2015 Book #232: SILENT CREED by Alex Kava

Silent Creed (Ryder Creed #2) by Alex Kava
ISBN: 9780399170775 (hardcover)
ISBN: 9780698160682 (ebook)
ASIN: B00OQSF9FS (Kindle edition)
Publication date: July 28, 2015
Publisher: G. P. Putnam’s Sons

Most of them were asleep in their beds when the ground gave way. . . . When Ryder Creed responds to a devastating mudslide in North Carolina, he knows the difference between finding survivors and the dead—is time. Heedless of the dangers, Creed and his best search-and-rescue dog Bolo frantically wade through the chaos of twisted tree limbs, crumbled cement, and unrecognizable debris, when a second slide catches up with Ryder. And he is buried alive. Bolo makes it out, though, and leads the heroic rescue of his master. What they get when they pull Ryder out from the mud is much more than they bargained for. The secrets in the mud around Creed run deep, pointing to a possible serial killer and unexpectedly dredging up painful, hushed-up pieces of Creed’s own past. The mysteries unearthed will bring Ryder Creed face-to-face with his past loyalties, deeply embedded survivor’s guilt, and a powerful figure from his past. He’ll have to rely on his dogs if he wants to make it through alive. 

Ryder Creed has been asked by a former colleague to help in a search and rescue mission after a deadly mudslide in North Carolina. What he finds in North Carolina raises a variety of questions about the true purpose of his mission. Silent Creed is the second book in the Ryder Creed series. Ryder is a dog handler/trainer based in Florida. His dogs have been trained to sniff out contraband as well as search-and-rescue. Knowing that he’ll be facing dangerous circumstances due to the mudslide, Ryder chooses to bring one of his larger dogs, Bolo, on this mission. Unfortunately for Ryder and Bolo, they are caught in a second slide shortly after their arrival in North Carolina. Fortunately for Ryder, Bolo leads the rescue. The story becomes even more twisted when Maggie O’Dell enters the picture at the behest of a friend. Ryder and Maggie are unwittingly put in a situation that appears to be more of a cover-up than a search for bodies and the truth.

I found Silent Creed to be a fast-paced and enjoyable read. The story takes quite a few twists and turns, and because of a migraine episode I found it difficult to keep track of the story. However, once I got the migraine under control I was able to backtrack and pick up the threads of the different storylines. Ms. Kava takes a natural disaster scenario, a search and rescue mission, weaves it with a government conspiracy involving government-sponsored bioterrorism, and finishes things off with a cliff-hanger ending. If you enjoy thrillers then you’ll definitely want to add Silent Creed to your TBR list. I look forward to reading the next book in the Ryder Creed series.

Read an excerpt from Silent Creed here

Disclaimer: I received a print copy of this book for review purposes from the publisher via Edelweiss and NetGalley. I was not paid, required, or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Book 168: STRANDED Review

Stranded (Maggie O’Dell #11) by Alex Kava
ISBN:  9780385535540 (hardcover)
ISBN:  9780385535557 (ebook)
ASIN:  B00B3GMI2I (Kindle edition)
Publication date: July 16, 2013 
Publisher: Doubleday

Tired travelers and weary truckers have stopped at rest areas on the nation’s highways for decades to refuel, grab a bite, and maybe get some shut-eye, but one man’s rest stop is another’s hunting ground. For decades the defenseless, the weary, and the stranded have disappeared along the highways and byways, vanishing without a trace, but these seemingly unconnected incidents are no coincidence, and a madman stalks the freeways.

When FBI special agent Maggie O’Dell and her partner, Tully, discover the remains of a young woman in a highway ditch, the one clue left behind is a map that will send Maggie and Tully on a frantic hunt crisscrossing the country to stop a madman before he kills again.

As the body count rises and Maggie races against the clock to unmask the monster who’s terrorizing the nation’s highways, she turns to a former foe for help since he seems to know just what the killer’s next move will be. As she gets closer to finding the killer, it becomes eerily clear that Maggie is the ultimate target.

Every now and again as a reader I’m fortunate enough to come across a series by an author that just seems to get better with each book. The Maggie O’Dell series by Alex Kava is, for me, one of these series. In Stranded the FBI and local law enforcement agencies are dealing with a series of murders that don’t seem to have any connection until it is realized that all of the people were taken from rest stops. When O’Dell and her partner, RJ Tully, come across a body in the DC/Virginia area, a map is found that quickly sends them across the country in search of clues. These clues lead to more bodies and even more questions. Is it possible that this is the work of one person? How is it possible for the killer to have gone for so long without being caught?

Just when it seems like Maggie and Tully are getting close to answers, an even bigger problem arises that requires the assistance of Maggie’s close friend and Tully’s significant other, Dr. Gwen Patterson, is brought into the investigation to talk with a prisoner that might have information. Although information is revealed, it is revealed piecemeal and seems to be just enough to lead Tully and Maggie into a trap.

Stranded provides for a lot of drama and suspense. When it seems like the investigation is going to provide some answers, another clue is revealed that takes the investigation down a new avenue. I rather enjoyed seeing Maggie, Tully, Dr. Gwen Patterson, work together to solve this crime. Detective Racine, from previous stories, made a cameo appearance and participated in the multi-agency investigation. New faces included an FBI agent and computer whiz, Alonzo, as well as Creed and his search and rescue dogs. The action was all too plausible and was scary enough to make me think twice about stopping at a rest area any time soon. This was another story that gripped me from the first page to the very last. If you enjoy suspense thrillers then you’ll definitely want to add Stranded to your reading list (you may want to wait and read after that road trip).

Disclaimer: I received a digital copy of this book free for review purposes from the publisher via Edelweiss/NetGalley. I was not paid, required or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Book 165: HOTWIRE Review

Bizarre murders, cattle mutilations, and government conspiracies and suspected coverups are at the forefront of Hotwire, the ninth title in the Maggie O’Dell series by Alex Kava. Maggie, an FBI agent, is still recuperating from her last assignment and has been sent to Colorado to lecture at a law enforcement seminar. She is “asked” to look into some cattle mutilations in Nebraska and the story takes off.

Maggie doesn’t just get to see some strange cattle mutilations, but soon spearheads an investigation into the possible electrocution deaths (or murders) and injuries of some teenagers in the Nebraska Sandhills. Both the cattle mutilations and the teens’ deaths were bloodless and have other similarities. While Maggie has her hands full with the investigation in Nebraska, her friends Dr. Benjamin Platt of USAMRID, Washington, D.C. Police Detective Julia Racine, and FBI Agent R.J. Tully are investigating what may be a terrorism case relating to food poisoning in the DC school system. 

Hotwire provides a lot of thrills and suspense but also asks some hard and socially pertinent questions, such as: Why is it the FDA can shut down a business due to tampering or contamination but the USDA can’t do the same under similar circumstances? It doesn’t appear that the food poisonings in DC have anything to do with cattle mutilations in Nebraska or do they? The action and investigations take plenty of twists and turns but kept my attention to the end. It was nice seeing a softer side to Julia Racine as well as seeing Dr. Platt in action once again. Regrettably Tully had only a guest appearance in this story. Hotwire features great characters, great action and a well-developed plot. There’s a lot going on in the story, but Ms. Kava neatly ties it together at the end for a great and quick read.

Disclaimer: I received this book free for review purposes from the Early Reviewers program at LibraryThing. I was not paid, required or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”