The month of February went to the dogs, reading-wise. That doesn’t mean the reading wasn’t good, only that the two books I liked best both had dogs in key roles. Sometimes even as the POV character. And they helped to solve the mysteries. No, I haven’t started reading cozies. These are badass K-9s we’re talking about.
Scent of Murder, James O. Born. Born didn’t futz around. He went whole hog, using an entire outfit of dogs and their handlers, though Tim Hallett and Rocky are primary. The story revolves around a serial molester of girls who takes his game up a notch, kills one, and decides he likes it. Born does a nice job feeding the reader clues and letting suspicions build before the big reveal. Not much suspension of disbelief is required to keep the reader hooked and the payoff is well worth it. I just went off about the value of execution, and it applies here, as well, with a unique twist on police work and lots of good dog stuff. Born is hooked up with James Patterson’s Bookshots and Lou Dobbs, but let’s hope he hasn’t given up on Tim and Rocky.
The Promise, Robert Crais. I didn’t think I’d like this one when I started it. I love Elvis Cole and Joe Pike, but Crais has gotten into a pattern of writing Cole stories in various POV, with Cole’s chapters in first person, everyone else third. There are few ways more certain of getting me out of a story by reminding me of the writing. By Cole’s second appearance I was over it; Crais is that good. True, there are a few bestseller elements in his current work that weren’t there before, but such is life. He’s the goods, and the various POV help not only to round out the edges of the story, but show he’s not finished finding new ways to keep this series original. I knew by 11:30 I’d be up as long as it took to finish this one.