Monday, February 17, 2014

Crime & Beyond Book Club Reviews SUSPECT by Robert Crais

Kerry Hammond is back today with a review of Suspect by 2014 Mystery Writers of America Grand Master, Robert Crais.

Last month the Crime & Beyond Book Club read and reviewed Suspect by Robert Crais.

Scott James is an LAPD cop who has been injured in a shoot-out that killed his partner. As he tries to recover from his physical wounds, his mental ones are proving even harder to heal. He joins the K9 unit and chooses a German shepherd named Maggie to be his dog, much to the disapproval of the trainer in charge. Maggie was a Marine in Afghanistan and suffers from PTSD, just like Scott. As Scott and Maggie work together to move on from their painful pasts, Scott continues to try and unravel the events that led to his injuries and the loss of his partner.

Suspect got excellent reviews from the club members who attended the discussion and those who “phoned” in their votes. I think the average score was about 8-9 slices of bologna (yes, we came up with a new rating system, which will make sense once you read the book). Other than the Agatha Christie we read in December, I don’t remember a recent book that has been that well received. Another thing we all agreed on was that we loved Maggie. Some people couldn’t remember the name of her handler(s) but remembered the name of the dog. The mystery was good as well, and Crais took us through some twists and turns along the way before revealing the whole story.

One of the things that really impressed me was how many people made comments about the book affecting them on a personal level. Whether it was personal experiences they’ve had with dogs, loved ones who have experienced a loss of a dog, or experiences with people suffering from PTSD. We also had some personal insight into the fact that dogs who served in Vietnam were not brought back like they are now from Afghanistan. This was particularly sad to me because I completely agreed with the characters in this book when they said that Maggie was a Marine & deserved the treatment and respect that any Marine did. I don’t know if the author knew how much he would touch people with both of these subjects when we wrote the book, but he sure ended up dealing with some very emotional topics. The fact that he did such a wonderful job on both the PTSD and the canine/human relationship really made this book a wonderful read.

It seems that Fox bought the rights to make a movie out of Suspect. Crais has been very protective of movie rights for his Elvis Cole and Joe Pike characters, but felt that the crew at Fox would do a good job bringing Scott and Maggie to life, so agreed to the deal. Our club can’t wait to see it.


  1. This sounds like great read! Thanks for great post.

  2. Thank you for a great guest post Kerry. It's always fun to hear what the Crime & Beyond Book Club is up to.