Suspect - Scott James & Maggie, Bk 1 Author:Robert Crais Nine months ago, a shocking assault by unidentified men killed Scott James' partner, Stephanie, nearly killed him, and left him enraged, ashamed, and ready to explode. He is unfit for duty -- until he meets his new partner. — Maggie is not doing so well, either. A German shepherd who survived two tours in Afghanistan sniffing explosives befor... more »e losing her handler, her PTSD is as bad as Scott's.
They are each other's last chance. And they're about to investigate the one case no one wants them to touch: identifying the men who murdered Stephanie. But what they find could ultimately break them both.« less
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Terrific book. A great whodunit read. Dog lovers will love it. Animal lovers will find it enticing. If you've ever wondered what your dog is thinking this book has your answer. I greatly enjoyed it. One of the few five stars I've ever given.
Before I go any farther, I have a warning: have a hankie in hand as you begin reading the prologue-- especially if you are a dog lover. I found the prologue in Suspect to be gut-wrenching, and although I wanted to wait a few minutes to calm down before continuing to read, I was already hooked.
Crais provides excellent insight into the mind of a dog, in particular the mind of a war or police dog. When Scott and Maggie are partnered, it's a learning experience for both of them, and it was so rewarding to watch them heal each other.
This isn't just the Scott and Maggie Show, however. Crais gives us some marvelous secondary characters in fellow police officers Cowley, Leland, and Budress. Leland as the hard-as-nails head of the K-9 unit and Budress who constantly risks reprimand for helping Scott may be a touch two-dimensional, but they're the sort of characters you love regardless of their cardboard tan tinge. The female detective Cowley is another story. You're never quite sure what she thinks of Scott. You're never quite sure what she's willing to do to help. You're never quite sure how tough she is. By book's end, your questions will be answered.
The investigation into Scott's partner's death is filled with plenty of danger. Crais is a pro at ratcheting up the suspense. As is always the case when a dog is a member of the cast, readers always wonder about Old Yeller Syndrome, especially in a story involving the police and lots of flying bullets. I'm not about to enlighten you here. All I'll say is that I was hooked from the prologue and couldn't read fast enough. Scott and Maggie are going to stay with me for a long time. They're that good.
This is my first book by this author and I was wowed by the tight plot and excellent writing. This story grabbed me on the first page and didn't let go. I certainly hope this is the beginning of a new series for Robert Crais.
The book opens with Maggie's story; this German shepherd survived three tours in the Middle East sniffing explosives before her partner (handler) dies in a sniper attack. She's been turned over to LAPD but they have found that her PSTD is too severe to use her.
LAPD cop Scott James is recovering from a night-time attack that killed his partner Stephanie and nearly ended his life. Because Scott was such a good cop, he has called in chips to work in the K-9 group (he could have been given a permanent medical retirement). When Scott goes to collect his K-9 partner, he demands the opportunity to work with Maggie. They are two lost souls that bond with each other; it's interesting that Scott has more to learn than Maggie. The info about the training and commitment between a dog and his handler is fascinating and is woven skillfully into the story.
Nine months later, Stephanie's death is still an open case and the new man investigating the case calls in Scott for his insights into the disaster. Before long, Scott isn't just a side-liner; he and Maggie push buttons that bring new clues to light.
This is a masterful, tension-filled race to the finish. The relationship between Maggie and Scott is intense and emotional. This is a great story.