Monday, March 4, 2013

Readin': Suspect by Robert Crais

It has been quite a while since I've posted about what I've read lately. That doesn't mean I stopped reading; it just means I wasn't posting about any of it.

Suspect by Robert Crais is his most recent novel. As with many of his other novels, it is set in and around Los Angeles. The two main characters, Maggie and Scott, are healing from PTSD brought on by the loss of their respective working partners.

The unusual aspect of this is that Maggie is an 85-lb German Shepard trained by the US Marine Corps to be an explosive detection dog. Her handler, Pete, was killed in Afghanistan and she was shot twice during the same incident and almost died. Scott, an LAPD patrolman, lost his partner in a bloody shootout/robbery they witnessed early one morning in which he almost died of his wounds in the firefight. He stubbornly refuses to take the medical retirement he is offered and transfers into LAPD's K-9 unit where he meets Maggie.

Crais does a great job of telling the story from both points of view; Scott's and Maggie's. The chapters devoted to Maggie do a wonderful job of showing the world from a dog's point of view and paint an accurate and believable picture of her perceptions of the world, her motivations and her psychology.

The book title works on several levels. Both Maggie and Scott are suspect because each of them is clearly damaged goods and many doubt their individual and collective ability to do their jobs. The overall story is about solving the triple murder case ( Scott's partner and the two men who were robbed), a case in which there is no suspect after 9 months of intensive effort. Due to the machinations of the bad guys, Scott himself becomes a suspect in a more recent murder related to the case. He and Maggie manage to clear him with the help of a trustworthy LAPD murder detective assigned to the case.

As usual, Crais build a page turning story full of believable characters that revolves around police procedures. I thoroughly enjoyed it, reading it in three sittings over the course of three days.

I have another book that and  I will write about as soon as I am finished. I bought it yesterday in Petra and am about 2/3rds done with it. It is a memoir set in Petra and a fascinating story. That's all I'll say for now. Stay tuned.

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About Me

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I'm currently 60 years old. I currently work as the learning management system specialist for American University of Madaba in Madaba, Jordan. I was originally certified as a high-school English teacher and taught school for 13 years (1 year of substituting, 1 year of 7th grade, 2 years of a combined 5th, 6th, 7th grade, 9 years of 8th grade). I've worked for hardware and software companies for the past 23 years doing training, training materials development, certification test development and other education related stuff. My wife and I have raised four children to adulthood; some of them live at home at the moment, but that won't last (they're too independent for that). We live at home with 2 Golden Retrievers, 2 black cats, a crazy cat, and, during the winter, 70,000 coho salmon.