Saturday, September 8, 2018

ARC Review: Burning Ridge by Margaret Mizushima

Burning Ridge
Author: Margaret Mizushima
Series: Timber Creek K-9 Mysteries
Publication: Crooked Lane Books (September 11, 2018)

Description: Featuring Mattie Cobb and her K-9 partner Robo, Burning Ridge by critically acclaimed author Margaret Mizushima is just the treat for fans of Alex Kava.

On a rugged Colorado mountain ridge, Mattie Cobb and her police dog partner Robo make a grisly discovery―and become the targets of a ruthless killer.

Colorado’s Redstone Ridge is a place of extraordinary beauty, but this rugged mountain wilderness harbors a horrifying secret. When a charred body is discovered in a shallow grave on the ridge, officer Mattie Cobb and her K-9 partner Robo are called in to spearhead the investigation. But this is no ordinary crime―and it soon becomes clear that Mattie has a close personal connection to the dead man.

Joined by local veterinarian Cole Walker, the pair scours the mountaintop for evidence and makes another gruesome discovery: the skeletonized remains of two adults and a child. And then, the unthinkable happens. Could Mattie become the next victim in the murderer’s deadly game?

A deranged killer torments Mattie with a litany of dark secrets that call into question her very identity. As a towering blaze races across the ridge, Cole and Robo search desperately for her―but time is running out in Margaret Mizushima’s fourth spine-tingling Timber Creek K-9 mystery, Burning Ridge.

My Thoughts: Deputy Mattie Cobb's fourth case hits close to home. When Cole Walker and his daughters discover a burned boot with foot still inside, Mattie and her K9 partner Robo are called in to see if Robo can find the rest of the body.

Meanwhile, Mattie is considering meeting with her brother who was raised in a separate foster home after their dad was sent to prison for abusing his wife and kids and their mom disappeared. They haven't seen each other since they were children but Willie called recently to try to make amends as part of is treatment for drug addiction. Talking with her brother brought back repressed memories of her childhood that have sent Mattie to therapy and make her feel like she shouldn't connect to other people. This puts her growing relationship with Cole in jeopardy.

Mattie is also developing a relationship with Riley Flynn. She and her father have recently moved to town and, with her father working two jobs, Riley is lonely. Mattie met her when doing a school safety visit. She wants to find a way to help Riley connect with the community and make friends.

When the body turns out to be Mattie's brother Willie, the investigation gets more complicated. She knows he wouldn't have voluntarily returned to Timber Creek from California because of all the bad memories. Mattie and the rest of law enforcement are looking for California connections and trying to figure out how and why Willie got back. There are quite a few suspects. Among them are Tucker York who works for Colorado Parks and Wildlife and was in the area because a plan is in place to move part of the herd of Bighorn Sheep to a new location. Bret Flynn, Riley's dad, is also a suspect because he is behaving suspiciously.

This story was exciting and suspense filled. I really like how Mattie grows and changes in this story and how she has grown over the course of the four books so far. I like her growing relationship with Cole and his daughters. I really like her relationship with her dog Robo who is clearly her best friend.

Favorite Quote:
Something hit her square in the back, between her shoulders. Pain bit hard, and a burning sensation spread outward. Another dart! She reached over her shoulder, but she couldn't touch it. She tried reaching below, and it glanced off her fingertips. She struggled for another inch, grasped it, and pulled it out.

Her arms grew slack; her hands shook. With a huge effort, she tossed the dart toward the tall grass at the edge of the house.
I received this one in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.

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