When dog handler Ryder Creed and one of his dogs are called in to search a commercial fishing vessel, they discover a secret compartment. But the Colombian cartels’ latest shipment isn’t drugs. This time, its cargo is human. To make matters worse, Creed helps one of the cartel’s drug mules escape. Meanwhile, FBI agent Maggie O’Dell is investigating a series of murders and uncovers a hit list with Creed’s name on it.
I’ve been a fan of Kava’s Maggie O’Dell series since I discovered it and was intrigued to see that she was shaking things up a bit by introducing a Ryder Creed (not sure I like the name!) thread. Creed had been introduced in a previous novel so, potentially, this is an interesting avenue to follow.
By it’s nature, the novel needs to introduce us more to Creed, his business partner, Hannah, his team of dogs, and his home base. Equally, it gives quite a lot of time to Maggie and her perspective as their two separate cases inevitably come closer to collision.
For me, the most interesting strand of the novel was the child trafficking and drug mule element. Amanda is 14, American born, but travelling between Colombia and the US carrying drug balloons for a drugs cartel. The child trafficking element alone would have made a substantial storyline but it wasn’t really capitalised on, I felt.
Elsewhere, we didn’t really get to delve as deep into O’Dell’s psyche as usual. And, maybe, Kava has said all she wants to say with O’Dell and, in her notes before the novel, admits that the dog handler character is a labour of love, based on her own love of dogs.
For me, I’d give this three stars. I read it on the Kindle and couldn’t believe how quickly I was getting through the book. I’d love to see more depth and less hopping around different storylines in the next novel. Worth a read, yes, but better if you’ve read some of the previous O’Dell books cos there were great.