By Robert Crais
It’s been awhile since we’ve read a Crais book, and we’re happy to see he’s lost none of his skill at writing a compelling tale, if this 2013 outing is indicative of his current work. What makes this effort so special is how he is able to portray the developing relationship between Officer Scott James and his K-9 corps dog Maggie. If you have any heart at all, any feeling for your fellow man and for beautiful, loyal, and determined dogs, you’ll find yourself growing misty-eyed in the final moments of the book.
Maggie is an ex-Marine dog. She suffers from the loss of her Marine handler killed by a suicide bomber in Afghanistan, as well as PTSD and wounds in the attack. Officer James also suffers from PTSD and wounds received in a brutal shooting incident, as well as the loss of his partner. They come together at the LAPD canine training facility.
As we follow them learning about each other and developing a trusting relationship, we develop an attachment and affection for their partnership, and, in particular, for Maggie, the best friend a man could ever have. Our education about military and police canines, their almost incredible abilities and their unbreakable loyalty to their handlers, is the real strength of the novel. Crais does a good job of putting us into the mind of Maggie, so much so that by the end we feel as attached to her as Officer James does.
There’s not much more to say, except pick up a copy and discover a crime story with real heart. w/c