Wednesday, September 1, 2021

ARC Review: Striking Range by Margaret Mizushima

Striking Range

Margaret Mizushima
Series: A Timber Creek K-9 Mystery (Book 7)
Publication: Crooked Lane Books (September 7, 2021)

Description: A deadly secret is buried in the Colorado high country--and murder is only the beginning in the seventh gripping installment of Margaret Mizushima's Timber Creek K-9 mysteries.

He was suspect number one--the man who tried to kill Deputy Mattie Cobb and may have killed her father thirty years earlier. But when Mattie and cold case detective Jim Hauck reach the Colorado state prison where they will finally get to interview him, he's found dead in his cell. There's only one clue: a map leading to Timber Creek and rugged Redstone Ridge

Though she usually works with veterinarian Cole Walker, Mattie's K-9 partner Robo has just sired a litter of pups, who require special, time-consuming care at Cole's clinic. Left to explore the map's clue without him, Mattie and Robo journey into the burned forest surrounding Redstone Ridge. But before they can finish their search they're called to help investigate the death of a young woman found in a campground filled with elk hunters. Identification of the deceased points to her having recently given birth, but the infant is nowhere to be found.

As a deadly storm descends upon the mountains, covering everything with a layer of ice and snow, Mattie and her team search for the missing newborn. The storm batters the area, taking its toll on the team and forcing the sheriff to call in reinforcements. When new evidence surfaces, they decide that finding the woman's killer will lead them to her baby, making them even more desperate to solve the case.

Then Cole goes missing, stranded alone in the high country with a person that Mattie now suspects is the mastermind behind several murders, including her father's. She and Robo take to the trail to find Cole--but the killer has a cold-blooded plan that threatens them all.

My Thoughts: This seventh book in the Timber Creek K-9 mysteries finds Mattie getting closer to discovering who murdered her father some thirty years earlier. She's working with Jim Hauck who is a cold case detective from San Diego. Together they are planning to interview John Cobb in prison because he has ties to that long-ago murder along with more recent attempts to murder Mattie. But they arrive at the prison just in time to learn that Cobb has been found dead in his cell of a drug overdose. The only remaining clue is a guide book to Colorado hiking trails with some dog-eared pages. One of them with some suspicious Xs.

Mattie is determined to check out the trail even though one of the Xs indicates the location where Cobb tried to murder her. She and her canine partner Robo take off into the mountains along with Detective Hauck to see what they can find. They discover a lot. Possible body dumps, buried drugs, and buried explosives. All spotted by Robo but a Colorado blizzard moves in before they can explore more.

Then Mattie is called to a campground filled with elk hunters because a body has been discovered. It is the body of a young woman Mattie met at Cole Walker's veterinary clinic when she was visiting some puppies sired by Robo. But that young woman was pregnant and this one has only recently given birth before dying of a drug overdose. The hunt is on to find her baby and discover what happened. 

This was another fast-paced and action-filled adventure for Mattie and her K-9 Robo which shows their close relationship. There is also Mattie's own growing relationship with Cole. Mattie is getting more comfortable with human relationships after a very difficult childhood. 

Fans of the series won't want to miss this exciting installment. New readers will also enjoy the story for its action. 

Favorite Quote:
He might be wearing his heart on his sleeve, but he could feel a goofy grin taking over his face as he opened the door. Seeing Mattie and Angie together, both with smiles on their faces, did his soul good. 
I received this one in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.

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