One of Booklist sBest Crime Fiction Books of the YearLAPD cop Scott James is not doing so well Nine months ago, a shocking 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 partnerMaggie is not doing so well, either A German shepherd who survived two tours in Afghanistan sniffing explosives before losing her handler, her PTSD is as bad as Scott sThey are each other s last chance And they re about to investigate the one case no one wants them to touch identifying the men who murdered Stephanie But what they find could ultimately break them both 4.5 starsI gobbled this up for few hours safely to say that this is, so far, my FAVORITE Robert Crais novel, Cole Pike notwithstanding.For me personally, this novel is less on the thriller suspense buton the friendship between Scott and the amazing 85 pound black and tan German shepherd dog by the name of Maggie Both Scott and Maggie have experienced a tragedy in their lives Scott got shot at the same night he lost his partner, Stephanie in a sudden nighttime assault Scott always fee 4.5 starsI gobbled this up for few hours safely to say that this is, so far, my FAVORITE Robert Crais novel, Cole Pike notwithstanding.For me personally, this novel is less on the thriller suspense buton the friendship between Scott and the amazing 85 pound black and tan German shepherd dog by the name of Maggie Both Scott and Maggie have experienced a tragedy in their lives Scott got shot at the same night he lost his partner, Stephanie in a sudden nighttime assault Scott always feels guilty because he thinks Stephanie s last thought was that of Scott leaving her in the moment of need he didn t, he just crawled away to their police car to try to call for help Meanwhile, Maggie also suffered from PTSD after her handler was killed by IED in Afghanistan, and she also got shot Determined not to take medical retirement, Scott undergoes K9 training On the day he is supposed to get K9 dog, Scott and Maggie find each other They are both considered suspect not right for the job But Scott and Maggie prove everyone wrong It is such a wonderful story Scott never considers himself a dog man, but he learns how to deal with Maggie, how to talk to her, how to love her And Maggie learns about his new Alpha , his mood, his body language They end up healing each other The part where Scott breaks down and cry and hugs Maggie is simply heartbreaking I love the chapters where Maggie is the narrator Her thoughts are simple yet honest The threat was gone.Crate safe.Pack safe.Alpha safe.Her job was done My other favorite secondary character would be the K 9 Platoon Chief Trainer, Dominick Leland He seems to love his dogsthan he likes people lol It s a near perfect read for me My only complain would be because Scott is not a homicide detective, he is not fully involved in the investigation of his shooting Which is why I think the suspense is rather lacking The ending also feels a bit rushed.Despite of that I know that I can just reread several sections of this book over and over again My mother is the office manager for a small city s police department and several years ago I visited her at work, and she introduced me around the station The K9 came in with his handler, and the dog ran up to my mom for a happy hello He noticed me and immediately went into a Who The Hell Is In My Office mode The officer gave him the Be cool command, and the dog was instantly friendly After a quick sniff to make sure I wasn t carrying drugs or explosives Luckily, I had locked them all in My mother is the office manager for a small city s police department and several years ago I visited her at work, and she introduced me around the station The K9 came in with his handler, and the dog ran up to my mom for a happy hello He noticed me and immediately went into a Who The Hell Is In My Office mode The officer gave him the Be cool command, and the dog was instantly friendly After a quick sniff to make sure I wasn t carrying drugs or explosives Luckily, I had locked them all in the trunk , the dog sat in front of me so I could pet him The cop was standing right beside him, and my mom said, Just don t grab the officer s sleeve or arm or anything I laughed a bit thinking she was joking No, she s serious We re so close that he d get a couple of good bites in before I could pull him off if you touched me, the cop said gravely.I looked down at the dog who nodded as if to say, Yes, I am enjoying the way you re scratching my ears but if you touch my guy, I am gonna mess you up Needless to say, I was very careful not to touch the cop So that s my police dog story Here s one from Robert Crais LAPD officer Scott James had the bad luck to get caught up in firefight with a group of masked man that killed his partner Stephanie and severely wounded him Months later, Scott is hiding the extent of his physical injuries that should have gotten him an early retirement He s also suffering from a whopping case of PTSD and survivor s guilt He has asked to be a K9 officer not because he really loves dogs, but because he doesn t want to deal with a human partner.German shepherd Maggie was a Marine who sniffed out IED s, but she was wounded in an ambush that killed her beloved handler Heartbroken at the loss of her master and suffering from the dog form of PTSD, Maggie is about to be kicked out of the LAPD s K9 program for being too surly and gun shy to be of any use When Scott hears Maggie s story, it strikes a chord, and he ll need a good partner since he s still determined to help track down Stephanie s killers.Robert Crais is good at writing damaged people Whether it s an ugly childhood like Elvis Cole and Joe Pike both went through or a cop left shattered by a traumatic injury like Carol Starkey in Demolition Angel or a police negotiator who loses his nerve after one bad day like in Hostage, Crais always makes you feel their pain He includes empathy for suffering that is strangely lacking in a lot of crime fiction.So the story of Scott and Maggie is right in his wheelhouse with the two damaged creatures forming a bond You can t help but like these two, and Crais is careful not to overdo it since it d be really easy to play the injured dog card and ride it right to the best seller list As always, he put in the effort to give a quality crime story and not just lean on the tragic parts too much.However, this isn t the best Robert Crais I ve read That s kind of damning it with faint praise though While I liked it a lot, it didn t have quite the emotional heft of some of the recent Elvis Cole books I ve read, and the mystery action stuff wasn t as relentless as in Hostage But it s still good, and Crais s good isthan a lot of writer s best Plus, you know, it s got a dog in it How can you not like that Three stars with a smiley face using the new Dan rating s scale.Also posted at Shelf Inflicted Audible Daily Special Narrated by MacLeod AndreI had never heard of this author nor had I read any reviews I liked the sample downloaded it and began listening right away Maggie is one of the greatest characters in this detective crime novel Maggie is a German Shepherd, weighing eighty five pounds Oh my gosh I love her At the start we meet Maggie and her partner Pete Gibbs They are both in the marines While in Afghanistan, their unit is attacked by enemy fire Pete andAudible Daily Special Narrated by MacLeod AndreI had never heard of this author nor had I read any reviews I liked the sample downloaded it and began listening right away Maggie is one of the greatest characters in this detective crime novel Maggie is a German Shepherd, weighing eighty five pounds Oh my gosh I love her At the start we meet Maggie and her partner Pete Gibbs They are both in the marines While in Afghanistan, their unit is attacked by enemy fire Pete and Maggie were a strong team madly in love and devoted to each other but when Pete is killed PETE WAS GREAT TOO I was sad to see him leave this story so soon I get attached fast to my little friends in the novels I read Maggie physically insured geeeee, lots of sadness at the start of this book It s clear Maggie s heartbroken wound is muchserious than her physical ones Maggie is diagnosed with PTSD I was so emotionally invested in this story I m thinking WHO IS THIS AUTHOR I m enjoying storytime Scott James, like Maggie, has also been physically wounded Scott s a patrolman for the Los Angeles Police Department LAPD Scott was shot several times one evening when he and his partner, Stephanie Anders was killed Things happened fast One minute Scott and Stephanie were expressing appreciation for each other s partnership and looking for a noodle house, when suddenly they were smack in the middle of a shooting escapade It was horrific Scott couldn t save Stephanie He loss consciousness from the gun shots and woke up 9 months later in a hospital The reader can already see that Scott, with PTSD, and Maggie with PTSD, are going to become partners, buddies, and soul mates, but we don t care about the obvious predictability because we re happy they are bonding period Little by little we see Maggie and Scott growing as close as Maggie once was with Pete They even compare battle wound scars with each other Maggie s fur has not fully grown back to cover her scar and Scott s scars are still pretty pronounced I felt like jumping into the scar game and showing them mine, too The bonding between Scott Maggie is a treasure.but they have a job to do together too.the mystery suspense unfolds at a great pace There are chapters written from Maggie s point of view a dog s perspective and it s very believable not at all cheezy Pure enjoyment a nice surprise My only question is what Robert Crais book should I read for my next selection Best Dog Book Ever Perhaps you ll start this book, as I did, by wishing it had been Elvis Cole 14 and or Joe Pike 5 But you will definitely finish it cheering and hoping that it is actually Scott Maggie 1 This was a great new read from Robert Crais with a cast of new characters although the hyper sex driven SID criminalist John Chen from the Cole Pike books makes a cameo appearance in his usual sleazy style centring around two post traumatic stress syndrome damaged survivors trying to ma Best Dog Book Ever Perhaps you ll start this book, as I did, by wishing it had been Elvis Cole 14 and or Joe Pike 5 But you will definitely finish it cheering and hoping that it is actually Scott Maggie 1 This was a great new read from Robert Crais with a cast of new characters although the hyper sex driven SID criminalist John Chen from the Cole Pike books makes a cameo appearance in his usual sleazy style centring around two post traumatic stress syndrome damaged survivors trying to make a go of it again The trick is, one of them is a dog This isn t one of those anthropomorphic animal books where the dog is assigned all sorts of unlikely human like thoughts Maggie the german shepherd comes across as a real dog with dog like characteristics and nothan that, but those traits arethan enough to make you love her.And by the end you will be looking at your closest loved ones either two or four legged and smiling and thinking to yourself Pack Highly recommended August 2017 Updatep.s If you loved Suspect, check out The Right Side by Spencer Quinn It s not like the Chet Bernie novels, but is grittier and harder edged Nospoilers here