If Police Officer Scott James had done something different that evening his partner Stephanie Anders would still be alive. But, she isn't because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time as Scott James was looking for a very specific noodle place a Rampart Robbery detective had raved about. Nine months later, she is still dead, the suspects involved in a brutal murder are still running free, and Police Officer Scott James is haunted by terrible physical pain and horrific nightmares.
Having refused a medical discharge, James is trying to come back with a new role in the K-9 division. James knows nothing about dogs, no matter what he told the LAPD, and is learning on the fly as fast as he can. He is eventually paired up with Maggie, a beautiful German Shepard, who is suffering her own physical pain and mental anguish after her most recent tour with the Marines in Afghanistan.
Shifting in point of view primarily between James and Maggie Suspect by Robert Crais charts their recovery as well as their involvement in working the case of his shooting. A complicated mystery that is about not only redemption, but persistence despite the odds. This book clearly reads as a potential first novel in a new series from this talented author.
Those who are strict about such things will take issue with the point of view sections from the dog's perspective. They will say it isn’t possible to get inside the mind of a traumatized dog looking for a new pack leader. But, those sections do work and make Maggie come alive for the reader in ways she otherwise would not have. PTSD in dogs as well as humans is a documented fact and author Robert Crais, while fictionalizing some things, illustrates the issue well without preaching to the reader. That aspect is just one part of the mystery and serves as character development while Scott James and Maggie work the shooting case.
Certainly this is not a Joe Pike/Elvis Cole type novel and is not intended to be one. Readers and reviewers expecting that kind of novel will be disappointed. Taken for what it is, something new and very different than his previous books, Suspect is a good book from a very talented author and well worth your time.
G. P. Putnam’s Sons (Penguin Group USA)
Hardback (also available in e-book and audio book forms)
Material supplied by the good folks of the Plano, Texas Public Library System.
Kevin R. Tipple ©2013
Mind Slices and Carpathian Shadows, Volume II
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