Go to Homepage   Cynthia G. Alwyn: Scent of Murder


Crescent Blues Book ViewsImage: three and a half moon gifThomas Dunne Books (Hardcover), ISBN 0-312-26559-X
A debut mystery with a difference -- at least I never read a book about search and rescue dogs and their humans before. But I will be reading more if this promising author writes the further exploits of Brenna Scott and her dog Feather. Brenna belongs to a volunteer group that, with their highly trained dogs, aids the search when someone -- usually a child or an elderly person -- goes missing.

Book: Cynthia G Alwyn, Scent of MurderIn Scent of Murder, the antagonist kidnaps young children and leaves them to die. Brenna tries to locate the victims in time to save their lives. The death of her dog in the first rescue gives Brenna a particular interest in seeing the man brought to justice, but she must figure out the clues the kidnapper leaves, then find his latest victim before attempting to capturing him. Who is he? Why is he doing this? As the intricate plot unfolds, Brenna and her group add more and more pieces to the puzzle. But will they be able to save the last child?

Scent of Murder offers a fascinating look at the training and exploits of search and rescue dogs, but in several places the background becomes so fascinating that it takes the emphasis away from the mystery. The author, very obviously, knows all about the abilities of these marvelous animals, and I would love to read more about them. However, the breadth and depth of the canine minutiae sometimes distracts the reader from Alwyn's highly suspenseful tale, diluting the tension and narrative drive.

That said, would I recommend the book? Absolutely. Overall, Alwyn crafted a well-written novel with wonderful characters that taught me a lot about the incredible dogs who work for the good of mankind.

Patricia Lucas White

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