by James Rollins and Grant Blackwood
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
“The Kill Switch” (William Morrow 2014) is the first in James Rollins’ and Grant Blackwood’s new series about former Army Ranger Tucker Wayne and his working dog, Kane (#2 planned for next year). In this opener, Wayne is asked to get a scientist out of Russia so he can share his secrets with the Western World. It’s presented to him as routine, but quickly deteriorates to anything but–toxic comes to mind. Every step of the way, Kane is integral to success whether it’s rousting bad guys, avoiding death, or determining what Plan F looks like. It’s a procedural on working dog as partner. By half way through, I couldn’t imagine any policeman would prefer a human over a working dog. We even see the world through Kane’s eyes occasionally. Invariably, it’s an exciting, loving, single-minded existence where Kane lives to defend his pack of one.
There are some great lines–
“The man’s eyes settled nervously on Kane. The Shepherd sat upright in the seat opposite Tucker, panting, tongue hanging.”
“You’re the owner of that large hound, aren’t you? The one that looks smarter than most people on this train.” Wayne replies, “Owner isn’t the word I would use…”
“Tucker had come to appreciate certain parts of the Buddhist philosophy, but he knew he’d never match Kane’s Zen mind-set, which, if put into words, would probably be something like ‘Whatever has happened, has happened’.”
Best of all: Tucker constantly refers to Kane as ‘his partner’.
I picked this book because 1) I’ve never read anything by either of the authors I didn’t like, but more importantly, 2) the cover features the silhouette of a dog. I am still waiting for Robert Crais to publish the next in his series about Maggie the retired working dog. He doesn’t seem as enthusiastic to write it as I am to read it. Go figure. In his absence, I’ve read pretty much everything David Rosenfelt has written on Andy Carpenter and Tara (Defense Attorney Carpenter is crazy for his dog–confers with him on most legal cases. Here’s my review of Hounded). Those dozen books done, I found Tucker Wayne and Kane.
D*** this was good. I want to read it again for the first time.
If you’re interested in working dogs, here’s a great post from Behind the Crime on that topic, and another from K9 Pride on how you can adopt a retired working dog. This one I wrote a few years ago on how the military uses working dogs.
More posts that respect animals:
Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. She is webmaster for six blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, a columnist for Examiner.com and TeachHUB, Editorial Review Board member for Journal for Computing Teachers, monthly contributor to Today’s Author and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. In her free time, she is editor of technology training books for how to integrate technology in education. Currently, she’s editing a techno-thriller that should be out to publishers next summer.