Review copy was received from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Hunting the Truth by Kathleen Donnelly
Series: National Forest K-9 #2
Published by Carina Press on September 26, 2023
Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple
“Hide, Maya. Don’t let the bad people find you.”
Those are the last words Forest Service law enforcement officer and K-9 handler Maya Thompson ever heard her mother say.
Returning to the Colorado mountains, ex-soldier Maya is no longer a scared little girl. She’s here to investigate her mother’s cold case, but fear creeps in when it comes to her personal life—things are getting serious with sheriff deputy Josh Colten.
After new DNA evidence surfaces, both her beloved grandfather and Josh warn her away from the case, suspecting that she could be the next victim. But Maya doesn’t listen.
I’m a huge fan of K-9 stories, so when the author asked if I would review this one I was happy. With law enforcement groups and mysteries, it’s the kind of story I enjoy.
Hunting the Truth is the second book in the National Forest K-9 series, so there will be minor spoilers here for Chasing Justice. In that book, Maya had just started a new job after leaving the military and had a new dog, Juniper. Her friend, Doug was training them for the federal forest service. Her grandfather is the sheriff.
Now Maya’s training is complete. The deaths of Maya’s mother when she was 4 and her grandmother, more recently, have come up as cold cases with new DNA evidence. Maya is working with Josh who is her grandfather’s main deputy. She is attracted to Josh and is beginning to feel more like she can trust him. The romance element is a bit stronger than the first book.
I worried about Maya as she took off on her own a lot because she is so determined to figure out what happened to her mother and grandmother. She is having some vague memories of that night her mother told her to hide. She could taint the case because of the conflict of interest, so a state police Lucas is assigned to it, along with Josh. At least she has Juniper to back her up. I really liked how the dog, Juniper, was very involved in the story and we got to see her actually do some work.
Maya seems to get right in the middle of every situation. There’s an ex-cop who knew her mom. There’s two Montana cops here to chase the ex-cop who they say is dirty and wanted for murder. There are witnesses who end up dead, along with other dangerous situations. In the end, Maya and Josh figure out all the cases.
I found this fun and exciting to read, although Maya needed backup. She took a few too many chances. Personally, she was doing better with her job, Juniper and her friends and family. It was great to see her and Josh support each other and build a better relationship. They both had issues from the military which left them with some problems. I look forward to more personal and career growth in this series.
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