Title: Striking Range by Margaret Mizushima
A Timber Creek K-9 Mystery Book Seven
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Suspense
Length: 288 pages
Book Rating: B+
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
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.
Striking Range by Margaret Mizushima is a riveting mystery that takes place in rural Colorado. Although this newest release is the seventh installment in the Timber Creek K-9 Mystery series, it can be read as a standalone.
Hoping to finally solve her father’s murder, K-9 Deputy Mattie Cobb teams up with San Diego cold case Detective Jim Hauck to question prisoner John Cobb. But when they arrive at the prison, they discover he died that morning. Disappointed, Mattie and her K-9 partner Robo head back to Timber Creek to gear up to follow the only lead they find in his cell. Jim joins them as they return to Redstone Ridge where they search the cave where John held her prisoner. Robo leads them to a surprising discovery along with other possible crime scenes. Before they can finish their hunt for more evidence, Mattie joins the investigation when a body is found at a local campground.
After a long night without much sleep, Mattie and Detective Stella LoSasso work together on the current case. They are not making much progress but Stella discovers information that is absolutely chilling. They also locate the victim’s car which partially solves a troubling incident but also leads to more questions. Tirelessly tracking down each new lead, Mattie, Stella and Robo find an unlikely suspect who gives them valuable new evidence. But will they find their new suspect before someone that Mattie loves finds themselves in a dangerous situation?
Striking Range is a fast-moving mystery with a captivating storyline and atmospheric setting. Mattie is a dedicated deputy who will not rest until this latest case is resolved. Her relationship with local veterinarian Cole Walker continues to evolve and he remains an integral part of the volunteer force. Mattie’s friendship with Stella deepens as they work together on the current case. The continuing story arc about Mattie’s past simmers in the background as she puts all her effort into their current investigation. With a shocking plot twist, Margaret Mizushima brings this latest addition to the fantastic Timber Creek K-9 Mystery series to a nerve-wracking conclusion.