Hunting Hour by Margaret Mizushima
Timber Creek K-9 Mystery #3
Publication Date: August 8
e-ARC (from NetGalley and the publisher)
–All opinions expressed in this review are my own.
Mystery, Police Procedural
Deputy Mattie Cobb is working through issues from her past and has withdrawn from Cole Walker and his family to focus on herself, when she and her K-9 partner Robo get called to track a missing junior high student. Until they find the girl on Smoker’s Hill behind the high school, dead. But that’s only the start of trouble in Timber Creek, because soon another girl goes missing–and this time it’s Sophie Walker. Hard as they search, Cole, Mattie, and Robo can’t find her anywhere. Mattie’s primary suspect, a strange man who lives near the wilderness area, calls to report he hears deer “screaming” in the woods. Suspecting the man might have lost touch with reality and be referring to something he’s done to Sophie, Mattie takes Robo into the dense pine forest, hoping to pick up a trace of her scent. But when Robo does catch Sophie’s trail, it leads them to another clue that challenges everything they thought they knew about the case. Now Mattie and Robo must rush to hunt down Sophie’s kidnapper before they’re too late in Hunting Hour, the third installment in critically acclaimed author Margaret Mizushima’s exhilarating mystery series.
This is the third book in this series and I like it as much as I do the other two. I like the setting in the Colorado Rockies and I like so many of the characters–especially Mattie Cobb and her partner Robo. Mattie and Robo continue to bond as partners and Robo continues to show how smart he is as he learns new skills. I love reading about K-9 dogs and the amazing things they can do.
Mattie has pulled away from colleagues and friends in this book as she tries to come to terms with problems from her past. Cole Walker and his children became important to Mattie, but she feels she can’t continue to see them since she feels so uncertain about herself. Cole likes Mattie and isn’t sure what’s going on since Mattie has shut down. Her problems are beginning to affect her work and professional life as well. Even Robo is affected by Mattie’s distraction and worries. I like the way the author shows Mattie’s problems and the ways she’s trying to understand and come to terms with her past.
Mattie and Robo do come together to do their job during this book. Robo is a great companion and friend to Mattie. He helps her heal. I also really like the friendships Mattie has made with her colleagues–especially Stella and Rainbow. And I like the way her working relationship has changed with Brody. In the first book there’s a lot of animosity between them. Both have grown and changed which is a really good part of these books. I like how Mizushima has handled the working relationships Mattie has. We have a number of well-rounded characters to read about.
Margaret Mizushima has become a favorite author as I’ve read these books. I look forward to reading many more in this series.
Have you read books in this series? I encourage you to do so if you enjoy mysteries, police procedurals and/or working dogs. I would start with the first book because all three are very good. I like that this is not a gritty series. Yes, there are murders and heartbreak (that isn’t sugar-coated), but the gory parts of the murder aren’t dwelled upon. I don’t want to get into the mind of a murderer. I don’t want to read pages and pages about the murder victim’s last moments or their horrific injuries. I’m not a lover of a psychological thriller. I enjoy reading about the friendships and professional relationships within a police department. I like the search for clues as they try to discover what happened and why. I like the books where justice is done. I don’t like to read about crooked cops–though I know they exist.