PHYSICAL FORCES - D.D. Ayres
A K-9 Rescue Novel, Book 6
St. Martin's Paperbacks
St. Petersburg, Florida – The Present
After a horrible event, Macayla Burkett left her previous job, but now she has difficulty meeting her bills. In her new job, she works as an animal recovery specialist for former police officer Jefferina Franklin, who runs a private detective agency in the Tampa-St. Petersburg area. Only on this case, Mac, as she calls herself, is a detective searching for the whereabouts of three missing grey hounds stolen from the Derby Lane racetrack. It is a police case, so she cannot do anything other than look for clues. Her mission leads her into a dangerous situation.
Oliver Kelly, a transplanted Australian, goes ‘all Aussie' in language when annoyed. His Australian shepherd companion, Jackeroo, is in reality a rescue dog. They both work for Bolt Action Rescue K-9 Services, or BARKS, as trainers of search and rescue teams for natural and man-made disasters worldwide. Oliver is in St. Petersburg Beach for a conference where he is a scheduled speaker; the very thought of it gives him the willies. He also plans to take advantage of the beach for stress relief from his job. On the return to his hotel after finishing his run on the beach, he passes a woman scrounging around a dumpster, looking for food. His initial reaction is doubt about a homeless person in this high end area, but he stops to help.
The scruffy looking woman is Mac, trying to rescue a Pomeranian. This encounter leads to a physical confrontation with two hooded figures taking baseball bats to Mac's car. Interest sparks between Mac and Oliver. More trouble follows Mac, especially after Oliver leaves on a BARKS mission, increasing the suspense throughout the story. All three main characters, Mac, Oliver, and Jackeroo, are well developed. Mac is serious and avoids relationships. Oliver is humorous and avoids relationships. Jackeroo is a well-trained dog who likes to please. When I first started reading, I thought, ‘Pet detective? Really?' but as author D.D. Ayers works her wonderful plot, I began to think that she planned that initial reaction and then used it to pull the reader ever deeper into the story. It worked; another great story for this series.