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I really couldn't decide what I thought about the protagonist, Mattie Cobb, but the dog is the real hero. On the one hand, Mattie is supposedly a tough lady and clearly trying to be a dedicated officer. She seems to relate well enough to children and other women, but acts like a young teenager around men instead of a woman in her early 30's. She is portrayed as having trust issues, but in fact, she behaves as if all her feelings about men are new to her. The dialog is equally immature; it sounds more like a young adult novel. As to her K9 training, we are told repeatedly how, in training, she learned to trust her dog's signals, but she repeatedly discounts his reactions and overlooks the obvious. She must know that dogs have 100 times more nasal sensors per unit area than humans, and that a large dog will also have a much larger olfactory area. They can also hear frequencies beyond human range.
Then there is the sophisticated female lead detective, who has a split personality--sometimes friendly and supportive, other times playing games and jerking Mattie around. Despite having trust issues, Mattie spills her guts to her. It all seems so contrived.
The only character I really liked was the old Sheriff.
As a mystery, the villain is fairly obvious early on. The main question in my mind was who were his collaborators? Of course, Mattie doesn't realize what's going on until much later.
The author does seem to know much about dogs and police training, although Robo seems to be a genius dog. If I didn't like dogs, I might not have finished the book.
Nancy Wu does a good job giving voice to the various characters.
I might give the second book in the series a try if others think it is better than the first.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful
Love the relationship between K-9 Robo and his handler Cobb. Author definitely understands the male German Shepherd. Excellent character development, mystery part was OK. Learning how a K-9 works was fascinating. I really enjoyed this and will continue on to the next one. Some complained about narrator's pacing. I listened at 1.25 speed, which is my usual speed, and she sounded find to me.
28 of 30 people found this review helpful