Book Review: K9 Blue: Duck and Weave

{Me Tarzan. You give me book early, I write about it. This that follows happens.}

First thing to mention about this adventure/police thriller written by Matt McCredie is that, according to what I could glean, this appears to be a sequel, but other than to further establish the main characters it doesn’t seem to screw with the reading of this one.
Another note: after going on a ride along with a Redondo Beach K9 unit, I’ve been researching this particular branch of police departments and military. James Rollins has also written on this, but I was particularly pleased to find another book on the topic.
Falcon and his human Mike are cops in the police department of Sydney, Australia, as is Sarah, Mike’s girlfriend; there was probably more about them in the previous book, but oh well. There’s more than one plot here; what starts as a tale about corrupt drug-running cops and a secret organization turns into a chase story, which then becomes a military mission in Afghanistan before returning to wrap up the original.
To show the bond between man and his best friend, there’s this: “Falcon was running off Mike’s energy and knew his handler was upset with the two men in front of them; he barked and lunged at the closest one, snapping his jaws shut a centimeter from his groin. Both detectives recoiled at the sudden attack.” But Falcon is also just a dog, playful as any puppy with his human. My favorite scene is when Mike and Sarah are making love on the beach and Falcon sticks his nose–or snout–where it doesn’t belong.
The spycraft is pretty good, particularly a scene about cellphones designed to baffle the pursuers. Another great example is when they disguise themselves so outlandishly that when the bad guys are interviewed and tell the cops who they were fighting against, they wouldn’t be believed. Thankfully there’s plenty of humor, such as: “The big dog’s excitement overload sent him lunging toward the fight. Mike was caught off guard for a brief moment, hanging onto Falcon’s lead as he lost balance, fell forward and was dragged face first through the dirt by his partner as the dog’s rear legs found traction on the loose surface.”
So while I enjoyed this in general, and wished there was more Sarah, it has to be said that this author is not yet very experienced. For one thing, there’s a lot of redundancies–“sweating a river of perspiration”–and for another there’s empty verbs, such as “said” and “demanded;” with no adverbs. At one point I wondered if the author was trying to reach a certain word count.
Another example:
“Good boy!” yelled Mike.
“Arrrrgh!” yelled Tank.
“Grrrrrr!” yelled Falcon chewing on his hard-fought snack.
Funny dialogue, not much imagination when it comes to style, with three “yelled” in a row. Still, I think with some polishing this author is well on his way to better things.



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