reviewed by Pam Guynn
Striking Range by Margaret Mizushima is the seventh book in the Timber Creek K-9 Mystery series. This has become one of my favorite police procedural series. The author brings plenty of suspense and action to a story featuring Deputy Mattie Cobb and her canine partner, Robo. It is set in and around the small town of Timber Creek in the mountains of Colorado.
While this is the seventh book in the series, enough background to events and people allows this book to work well as a standalone novel. In this one Mattie is meeting California Detective Jim Hauck at a Colorado prison. They plan to interview John Cobb, the man who tried to kill Mattie a few months ago and may have killed her father 30 years ago. However, when the guards go to get John, he is dead in his cell. A map is found featuring areas around Mattie’s home town. Not long after Mattie and Detective Hauck arrive in Timber Creek, a young woman is found dead and Mattie and her team need to search for her newborn baby as well as the killer, in addition to solving the mystery of the map.
Mattie, Robo, and the other members of the sheriff’s department begin investigations that have a lot of twists and turns and some red herrings. As usual, Maggie’s boyfriend, veterinarian Cole Walker, helps with the investigation when he’s not dealing with his practice. The characters are appealing and Maggie shows some growth with her friendship with Stella.
The writing is compelling, engaging and entertaining. The plot clever plot is intriguing and very realistic. Information about the different types of police dogs added another dimension to the book. Multiple plot lines kept me thoroughly engaged and turning the pages.
I was immediately drawn into the investigations and the lives of Mattie, Robo, Cole, and several residents of Timber Creek. I believe the fact that the author and her husband run a veterinary clinic and live on a small ranch in Colorado helped with the realism of the events and visualization of the area. Themes include police investigations, murder, veterinary procedures, family relationships and dynamics, how the past affects current actions and thoughts, changing relationships and more. There are some serious themes in this novel that I won’t reveal due to spoilers.
This is the third book that I have read about Mattie, Robo and Cole. They seem like old friends, and I can’t wait to read the other books in this series. If you are a dog lover or just enjoy an engaging and suspenseful mystery, I hope you enjoy this book as much as I did.
Many thanks to Crooked Lane Books, Margaret Mizushima and Net Galley for a digital ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review. Opinions are mine alone and are not biased in any way. Publication date is currently set for September 7, 2021.
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