Image via WikipediaSilent Partner
By Jennifer Chase
Wow, I was pleasantly surprised with Jennifer Chase's latest novel, Silent Partner. Her usual, main leading characters were still involved, but they took a somewhat minor, but important role and took chances that could lead to their identity and activities. I can't help but wonder if this will lead into a different future. However the book is partially in memory of Jennifer's long-time Labrador friend, Trucker. What it resulted in is a wonderful thriller starring dogs who are trained for action as silent partners in war or with the police. Kudos, Jennifer, for this spotlight!
This is only Chase's third novel, but she became a favorite author for me by her second novel...so I was pleased to have the opportunity to read the manuscript for Silent Partner.
Jack Davis' partner was Keno--a black Labrador, who was the lone Labrador on the K9 force. Keno was an excellent partner but sometimes did not follow commands/procedures. Instead he would put himself in danger rather than his partner.
I loved the line, "Just because you sleep with me doesn't make this any easier..." Jack was trying to discipline his partner who had once again allowed adrenaline to make him act without command. Keno's response was to give him a sloppy kiss... You got to love a little humorous side to any situation, right?
There was a serial killer working in the area. But there was also a money reason behind the activities. The only issue was that the killer also killed because of his own desires, so there were many police involved in a case that was not easy to get a handle on.
And then an old friend of Jack Davis was murdered in her bed. There was evidence that her boyfriend, who was into many criminal activities had been there and the police were soon out to find Darrell! When Jack got to the crime scene, he reconnected with Megan, with whom he had once been involved. Megan and her sister had known Jack since they were small and Jack had come by their house on the day their father had murdered their mother. He watched as his friends had been taken away from that terrible scene, remembering that Megan had looked at him as if asking him why this was happening.
The sisters had inherited more money than they would ever need, but they still lived together. Megan had been fighting her need to stay indoors for quite some time; it wasn't totally incapicitating, but she would need a major reason for going out. When Megan saw Jack, she immediately turned to him for help and protection and they became involved again, even though Jack knew that she had to be considered a suspect and was totally involved with their case. Jack realized that he still had feelings for Megan. Like Keno was prone to do, Jack acted with his heart not his head...
Emily Stone and Rick Lopez came to town looking for a missing person but when they saw all the action, they decided to just stay and watch--and later found that their search had been ended by the killer, so they continued to watch, wanting to make sure her killer was apprehended...and help when they could without getting too involved.
The ending threw me off but then that's what makes for those climatic endings isn't it? There is lots of action with both police and the K9 unit. It's quite different from those books or movies that use the dogs to sniff out drugs or people. These dogs are trained to take down a criminal and keep him there--good for the police; really bad for the bad guy who can't get away from those powerful jaws!
I would have preferred a happier ending, but that didn't detract from this great suspense novel that keeps you at the edge...throughout! Thanks again for highlighting the K9 squads who are helping our men in blue! Have you read Chase yet? This is a great one to start with since there is little connection to the first two. My guess is though that you'll go back to read her from the start! Highly recommended...
From the Author
G. A. Bixler