Audie Award Finalist, Thriller/Suspense, 2014
For 25 years, Robert Crais has written extraordinary novels of crime and suspense. He is "a master of crime fiction" (Associated Press); "his novels get better with every new book" (Portland Oregonian); "Crais is hands-down the world’s greatest crime writer" (The Huffington Post).
But in Suspect, he may have written his most remarkable novel of all.
LAPD cop Scott James is not doing so well, not since a shocking nighttime assault by unidentified men killed his partner, Stephanie, nearly killed him, and left him enraged, ashamed, and ready to explode. He is unfit for duty - until he meets his new partner.
Maggie is not doing so well, either. The German shepherd survived three tours in Iraq and Afghanistan sniffing explosives before she lost her handler to an IED and sniper attack, and her PTSD is as bad as Scott’s.
They are each other’s last chance. He was a young cop on the rise; she was bred to guard and protect. Now they are shunned and shunted to the side. They are suspect. And together they will set out to investigate the one case that no one wants them to touch: the identity of the men who murdered Stephanie.
Nine months and sixteen days later, they remained free. They were still out there.
What they begin to find is nothing like what Scott has been told, and where it will lead them will take them both through the darkest moments of their own personal hells. Whether they will make it out again, no one can say.
Thrilling, emotional, intense, with some of the best characters and well-crafted writing in all of crime fiction, Suspect is further proof that "Crais just keeps getting better" (Publishers Weekly).
©2013 Robert Crais (P)2013 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
Rating scale: 5=Loved it, 4=Liked it, 3=Ok, 2=Disappointed, 1=Hated it. I look for well developed characters, compelling stories.
This book has been hovering on the edge of my awareness for some time and I can’t really say why I haven’t downloaded it before now. Getting it on sale tipped the balance and I am very happy with the outcome.
When it comes down to it, this is a fairly standard police procedural at its core, but the characters that flesh out the bones make it exceptional, especially Maggie the Marine dog who joins Scott in his quest for redemption. Crais’ genius was to let us into the thoughts of Maggie, how she perceived her partnership with Scott and the evolution of them as a “pack”. This added an emotional punch unlike any human partnerships I’ve read. It also added welcome humor, as when we see through Maggie’s eyes her thoughts about Scott trying to get her to fetch a ball. (I guess I know now what my dog Charlie is thinking when I try the same thing.)
The central mystery is well developed, avoids red herrings and thankfully avoids ridiculous romantic entanglements that only serve as distractions. The tension builds believably and we worry for Scott and Maggie at the same time we are rooting for them. Mostly well read, but as too often happens, the male reading of the female voices left something lacking. But I loved the gruff canine unit sergeant. Good entertainment reading recommended for mystery/thriller lovers. Will likely check out future entries in the series, mainly to revisit Maggie.
This is a great read for dog lovers and well worth the credit even if you are not. Crais is an excellent writer and the narration was great. Good storyline and an overall great read. I probably liked it more than the average reader because one of the characters is a dog, but it's a great story even if you are not a "dog person". What else can I say? You won't be sorry you purchased this book and if you have never read Robert Crais - purchase anything by him and you will be hooked.
This is a little out of the order of other Crais books but still enjoyable, all the same. The narrator did an excellent job. The story flows easily, and though it's quite easy to guess what is coming next, it has a satisfying end.
I liked Maggie best.
A trilogy. Say it in three. Done.
Excellent narration. I liked the story, and want a sequel. I smiled, chuckled a little, and teared up a time or two. This is my first book by this author, but I've seen plenty of his crime-drama television series. This felt similar, with that general expectation that everything will turn out okay for the good guys in the end. Mind you, not without loss, and I had my doubts at one point, when things went south for the Pack.
And that's the part of the book I liked best. The dog Maggie, rejoicing to form a new pack. How she loved her new alpha, Scott James. Her joy at being able to protect and serve him. He may be all about saving the world and avenging his dead partner Stephanie, but Maggie Girl is all about him. Whatever makes him happy. Whatever keeps him safe. Whatever keeps the pack together.
Such a simplistic mindset must be easy on the psyche. But even Maggie suffered from PTSD, so it's not always a walk in the park.
The POV is 3rd person. It hops around from Scott to varied other characters, including the dog. The setting is Los Angeles. The language includes some swearing and religious profanity, which I don't like -- especially in audiobook -- but there wasn't much of it.
I liked the stuff about how a dog thinks and how a German Shepherd's nose works. Amazing olfactory ability, and the author wove it into the story without creating an info-dump feeling. I liked the director of the K-9 division, Dominic Leland.
I figured out who done it half-way in, so it was predictable, but that's fine with me. And I didn't know how or why or who else was in on it, so there's some suspense.
I wanted to see how other important characters responded to the denouement. Other detectives, retired and on active duty. But that ain't how he wrote it. Bummer.
There's the potential for a budding romance between Scott and a particular woman, but Maggie is his best girl.
Top drawer narrator. Would listen to him again.
Crais' writing style, a "multiple" narrative where I never had to go back to figure out which character was in the moment.
Maggie, she yanked my heart out and then gave it back.
The male eye view
I have to admit it made me cry several times, however they were not all sad tears.
He rushed the ending a bit, unless of course he is planning on turning this into a series. Hint hint.
Like action, adventures, war stories, militay happenings, historical readings-fiction, & mysteries. Unabridged only! Reader IMPORT!
This book was one I could NOT put down --- stop listening to! The reader was great. Several parts of the story kept me "hanging with "...what happened?" This is my first listen to one of Robert Crais tales ... I LOOK FROWARD TO MORE...!!!
You get the feel of the story being in audio
The bonding between man and dog
Being a dog lover, when Maggies first partner was killed I thought wow. Good healing story for man and beast.
Very good, being a fan of Pike and Cole I think this tops the cake.
If you want to learn a little about dogs and listen to a good mystery, this is for you. I couldn't put it down. I just wish it was a little longer. I didn't want to see it end.
This was a good story about a broken military dog and a broken cop. Granted, the premise and the growing body count were pretty "out there," but the dog kept me in the story. I liked the way the cop and the dog started to grow together as a team...or "pack" in dog terms. That was probably the best part of the story and certainly overcame the weakness of the overall plot.
If you are a dog person, you will probably like the book.
I loved that it kept you guessing about who the actual bad guy was.
The author used the two characters, to heal each other. That is a lesson we can use in our lives.
The Seargent was awesome! I remember one just like him in Basic Training. Tough but fair.
When the Seargent entered the hospital room to talk to the nurse.
"Turner and Hooch"
Logically you know humans can't know what dogs think - but it's so easy to believe that the author knew exactly what emotions Maggie had! The small insights often brought a smile to my face, if you like dogs, you can't help not liking this story.
A marine dog suffering from PTSD is matched with a policeman suffering the same affliction. Maggie will be taken to your heart by the end of the tale.
"A refreshing departure from Messrs. Cole and Pike."
I approached this book with some trepidation as I am a huge fan of the Cole/Pike books but I needn't have worried the story, expertly narrated by MacLeod Andrews, held me from the very beginning.
I do hope there will be more books with these excellent characters.
"An exceptional diversion for Robert Crais!"
.......after the first chapter I was going to put Suspect down, as I thought Robert Crais was trying his hand at a war story with his own American sensibilities. Later I picked it up again and when the action transferred to LA and the LAPD that was it for me. Both leading characters had had their partners shot before their eyes and were suffering the trauma of loss and grief in a very heavy way, as it also related to carrying out one's duties and protecting one's colleagues in dramatic and dangerous conditions. They both wrongly considered they'd failed in this and were suffering from the guilt and remorse that many of us have felt, but perhaps not to the same intensity.
As the narrative continued it's complex path Crais' mastery began to exert itself and as a big fan I was won over with his handling of both leading characters need to win over their own damaged emotions; to show the courage to embark on a fresh start with trusting each other, and to eventually win. Great story telling by a modern LA Noir storyteller, full of very unexpected twists and exceptionally detailed characters emerging from the shadows. Flushing out the main culprits within his/their midst, the leading character(s) displayed his/their hidden strengths and were both awarded a victorious ending. Very good book indeed! Highly recommended!
"A GRIPPING READ"
THIS IS AN EXCELLENT THRILLER, CENTRED AROUND A DOG CALLED MAGGIE, WHO STARTS LIFE AS A BOMB DETECTION DOG AND THEN GOES ON TO HAVE A CAREER IN THE POLICE FORCE. HER RELATIONSHIP WITH HER HANDLERS IS PIVOTAL TO THE PLOT BUT THE STORY ITSELF, IS TENSE, EXCITING AND GRIPPING. IF I WAS 'PICKY' THERE ARE A FEW INSTANCES WHERE YOU CANT THINK TOO DEEPLY ABOUT THE LIKELIHOOD OF SOMETHING HAPPENING BUT I STILL RECOMMEND IT WHEN ASKED FOR A GOOD READ..
this is a fairly good standalone novel, but it didn't work for me the way the cole / pike novels do, especially when they are narrated by the sensational william roberts.
however, crais writes well (clearly, efficiently) and the story is interesting. i enjoyed it, just not as much as the others.
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