Series: Ryder Creed #2
Penguin Group - G.P. Putnam's Sons
Publication Date: July 28, 2015
Date Read: July 18, 2015
Ryder Creed and his K9 search-and-rescue dogs return in the second installment of an exciting new series, teaming up once more with FBI profiler Maggie O'Dell in their riskiest case yet.
When Ryder Creed responds to a devastating mudslide in North Carolina, he knows that the difference between finding survivors and the dead is time. He and his sturdiest search-and-rescue dog, Bolo, get to work immediately, but the scene is rife with danger: continued rainfall prevents the rescue teams from stabilizing the land; toxic household substances spread by the crushing slide fill the area with hazardous waste; and the detritus and debris are treacherous for both man and dog to navigate. But most perilous are the secrets hidden under the mud and sludge—secrets someone would kill to protect. For this is no ordinary rescue mission. Among the buildings consumed by the landslide was a top-secret government research facility, and Creed has been hired to find what's left of it.
Then rescuers recover the body of a scientist from the facility who was obviously dead before the landslide—killed by a gunshot to the head. The FBI sends Agent Maggie O'Dell to investigate, and she and Creed are soon caught in a web of lies, secrets, and murder that may involve not only the government facility, but decades-old medical experiments that are the subject of current congressional hearings. As more bodies are found under even more unusual circumstances, they come ever closer to exposing the truth—but with unknown forces working against them, Maggie, Creed, and the dogs are running out of time.
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I thought that this was another solid book by Alex Kava. I have been a longtime fan of this author and have read every single book of hers that I have been able to get my hands on so it was no surprise that I was incredibly excited to get my hands on an early copy of this book. I am happy to report that this book lived up to my expectations which were admittedly high.
This book is listed as the second book in the Ryder Creed series but I feel like it should probably also be listed as being a part of the Maggie O'Dell series since her character plays a pivotal role in the story. This book could probably be read as a stand alone novel but readers of both of these series will probably get a little more out of the book since they will know the backgrounds of these characters. Most of the characters from the Maggie O'Dell and Ryder Creed series are at least mentioned in this book.
Ryder Creed is a wonderful character. He is a dog handler who trains and works with a variety of dogs and is often called in to work in tragic situations, such as after a natural disaster, finding someone who is lost, finding cadavers, and even to search for drugs. In this case, he is working a landslide in very dangerous conditions. Creed's dogs are really well developed characters as well. I just loved Gracie and Bolo in this book. This book looks a little deeper into Creed's past with the military which gives a little more insight into his character.
Maggie O'Dell has worked with Ryder Creed on several prior cases and when Maggie gets called to look into a government research facility murder that occurred in the landslide area the pair work well together. In this story, we see Maggie working alone, Creed working alone, and them working together almost equally. While there has been some hint of romantic feeling between the pair in previous books and some mention of it in this one, I didn't feel any sparks or chemistry between them. Of course, Creed is pretty beat up for a lot of this installment and I didn't pick this book up hoping for any kind of romance.
I liked the pacing of the story and found myself reading most of the book in one sitting simply because I didn't want to put it down. The story did take a few twists but nothing that was really unexpected. It was a fast paced novel and there were a few scenes that really made me think. The descriptions and the details really put me in the middle of the story. There was a little bit of unfinished business at the end of the book but nothing that felt like a cliffhanger.
I would recommend this book to mystery fans. I think that long time readers of the Maggie O'Dell and the newer Ryder Creed series will be pleased with this newest installment. I definitely plan to continue reading Alex Kava's work and am already looking forward to her next book.
I received an advance reader edition of this book from Penguin Group - G.P. Putnam's Sons via NetGalley for the purpose of providing an honest review.