Suspect by Robert Crais

suspect-3_4_r536_c534Robert Crais’ new book “Suspect” is a thriller/police procedural and features LAPD police officer Scott James and Maggie, a military working dog.  These characters are a departure from his more well known characters-Elvis Cole and Joe Pike.  Crais has said he wrote most of Maggie’s character based on his own dog Yossi who died sixteen years ago and to date he has never replaced.  As the book begins,  Scott and Maggie have lost partners in the line of duty and both of them have been severely wounded.  They are trying heal from physical and mental wounds.  Scott refuses to take medical retirement and wants nothing more than to catch the people who shot him and killed his partner.  In order to do that, he signs up for the K-9 unit,  even though he really knows nothing about dogs.  Ultimately, Scott is paired with Maggie and they begin to heal each other as they work to solve the mystery of who shot Scott and his partner.  This was the first Robert Crais book I have read, so I have nothing to compare it to, however, I liked the pacing of the book.  As Scott and Maggie’s relationship grows,  all the other interwoven story lines converge and flow towards the conclusion.  This is not a thriller that moves at breakneck speed,  but one that comes together like a puzzle, which for me was just as satisfying.

I loved this book. I couldn’t put it down.  In fairness, I have to say that I also love dogs.   Crais took a risk in “Suspect” when writing from Maggie’s point of view,  because the writing could so easily come off strange or cutesy.  However, I found that when Crais wrote from Maggie’s point of view(and he does) it was believable, not overdone and never seemed out of place.  If you are looking for a great thriller and love dogs this is the book for you!