Storm Rising by Sara Driscoll – Review.

About The Book

The heart-pounding thriller of a series continues as FBI Special Agent Meg Jennings and her search-and-rescue K-9 companion confront the fury of nature—and the more dangerous nature of man . . .

In the wake of a devastating hurricane, Special Agent Meg Jennings and her Labrador, Hawk—invaluable members of the FBI’s Human Scent Evidence Team—have been deployed to Virginia Beach. They have their work cut out for them. Amid graveyards of debris, and the buried cries for help, the search and rescue operation begins. The most alarming discovery is yet to come—a teenage girl hiding in the Great Dismal Swamp. Shaken by the storm, she has reason to be scared. But this young survivor is terrified of so much more.

Her name is Emma—a disheveled runaway lost to the sordid underbelly of a Virginia sex-trafficking ring. Its leader has disappeared in the chaos—along with other victims. With so much evidence, and so many witnesses, seemingly washed away, Meg joins forces with Special Agent Walter Van Cleave to ensure no further harm comes to their vulnerable charge. They soon discover that this is no small-time localized syndicate. Its branches are rooted in some of the most influential powers in Virginia. Now as Meg’s investigation digs deeper, she’s making some very dangerous enemies. And one by one, they’re coming out of the storm to stop her.

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. It was good to catchup with Meg and Hawk again. In this novel they, along with the rest of the team are sent to help and find survivors from a hurricane. But they find more than they bargained for.

Living in a country where we don’t experience extreme weather I found this part of the storyline fascinating. I see it on the news but this novel showed how the rescuers feel and cope with what they see and hear. I have never given a moments thought to what a dog may go through, not finding any survivors and felt quite strange at how their handlers deal with the situation. I was almost reluctant to leave this side of the story and move onto the part that concerned Emma.

Emma, despite what she has been put through is tough and decides that she wants justice. But she is still vulnerable and I loved the way that she and Hawk bonded. It was hard to think about what her early life was like when she had no desire to return to it.

This series is very different to all the others that I read. The cases all feature heavily but so do the team members. You see their personal lives, how they deal with the job and how close they are to their canine partners. You see how important their families are to them, Meg’s sister, their parents and their partners all feature without over powering the storyline.

Before It’s Too Late by Sara Driscoll – Review.

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About the Book

In this powerful K-9 crime thriller, FBI Special Agent Meg Jennings and her trusted search-and-rescue Labrador, Hawk, must race against the clock before a diabolical killer strikes again . . .
Somewhere in the Washington, D.C., area, a woman lies helpless in a box. Beneath the earth. Barely breathing. Buried alive. In Quantico, the FBI receives a coded message from the woman’s abductor. He wants to play a game with them: decipher the clues, find the grave, save the girl. The FBI’s top cryptanalysts crack the code and Special Agent Meg Jennings and her K-9 partner, Hawk, scramble to the scene of the crime. Cryptic clues lead them astray and by the time they solve the puzzle, it’s too late. But the killer’s game is far from over . . .
Soon another message arrives. Another victim is taken, and the deadly pattern is repeated–again and again. Each kidnapping triggers another desperate race against time, each with the possibility of another senseless death. That’s when Meg decides to try something drastic. Break the Bureau’s protocol. Bring in her brilliant sister, Cara, a genius at word games, to decipher the kidnapper’s twisted clues. Meg knows she’s risking her career to do it, but she’s determined not to let one more person die under her and Hawk’s watch. If the plan fails, it could bite them in the end. And if it leads to the killer, it could bury them forever . . .

My Review

WIth thanks to the publisher for the copy received.

Before It’s Too Late is the second book in the series that features Meg and her canine partner Hawk. I have enjoyed both books, both involve serious crime but are from a completely different viewpoint. That of dog handler and dog.
In this book the crime is personal to Meg. Women are being abducted and left in dangerous situations. Meg and the rest of the team receive coded messages that will determine the location of the women who if they are not found in time will die. All of the women look like Meg and all the codes have a connection to her.

I have to say that the deciphering of the codes went way over my head and my knowledge of the American Civil War starts and ends with the novel and TV series North and South. But neither of these failings on my part stopped me loving this novel. All off the characters’ personalities were real including them of the numerous dogs. The Rescue dog, Blink, I just wanted to hug. I felt that all of the animals that featured were based on actual animals that the authors had. The human characters were just as good. Seeing the relationship between Meg, Cara, the firefighter and the journalist was nice to read. It isn’t often where the journalist in a novel is likeable and a hero.

Hopefully this will be a long running series. Murder, abduction and violence yes but there is also the contact with human and canine which makes it special. Fantastic and humbling.

Lone Wolf by Sara Driscoll

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About the Book

In the first book in a thrilling new series, FBI Special Agent Meg Jennings and Hawk, her loyal search-and-rescue Labrador, must race against time as they zero in on one of the deadliest killers in the country . . .
Meg and Hawk are part of the FBI s elite K-9 unit. Hawk can sniff out bodies anywhere living or dead whether it’s tracking a criminal or finding a missing person. When a bomb rips apart a government building on the National Mall in Washington D.C., it takes all of the team’ s extensive search-and-rescue training to locate and save the workers and visitors buried beneath the rubble.
But even as the duo are hailed as heroes, a mad bomber remains at large, striking terror across the Eastern seaboard in a ruthless pursuit of retribution. As more bombs are detonated and the body count escalates, Meg and Hawk are brought in to a task force dedicated to stopping the unseen killer. But when the attacks spiral wide and any number of locations could be the next target, it will come down to a battle of wits and survival skills between Meg, Hawk, and the bomber they’re tracking to rescue a nation from the brink of chaos.

My Review

I read a lot of crime fiction, either told by a police officer’s view or that of the criminal but I have never read one where the main characters are a dog handler with the FBI and her partner the dog. I didn’t really know what to expect but I certainly never expected to enjoy it as much as I did.
The action starts immediately when they must attend the scene of a bombing and see if they can find any survivors. It was very tense reading whilst they tried to help children who had been trapped during their visit. But more buildings are targeted and both Meg and Hawk are in high demand, trying to save people and Meg is also trying to stop further attacks from the unknown bomber.
The investigation into who the perpetrator was and how to stop him was the main storyline but the relationship between a dog handler and rescue dog was something I had never really thought about. You see it on the news when something goes wrong but I had never realised how close the bond was and when you read about Meg’s previous partner this was very convincing and upsetting.
I think this could be a fantastic new series, I liked Meg, her team, family and people who she meets during this novel who could become more than friends.
Sara Driscoll is an author I have never read before and I would like to thank the publisher for the copy received.