The case of a murdered outfitter brings a K-9 cop a little closer to nature.
Although it’s been a long time since Deputy Mattie Cobb has felt close to anyone, she makes a determined effort when she attends Timber Creek’s Celebration of Summer dance with Cole Walker. Mattie likes Cole a lot, and the two share a love for work involving animals, Cole as the town’s vet and Mattie as a police officer with a special bond with Robo, her K-9 partner. In spite of her interest in Cole, or maybe because of it, Mattie’s been keeping him at arm’s length. She isn’t ready for him to know about her childhood experiences of neglect and abuse even though the latest case she worked on (Burning Ridge, 2018) involved the death of her only known sibling. Given all this baggage, Mattie’s almost relieved when the two are distracted from the dance by a car fire. But things change dramatically when they discover Cole’s friend Garrett Hartman hurt by the fire and local outfitter Nate Fletcher dead at the scene. While Mattie uses the opportunity to dig into the investigation into the death of Nate, whose gunshot wound naturally suggests murder, and push Cole away, Cole must confront his own family problems when he gets a call from his young daughters telling him their visit with their mother, Olivia, isn’t going as planned and demanding to come home. As Mattie’s case heats up, the investigation puts her in danger when she and Robo connect Nate’s killer to a mysterious growling in the woods.
Part family drama, part animal-infused mystery, part ongoing exploration of the troubled heroine’s psyche.