Suspect by Robert Crais

Suspect by Robert Crais

LAPD cop Scott James is not doing so well. Eight months ago, a shocking nighttime assault by unidentified men killed his partner Stephanie, nearly killed him, and left him enraged, ashamed, and ready to explode. He is unfit for duty–until he meets his new partner. Maggie is not doing so well, either. A German shepherd who survived three tours in Iraq and Afghanistan sniffing explosives before losing her handler to an IED, her PTSD is as bad as Scott’s. They are each other’s last chance.

Shunned and shunted to the side, they set out to investigate the one case that no one wants them to touch: the identity of the men who murdered Stephanie. What they begin to find is nothing like what Scott has been told, and the journey will take them both through the darkest moments of their own personal hells. Whether they will make it out again, no one can say.

I should begin this review by writing a quick disclaimer! I’ve never ever wanted a dog, a cat, a gerbil or a pet of any kind, I’ve never had a pet in my life – unless you count a goldfish that survived for one day when I was in primary school – and I blame my parents entirely for this horrific upbringing!! I’ve never expected to get to this point in my life and want one, that is until now and I blame Robert Crais entirely! Ok so it’s not really going to happen but you get my point I hope. If ever there was a book that made me want a dog then Suspect is that book.

When a book can take one of its protagonists – Maggie an Alsatian – and have such a magical effect on its readers then you know you are on to a sure fire winner. I loved Maggie’s voice – or should that be her bark – and although my knowledge of dogs is severely tested in this book I could well imagine that as we followed Maggie, a K9 Marine, on tour searching for IED’s in Afghanistan and later as a police dog, this is how dogs see our world. Sniffing to her hearts content, following scents, protecting her pack and noticing every strange smell, reacting to every nuance in her handler’s emotions. I was completely hooked. It wasn’t the elaborate things that got me, it was the small subtle descriptions that had me. I really didn’t want this book to end and I certainly hope there is a follow up even though Suspect is a standalone thriller.

That dog may be the best air dog I’ve seen. I do believe she could follow a fly fart in a hurricane.

With every turn of the page, with every mesmerising new chapter, I fell hook, line and sinker falling deeply in love with Maggie and that’s no mean feat. We see how she deals with her devastating loss in Afghanistan and how she rebuilds her life and trust in Scott James, a rookie K9 handler with his own unique and painful history. When you step back and look at the book reflectively you see that the partnership is a match made in heaven. Scott’s journey is as interesting as Maggie’s and I enjoyed watching – or reading – how his personality changed and how his attitude to dogs and their importance in his own life slowly began to change with every passing day.

When I first picked up the book I had hoped it was another Elvis Cole adventure but as soon as I’d finished the first chapter there was no going back. Possibly one of the best opening chapters I’ve read so far this year, it completely immerses you in a world so foreign to me it’s incredible. The narrative and emotions suck you in and the author does an amazing job of keeping the story moving from one chapter to the next. We follow a number of characters throughout, some likeable and some not but the balance is well delivered.

A great story, frenetic pace and a taut thriller, Suspect is a profound page turner.  Sensational and heart-warming stuff this is one book not to be missed, I’m so glad I didn’t.

Available to buy in hardback, paperback, audio CD and kindle.

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Orion (11 April 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1409126587

ISBN-13: 978-1409126584

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