Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Silent Creed (Ryder Creed #2) by Alex Kava

Most of them were asleep in their beds when the ground gave way. . . .
When Ryder Creed responds to a devastating mudslide in North Carolina, he knows the difference between finding survivors and the dead—is time. Heedless of the dangers, Creed and his best search-and-rescue dog Bolo frantically wade through the chaos of twisted tree limbs, crumbled cement, and unrecognizable debris, when a second slide catches up with Ryder. And he is buried alive.
Bolo makes it out, though, and leads the heroic rescue of his master. What they get when they pull Ryder out from the mud is much more than they bargained for. The secrets in the mud around Creed run deep, pointing to a possible serial killer and unexpectedly dredging up painful, hushed-up pieces of Creed’s own past.
The mysteries unearthed will bring Ryder Creed face-to-face with his past loyalties, deeply embedded survivor’s guilt, and a powerful figure from his past. He’ll have to rely on his dogs if he wants to make it through alive.  

A book about a K-9 search and rescue team?  Sign me up!  Reading Silent Creed by Alex Kava seemed like a perfect way to spend a lazy Saturday.  Living vicariously through the hero, “seeing” the action from my couch, and falling in love with doggies is right in my wheelhouse.  Unfortunately, Silent Creed broke several of my reading commandments, so it was not as enjoyable as it might have been.
The broken commandments are as follows:
1.  In a second book, though shalt catch the reader up to what happened in the first book.
2.  Thou shalt not overpopulate your book with characters who serve a purpose for two pages and then show up thirty pages later—for two more pages of service.
3.  Thou shalt not give the hero more than one concussion in a 300 page book.
4.  Thou shalt make the natural disaster that prompts the release of the K-9 team believable.  It was a landslide.  That kept sliding.  That ripped people to pieces.  That buried buildings and moved them down mountains.  That kept sliding.  And slid some more. And then more.
5.  Though thou art allowed to put people in peril, try to vary the peril.  (Lots of buried alive!)

I really liked the parts with the trainer, Ryder Creed, and his dogs.  The insights into how training works and the demands placed upon these dogs was fascinating.  This year, a bill was passed that allowed military service dogs to return to the US for retirement.  (Previously, the dogs were considered “civilians” when they retired and were not eligible for government transport.  Costly, private transportation had to be arranged.)
         The secret government lab working on biological weapons and its compromise formed the bulk of the narrative, but honestly, I was way more interested in the dog.  When the killer was revealed, due to the bloated character field, I was not really sure exactly who he was.  Maybe that is my weakness as a reader, but I know that it tamped down my pleasure at reading.
         Silent Creed did not really have a solid “tie up all the loose strings” ending, so be sure to look for it.  If governmental conspiracies are your thing, you would probably enjoy Silent Creed.
         *I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Regina

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The old grey donkey, Eeyore stood by himself in a thistly corner of the Forest, his front feet well apart, his head on one side, and thought about things. Sometimes he thought sadly to himself, "Why?" and sometimes he thought, "Wherefore?" and sometimes he thought, "Inasmuch as which?" and sometimes he didn't quite know what he was thinking about.

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