cover image Scent of Murder

Scent of Murder

James O. Born. Forge, $25.99 (304p) ISBN 978-0-7653-7847-7

Dog-lovers will welcome Born's intriguing crime novel, which introduces Palm Beach County, Fla., sheriff's deputy Tim Hallett and his K-9 companion, Rocky. Hallett was a detective until his illegal handling of a criminal suspect, Arnold Ludner, got him fired, even though he probably saved a girl's life. Ludner, now out of jail, is a suspect in an escalating series of attacks, and Hallett, now in the K-9 unit, would love to see him caught. Handlers and dogs%E2%80%94Hallett and his Belgian Malinois, dedicated Claire Perkins and her German Shepherd, Darren Mori (who envies Claire and her attack dog) and his Golden Retriever%E2%80%94all play important roles in the department's search for the perpetrator. In a separate story line, the attacks of a man called Junior increase as the compulsion that drives him intensifies. Born (Burn Zone) does a fine job of detailing the skills of dogs and handlers, though his attribution of thoughts and motives to the dogs may not be to every reader's taste. Agent: Meg Ruley, Jane Rotrosen Agency. (Apr.)