Striking Range

Crooked Lane. (Timber Creek K-9 Mystery, Bk. 7). Sept. 2021. 288p. ISBN 9781643857466. $27.99. M
In the continuing search for answers to her father’s murder, Timber Creek sheriff’s deputy Mattie Cobb plans to meet with a Colorado state prison inmate, but he’s found dead in his cell on the day of their planned interview. He leaves Maddie a possible clue, in a map to Timber Creek and the surrounding wilderness. Mattie, her K-9 partner Robo, and cold case detective Jim Hauck follow the clue into the mountains, trying to beat a blizzard. They find only one of the prisoner’s stashes before Mattie is called away to the scene of a murder—a young mother has been found dead at a campground, and there’s no sign of her newborn. The sheriff’s department brings in everyone to search, fearing the baby will be found frozen. As they comb the mountains, one of their own is the victim of a hit-and-run, and the blizzard traps Mattie’s boyfriend, veterinarian Cole Walker, with a desperate man connected to the cold case and the missing infant. The man sets a trap for Mattie and Robo that leads to a dramatic chase on a mountain trail.
VERDICT Mizushima’s follow-up to Hanging Falls still leaves questions about Mattie’s past. The tension and drama of this series installment will satisfy fans of K-9 partners and solid police procedurals.
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