The Lost #3 in the Mace Reid K-9 series
I thoroughly enjoy having the opportunity to read advance copy books but there's also a certain amount of self-imposed pressure to read them prior to publication and to be prepared to comment on them. So far I haven't received any that I disliked enough that I didn't review them and I hope that continues! Whether you read the blurb online or on a book flap in a bookstore, every book is a bit of a risk, right? I hope to guess right - and mostly I do.
The Lost #3 Mace Reid by Jeffrey B Burton
Publish Date June 28, 2022, 288 pages
Thanks to #stmartinspress #minotaur and #netgalley for the advance copy of #thelost. I happily read the first two as ARCs also and enjoyed them. The Finders was first, followed by The Keepers, and now the third installment.
As expected, this story also features dog owner/trainer Mace, the light romance between him and detective Kippy Gimm (what a name :)), and the lead cadaver dog, Vira (Ira with a "V", short for Elvira).
The mystery in this installment revolves around a finance conman who's built a life of cards and they're about to come tumbling down. His deception is discovered by one of the investors and that sets off a string of unexpected
consequences. Early in the story Mace gets involved when the conman, Druckman, reports his wife and 5 year old daughter have been kidnapped. He brings his dogs to the potential scene and finds the wife but no daughter.
The rest of the story kind of winds around as Mace is sure that Vira has identified the killer, but there's no proof. Everyone is trying to find/save the daughter. The Russian mafia becomes involved, there are millions of dollars of jewelry missing, a little girl missing, and Mace and Kippy are struggling to piece together what happened and why.
For me, this book fell a bit short of the previous ones. The Russian mafia connection became confusing and the characters kept crossing up in my brain. The plot kind of jumped around as if Burton couldn't quite pull all the strings together. Mace and Kippy felt more cardboard cutout than before and the banter from Mace was less chuckle-worthy. However, I did appreciate the interaction between Vira and the traumatized little girl.
I missed the stronger role of Vira and the rest of the dogs. They were there, but it felt almost more like an afterthought. I feel like the dogs are what set this series apart from every other mystery series and the training and interaction with the pack were missing.
The Lost is a short, fast paced, quick read that provides a fix if you need a mystery to fill a weekend. I'm hopeful that his next installment will return the focus to his delightful dogs and provide a bit more depth between him and Kippy.