Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Breaking Creed by Alex Kava

Ryder Creed is very good at his job and so are the dogs that he trains for everything from search and rescue through to drug detection and tracking.  His reputation as one of the best has lead to some interesting cases over the years, but the latest case is more sickening than interesting.  While searching a boat for drugs he and his partner Grace uncover something more sinister, a cargo of children hidden inside the ship who they find only because Grace is so good at her job and manages to sniff them out.  Leaving the job behind is not going to be easy this time, especially when he becomes the target of some unwanted attention from a drug smuggling cartel with a reputation for being very nasty when they deal with people who get in their way.

In Washington a body is found in the Potomac River and FBI agent Maggie O'Dell is called in to deal with the case.  The body shows signs of torture, strange welts cover the back of the body and it seems pretty clear that the body has been moved and dumped where it will be found.  Clues about the murder lead Maggie to a rural property where she runs into Ryder and Grace, a somewhat uncomfortable reunion given what happened the first time they met.  While exploring the property they make a startling discovery that points to one thing and one thing only - their cases are connected.  The Iceman is cleaning house for the cartel, and Creed is on his hit list.

This is the first book I have read by Alex Kava and I was very pleasantly surprised to find it was a thoroughly engaging and addictive read.  I initially picked up the book because of the description of the main character, a dog trainer who gets on the wrong side of a drug cartel because of how good his dog is.  I expected the book to feature the idea of working dogs quite strongly, what I didn't expect was to have multiple dogs feature who are as well developed as the human characters.  Little Grace is an absolute heart breaker and a real little charmer, and his other dogs show the scars of their rough starts in life.  Creed himself is an interesting character, he is somewhat scared from his military career and what happened to his sister when he was growing up - and in many ways his partner Hannah is the healing hand for him in the same way he is the healing hand for his dogs.

The bad guys are interesting too, they are not outright bad and dangerous but are instead full characters with motivations and secrets.  The assassin Iceman is particularly interesting, partly because we only really meet him through his apprentice which gives you a slanted view on what he is all about.  In many ways Kava reminds me of James Patterson, the writing is a little sparse in terms of description and detail, but is instead rich in character development and fast paced plots.  The short chapters help to push the action forward and gave you plenty of opportunities to put the book down for a few minutes to make a drink or make a comfort stop without having to put the book down mid-chapter.  I have a definite preference for short punchy chapters, so this was right up my alley.  

The one distraction was that it did feel a little bit like there was some tension between the characters of Creed and O'Dell at times.  Creed was the focus for a section, and then suddenly it was all about O'Dell, and then it was all about the joint story, and then all about O'Dell - it wasn't too bad but it did feel a little like there was a bit too much of both sides rather than bringing O'Dell into Creed's story.  I am now looking forward to trying some more of the Maggie O'Dell series - I just have to wait for the first book to become available at the library (they are all out).  A great new find and the start of a series that holds lots of promise for fans of crime and canine fiction.

If you like this book then try:
  • Eeny meeny by M.J. Arlidge
  • Vodka doesn't freeze by Leah Giarratano
  • The surgeon by Tess Gerritsen
  • One step too far by Tina Seskis
  • The postcard killers by James Patterson and Liza Marklund
  • The basement by Stephen Leather
  • The silence of the lambs by Thomas Harris
  • Level 26: Dark origins by Anthony E. Zuiker and Duane Swierczynski
  • Now you see her by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge
  • The postcard killers by James Patterson and Liza Marklund
  • Private Oz by James Patterson and Michael White
  • The survivors club by Lisa Gardner
  • Darkly dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay
  • Kill switch by Neal Baer & Jonathan Greene
  • The edge of normal by Carla Norton

Reviewed by Brilla

No comments:

Post a Comment