Review copy was received from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Hanging Falls by Margaret Mizushima
Series: Timber Creek K9 Mystery #6
on September 8, 2020
Amazon, Audible, Audiobook, Barnes & Noble, Apple
A deluge has flooded the high ground near Hanging Falls--but heavy rains aren't the only menace descending on Timber Creek. While on a scouting mission to pinpoint trail damage, officer Mattie Cobb and her K-9 partner Robo stumble upon a body floating at the edge of a lake. Robo catches human scent, which leads to an enigmatic forest-dweller who quickly becomes suspect number one.
With help from veterinarian Cole Walker, Mattie identifies the victim, and discovers an odd religious cult whose dress and manners harken back to the 19th century. As the list of suspects grows, an unexpected visit from members of Mattie's long-lost family sheds new light on her childhood as they help Mattie piece together details of the fateful night when she was abducted at age two.
The tangled threads of the investigation and family dynamics begin to intertwine--but darkness threatens to claim a new victim before Mattie and Robo can track down the killers.
I discovered the Timber Creek K-9 series when I was trying different K9 series for the Series on Saturday meme. I really loved it and continued reading the series. I would read this series in order because of the growth in both Mattie’s personal and professional life. I try not to write spoilers but at this point it is tough not to have some spoilers for earlier books in the series.
My last review summarized Mattie’s law enforcement job and the skills of her K9 partner, Robo, which I won’t repeat here. Mattie has a personal relationship with the veterinarian, Cole. His work is interesting as well as his single parenting of his two daughters. Mattie is learning more about her past which really progresses in this story as she meets an newly found sister and grandmother.
Of course, there is a murder, which Mattie discovers when she is out running with her friend, Glenna, and of course, Robo. It’s quickly obvious from the man’s clothing, he is somehow connected to a new religious community who just located to their area. Cole has been treating some of their animals. The women wear long plain dresses; the men’s pants have buttons instead of zippers. The group makes much of their own clothing.
I especially enjoy the actual K9 work and skills shown in the investigation. There is searching for evidence or people, sometimes lost children or sometimes a bad guy. This goes along with the veterinary care. I always enjoy the police procedures and methods too. Mattie works well with her entire team now. She and Detective Stella are concerned from the start about the children in the religious group who may be abused, more than the polygamy which is almost certain.
I can’t say I’m a fan of organized religion in general, and cults in particular. It never surprises me when old, white men think they should be in complete control, have whatever they want, and not follow any laws but their own ideas.
I am excited to learn more about Mattie’s past and new relationship with her family, as well as how things develop with Cole and his family. Of course, there will be more police cases of some sort to investigate and I’ll enjoy that too.
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