ABOVE THE PAW by Diane Kelly


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A cop and her police-dog partner go undercover in hopes of finding who’s dealing drugs from the local university.

When local Texas Christian University student Miranda Hernandez loses consciousness at the Independence Day celebration, it’s more than a case of overheating in the Texas sun. Apparently there’s a drug called Molly, also known as ecstasy, that’s been developing a local following, and TCU students have been known to be buyers. Fort Worth Police Officer Megan Luz is surprised to learn about the seedier side of her small town, given that her life revolves around walks in the park with her boyfriend and their police dogs, Blast (his) and Brigit (hers). Megan agrees to go undercover at TCU to try to find out who dealt to Miranda so the guilty party can be held accountable. Throughout this, third-person chapters alternate with chapters from Megan’s point of view, as she makes friends with her college classmates while Brigit enjoys the smells of the campus quad, and chapters from the perspective of the unknown drug dealer, who may have committed to more than he’s ready for. Though Megan is certain the perp is somewhere on campus, not everyone at the station is convinced, and Megan finds herself wondering if fellow cop Derek Mackey might be somehow involved, though her instinct tells her he’s just a jerk rather than a drug-dealing jerk. Pressure to maintain her cover keeps Megan on the defensive during a night out that could prove the break in the case, so long as Megan can trust Brigit to keep them both safe.

Kelly (Death, Taxes, and a Satin Garter, 2016, etc.) keeps her writing basic. Though occasional harsh words suggest uglier depths in her simple story, her characters are straightforward enough to appeal to readers looking for amiability without complexity.

Pub Date: Dec. 6th, 2016
ISBN: 978-1-250-09484-1
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: St. Martin's
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1st, 2016


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