Robert Crais’ new thriller SUSPECT arrived in the typical yellow-brown package.
I slipped the book out of the crystal bubble interior, gently cracking my copy open to the first page. I instantly discovered that SUSPECT was anything but typical. I stood, reading, chapter after chapter. And I fell for the furry protagonist.
Furry, because the protagonist is Maggie, a large German Shepard, who was shot and seriously wounded in Afghanistan. Maggie is recovering not only from a hind end injury that gives her a subtle limp, but also from the emotional wounds of losing her partner, Pete, and the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder that sprang from the tragedy.
I’ve interviewed Crais close to a dozen times about his thrillers.
And, I was suspect that this new book – with new characters – could be as good as his award-winning Elvis Cole and Joe Pike. Crais has a talent for making his characters real, and now I’ve fallen for Scott and Maggie, too. Written as a stand-alone novel, Crais better make this a series!
Crais takes us into Maggie’s head. I don’t know what a dog thinks, so I can’t testify to the veracity, but I love the voice Crais creates. Pack is everything, and once Maggie gets over Pete – and my heart broke, watching her try to bring the soldier back to life – she bonds with Scott James of the LAPD. Scott is now her pack, and she will do anything for him. And, only him.
Scott – who was shot and seriously injured nine months earlier during a diamond robbery outside a nightclub – suffers the loss of his partner, Stephanie, who was killed on the job that night. Scott and Maggie both have PTSD from their separate tragedies, and it heightens their bond, as Scott retrains their minds and impulses.
Scott’s memory pulls up random pictures from the night of the deadly shooting that took several additional lives. A horrific mental movie. He keeps replaying a man with white sideburns and blue eyes, men in masks, his partner Stephanie pleading with him as blood pours out of her body “Scotty, don’t leave me.” But when he is asked to play a more active role in solving that multiple homicide, it is his new partner, Maggie, whose incredible sense of smell provides clues that put them both in jeopardy.
SUSPECT is so much more than a man-and-dog story. It is about trusting your partner. SUSPECT is about having faith that your partner has your back. And, that your partner has your heart, too.
Read more posts by Diana Page Jordan, professional book reviewer, interviewer, ghostwriter and award-winning broadcast journalist. Diana is a blogger for JenningsWire.