Standing Dead

Crooked Lane. (Timber Creek K-9 Mystery, Bk. 8). Mar. 2023. 288p. ISBN 9781639102440. $28.99. M
After her father was killed, Mattie Wray, her mother, and her brother were kidnapped when Mattie was only two. Now in her 30s, Mattie is still trying to put her family together, locate a sister she never knew about, and reunite with her mother. But when Mattie and her sister Julia travel to Pueblo del Sol, Mexico, they learn their mother and her second husband, Juan Martinez, have left town abruptly. Mattie returns home to her job as a deputy sheriff and K-9 handler in Timber Creek, CO, and finds a note on her door: “You’ll find him among the standing dead,” signed “A friend of your father’s.” When the sheriff’s department mounts a search, they find the body of Juan Martinez. Now Mattie is forced to reveal her mother’s story. Notes continue to appear, and Mattie’s friends are threatened and even shot. Pressure mounts quickly, and she and the supportive law enforcement team know Mattie is the ultimate target for someone who has terrorized her family for 30 years.
VERDICT Readers who have followed the story of Mattie’s family through Mizushima’s other “Timber Creek K-9” mysteries will enjoy this fast-paced, relentlessly tense installment.
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