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Sunday, September 1, 2013

SUSPECT by Robert Crais

SUSPECT May Be the Best Book That Crais Has Published

Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons in 2013

Robert Crais is best known for his long-running Elvis Cole series, but he has consistently produced high-quality "stand-alone" novels as well (however, I just learned that the characters from this book will be part of the next Elvis Cole book). Suspect continues that tradition in a big way.

Scott James is a fairly young member of LAPD who is on the mend from a frightful shooting that resulted in injuries so severe that he was offered a chance to retire. While his physical injuries are real, they are not as profound as his psychological trauma. He was an up-and-coming officer, now he second guesses himself and, more importantly, cannot shake the feeling that he failed his partner who was killed in the incident. He is working the case on his own even as he trains to be a K-9 officer while he is recovering.

Robert Crais
Maggie is a retired German Shepherd who was trained to be a Marine and find Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs). She was shot by a sniper while she was protecting her handler. Maggie is lost without her handler - he was her world. They formed a "pack" with just two members and she literally would die for him. But, when the sniper attacked she did not protect her "pack" well enough and her handler died.

Somehow, Maggie ended up in the LAPD K-9 training unit and she and Scott James get paired together - two gun-shy deeply injured souls who begin to open up their damaged little worlds to each other...

Crais' grasp of dog psychology makes this book work. You know how the book will end as soon as these two match up (Of course these two team up and work to redeem themselves to get the bad guys) but it is still a great story - the telling of the story is just as important as how it ends and Crais does a masterful job..

I rate this novel an enthusiastic 5 stars out of 5.
Reviewed on September 1, 2013.

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