Book review: Narrative turns to world of poaching in 'Tracking Game'
"Tracking Game: A Timber Creek K-9 Mystery" by Margaret Mizushima; Crooked Lane Books; 282 pages
An explosion turns a fun evening into a rescue and mystery in Margaret Mizushima's latest novel, "Tracking Game."
Deputy Mattie Cobb is spending the evening at the town of Timber Creek's community event with the local vet, Cole Walker. When they hear the boom and see the flames, they rush to discover a burning van and the body of Nate Fletcher. She soon discovers that he didn't die in the fire but was shot twice in the heart. With her K-9 partner, Robo, Cobb and her companion start to investigate.
The small town and isolated mentality of the region play heavily into the story line. The motive and culprit at first appear to be obvious, but soon prove to be wrong. From that point, the narrative turns from a mystery into a secret world of poaching and hidden secrets. Cobb has trust issues due to her turbulent past, so it's difficult for her to deal with the case while juggling her growing feelings for Walker. Thankfully Robo is there for emotional support, and his keen set of skills might just save the day.
Mizushima has a gift when it comes to crafting immersive settings, putting the reader into the smells and colors of Timber Creek. She also makes both the human and animal characters feel authentic. As Cobb, Walker and Robo head into the mountains for answers and a rescue, they have no idea what is truly hiding in the landscape. Everyone will want to follow these three every step of the way.