight Comes) latest thriller is fast-paced but overly complicated and lacks focus. Kate's motivation for believing in her partner's innocence and risking her own career to prove it is unclear. Kate is a well-developed character, and the details of police investigation are interesting, but by the end of the story, the central mystery has been lost in the myriad subplots.”

According to the book description of Cold Case, “Three years ago SFPD Homicide Investigator Kate Gillespie was in pursuit of a suspect who murdered a hooker in a sleazy motel, and she nearly lost her own life in the process. The shooter escaped into the San Francisco shadows and the trail went colder than the grave. Now Kate's appearance on a Bay Area "crime stoppers" TV show produces new leads that carry her back into the sordid world of drugs and prostitution -- and point her toward a local crime boss whose missing wife is possibly linked to multiple men and multiple murders. But when a dangerous knot of betrayals, secrets, and criminal cover-ups starts unraveling, Kate can only hope she'll be as lucky as she was on that black night at the Twin Palms Motel. Because the only way to the truth leads directly into the line of fire.”


Robin Burcell donates a portion of her royalties to COPS (Concerns of Police Survivors), in memory of men and women who have given their lives in the line of duty.

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