Thursday, December 28, 2006

Rapid Fire - Donna Ball


Rapid Fire
A Raine Stockton Dog Mystery
Donna Ball
Signet

Mystery

Summer is usually the busy season for Raine Stockton’s dog boarding and training business. But this summer, things are more complicated. There’s a development company razing parts of the hills to build a fly-in golf resort for the wealthy. While the town could use the money, the destruction of nature is infuriating to Raine and many others.

During a training session, Raine’s not-quite-ex, Buck, a sheriff, arrives with an FBI agent in tow. It seems that Andy Fontana, their childhood friend, and the man Raine almost married, once upon a time, is back in the country and headed for his hometown. Andy has made quite a name for himself. That name, unfortunately, is ecoterrorist. He’s responsible for the bombing of a chemical plant that killed several people, and he’s been on the run ever since.

According to the FBI, Andy is coming home to retrieve more than a million dollars in funds he stashed away before fleeing the country. They’re hoping that Raine, with her personal knowledge of the man, and her search and rescue dog, will be able to help them find Andy. Not long after their visit, the tires on every vehicle in the construction lot are slashed, and one of the workers is the victim of a vicious murder. Raine can’t bring herself to believe Andy is responsible, but Buck, the FBI, and others disagree.

The second installment in this series manages to avoid the dreaded sophomore slump by surpassing the debut novel. The story here is deeper and more complex than before, plumbing the characters’ histories and emotional pasts to good effect. Dog lovers will find a lot to love here, since the dogs are characters in their own rights. I hope to see more of Raine and her furry friends in future novels.

Rating: 7
December 2006
ISBN# 0-451-21999-6 (paperback)

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