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Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Rapid Fire

****½ Rapid Fire by Donna Ball. Mystery.

I enjoyed the first book in this mystery series featuring search-and-rescue dogs, Smoky Mountain Tracks (#27), so I picked this one up as soon as it came out. I just ordered the third book in the series, Gun Shy.

Rapid Fire brings the mystery a little closer to home for kennel owner, dog trainer, and search-and-rescue officer Raine Stockton: her college boyfriend, Andy Fontana, is back in the area, wanted by the FBI as a known terrorist and suspect in recent eco-terrorism crimes.

He'd disappeared ten years ago when he was suspected of bombings, but Raine's never believed he's guilty. Now they think he's back, looking for his payment for that job--a cache of diamonds.

Raine's faith is tested, however, when she keeps finding rainbows--Andy's nickname for her, and the symbol of the eco-terrorism group he's suspected of heading. Still, she believes in him and it's a race to find him before the authorities.

Rapid Fire is a more intense book than its predecessor, both because of the personal connection and emotions and because the issue isn't black-and-white. Raine has to reevaluate her former and present relationships, and has to decide where she draws the line between her views on the environment and the law.

And of course there are the dogs. One subplot involves Raine entering a dog in an event for which he's unsuited. The dog training echoes and clarifies larger issues in the plot and in life in general.

The first book was simply entertaining. This one is deeper. I'm looking forward to finding out where the series goes from here.


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