First Line: "Whom do you trust, Mattie?"
Deputy Mattie Cobb is having a difficult time dealing with issues from her past, and as a result, she's withdrawn from veterinarian Cole Walker and his family. Instead, Mattie focuses on work and on training her K-9 partner, Robo. Shortly after Robo and Mattie find the body of a missing school girl, another young girl goes missing, and this time it hits hard. The missing girl is one of Cole's daughters, and there's nothing Mattie won't do to find her.
Deputy Mattie Cobb is more emotionally attached to her K-9 partner, Robo, than she is to anyone or anything else, and it's this attachment that makes them one of the best teams in crime fiction. However, in this third book in Mizushima's riveting series, Mattie is much too emotionally involved to be objective, and readers get to see her coming off the rails in her frenzy to find Cole's daughter.
One of the reasons why Mattie loses her objectivity is because she really doesn't understand mental illness-- one of the issues Mizushima handles so well in Hunting Hour-- and this stresses the importance of proper training for all police officers, not just the four-legged ones.
As in the previous two books, Hunting Hour is a superb look at working dogs in a police department, their training, what they're capable of doing, and how those capabilities could expand. The book also has the author's trademark action sequences that keep readers glued to the page, and the rich relationships between the main characters that make them so easy to care about.
Evidently my whodunit radar was in fine fettle when I read this because I spotted the villain immediately. Perhaps it's the work I did in a mental health institution so many years ago. I really don't know. Be that as it may, I enjoyed Hunting Hour, and was happy to see a small hint at the end that leads me to believe that Mattie and Robo could have new challenges in the future. I really think a new direction is needed because the series has been heavy on child jeopardy. After all, Cole's daughters have had more than their share of terror!
If you're a fan of small town Colorado settings, action that gets your adrenaline pumping, solid mysteries, wonderful dogs, and a fine cast of characters, you're in for a treat with Margaret Mizushima's Timber Creek K-9 series. Start at the beginning with Killing Trail!
Hunting Hour by Margaret Mizushima
Crooked Lane Books © 2017
eBook, 320 pages
Police Procedural, #3 Timber Creek K-9 mystery
Source: Net Galley