A K-9 cop and her canine partner track down the killer of a colleague’s girlfriend in a case that hits close to home.
Deputy Mattie Cobb has already proved that she and her K-9 co-worker, Robo, make a highly effective team (Killing Trail, 2015). So it’s no surprise that when Chief Deputy Ken Brody’s girlfriend, Adrienne Howard, goes missing, he wants Mattie’s help, even though he’s never been her closest ally. Brody, adamant that something has happened to Adrienne though she’s been gone less than 48 hours, demands a search. Determined to do what she can to help her colleague, Mattie takes Robo to comb the area near Adrienne’s abandoned car, but to no avail. When Robo finally finds a clue on a horse trail, he leads Mattie to Adrienne’s body and an unwelcome night trapped with it during an early snowstorm in Timber Creek. Meanwhile, Mattie’s friend and maybe more, veterinarian Cole Walker, volunteers to carry supplies to Mattie and Robo, only to end up guarding the body along with them. The two share personal tales through their overnight vigil and make some progress toward a more clearly defined relationship—though not if Carmen Santiago, Cole’s newest client at the Dark Horse Stable, has anything to say about it. As if making it though a night with the potential for mountain lion attacks isn't trouble enough, Mattie and Robo have to track down Adrienne’s killer while Mattie deals with her own emotions after her long-estranged brother reaches out.
Equally packed with mystery and plot development for the series characters, Mizushima’s second is heavy in animal interest if not always specifically dog drama.