Mysterious Book Report SuspectsSuspect by Robert Crais

Putnam, $27.95, 309 pages, ISBN 978-0-399-18148-3

Post-traumatic stress disorder, PTSD is a mental condition suffered by some individuals who’ve been subjected to intense, loud and life-threatening situations.  Anyone who’s been in a life and death situation can suffer from it.  The US Armed Forces have for years denied the existence of PTSD, labeling sufferers of the condition as malingerers, or shirkers, refusing treatment and shunning the afflicted.  Fortunately for the patients, all of that is changing for the better, through improved recognition and treatment options.  You may already be aware of PTSD and it’s history, but do you know that animals can and do suffer all the same affects of it as humans?  It’s the subject of MBR no 129.

Suspect, by Robert Crais is about an LAPD cop named Scott James who isn’t doing well and should have been medically retired.  Shot three times at close range during an armed attack, he was unable to save his partner, who dies at the scene.  Suffering PTSD, physical pain and guilt, refusing to take a medical disability, he’s assigned to the K-9 Corps where he meets Maggie, an eighty-five pound German Shepherd.  Maggie is a retired US Marine Corps war dog.  She’s also suffering from PTSD, which she contracted in Afghanistan when, after a number of combat missions, her handler is killed, she’s blown up and shot multiple times by a sniper.  Somehow, the pair of walking wounded are attracted to each other and pair up.  The question is however, will they become an effective team, able to perform in the face of danger, while at the same time, will Scott be able to solve the murder of his partner?  It’s a whodunit as well as a touching man-animal story that will captivate, entertain and enthrall the reader throughout.  Read it for yourself and see why Robert Crais is a number one best-selling NY Times author.  He makes the reader feel on the scene, right in the middle of the action, waiting to resolve the crime.  He’s another favorite of mine . . .


John Dwaine McKenna