Book Review: Suspect by Robert Crais


Rating: 4/5

LAPD cop Scott James is not doing so well. Eight months ago, a shocking nighttime assault by unidentified men killed his partner Stephanie, nearly killed him, and left him enraged, ashamed, and ready to explode. He is unfit for duty…until he meets his new partner.

Maggie is not doing so well, either. A German shepherd who survived three tours in Iraq and Afghanistan sniffing explosives before losing her handler to an IED, her PTSD is as bad as Scott’s.

They are each other’s last chance. Shunned and shunted to the side, they set out to investigate the one case that no one wants them to touch: the identity of the men who murdered Stephanie. What they begin to find is nothing like what Scott has been told, and the journey will take them both through the darkest moments of their own personal hells. Whether they will make it out again, no one can say.

I don’t think there’s a Robert Crais book out there that I haven’t enjoyed.  Scott James is damaged, having suffered a traumatic experience that took the life of his partner.  He is likable in his own way, although not as much of a character as Elvis Cole or Joe Pike.  The real star of the book, however, is Maggie.  It’s forgivable that Crais has made James a little bland to make Maggie the heroine.

The action that is trademark Robert Crais is lacking, as well as the wit that goes hand in hand with a character like Elvis Cole.  On the other hand, this book has more emotional resonance than his previous novels.  Readers who absolutely love dogs will really respond to Crais’s latest effort.  While I loved Maggie, I didn’t find myself very invested in James’s story.  As a stand-alone, this was a decent effort, but I’d rather see the next Crais book an Elvis Cole/Joe Pike novel-after all, those characters are what he writes about best.



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