The Rescue

Forge. Apr. 2023. 352p. ISBN 9781250793560. $28.99. THRILLER
At an animal shelter, journalist Bettina comes across a dog slated for extermination. She’s not sure why, but she takes him. She bonds with him immediately, naming him Felix. But Felix had a different name in a former, shadier life. It was Joe then. The story of Joe’s past unfolds: early years with a boy, Teddy, who loves him still; training and working as a sniffer dog for the DEA; then his acquisition by Dan, owner of a self-defense school, who hires him out to a Mexican drug cartel in Tijuana seeking to wrest control from another cartel. Joe was shot in a drug heist gone bad, but a veterinarian saved him. Bettina found him in the vet’s clinic. When Bettina writes about Felix’s rescue online, the cartel that lost money (a million and a half in cash, five kilos of fentanyl, uncut) learns he’s still alive. They take vengeance very seriously. Readers see the story unfold from the perspective of Joe as well as Bettina’s, Teddy’s, and Dan’s viewpoints. Readers will love Joe; he’s a great character. The story ends in violence, but good things happen too.
VERDICT For lovers of quality crime fiction; Parker (Then She Vanished) never disappoints.
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