What is it about a book with a dog on the cover? Seriously, I have no control.
Mason “Mace” Reid is an average guy who teaches obedience classes for people & their four legged children. But his real job is training cadaver dogs to find human remains for police departments in Lansing & Chicago. He’s still reeling from an unwanted divorce & the recent loss of one of his “kids” when he gets a phone call from a friend who runs a dog rescue. Seems he may have an addition for Mace’s team.
After he hears her story, Mace agrees to meet the golden retriever & it’s love at first sight. He promptly names her Elvira (Vira for short) & takes her home to meet the gang. Delta (Dawn), Maggie (May) & Sue (as in “A Boy Named..) Hmmm…I’m sensing a theme here. Her training begins & it’s soon clear there’s something different about her. Vira not only learns at warp speed, she has a spooky ability to make connections above her pay grade.
Kippy Gimm is a cop in Lansing who she rescued Vira after finding her at a crime scene. That she survived is a welcome bit of good news. She & partner Dave “Wabs” Wabiszewski are struggling with their search for a young woman who’s gone missing. And she’s not the first.
When Kippy checks up on Vira, she meets Mace & is intrigued by his dogs. She sees a way to speed up searching the areas she & Wabs need to cover & wonders if Mace might be interested. He is. But one search in particular leads to an event neither could have foreseen. It’s kind of a good news/bad news situation. They find what they’re looking for but the end result is a killer now has Mace in his sights. And so the hunter becomes the hunted.
In alternate chapters we meet a cold, intelligent sociopath who enjoys his “work”. So when some guy with a bunch of dogs screws up his plans…well, it really can’t be tolerated.
This is a quick, enjoyable book. There’s a bit of a slump in the middle but plenty of info on the science behind cadaver dogs & their training makes for an interesting read. Some creepy scenes & a steady rise in tension lead to an action packed finale.
When it comes to the two legged characters, Kippy is the best developed. She’s a smart, determined woman with a low tolerance for crap. As for Mace, he improves as the story progresses. It’s almost as if the author & his MC had to get to know each other & as events unfold, Mace’s personality & voice grew stronger. He’s a disarming & likeable guy whose world revolves around his furry crew & their strong bond is the heart of the story.
But the real stars are the puppers. Sue is the regal veteran who thinks of Mace as a barely adequate employee. Delta & Maggie have some sort of psychic connection & enjoy gaslighting their Dad. And Vira is always two steps ahead of everyone else. Now if she could just get those dense humans to pay attention! It’s a solid start to the series & I look forward to the gang’s next adventure. And yes, Sue…I’ll bring peanut butter.