Before It's Too Late (FBI K-9)
by Sara Driscoll
Review by Mel Jacob
Kensington Kindle Edition ISBN/ITEM#: 9781496704436
Date: 26 September 2017
When a member of the FBI Canine Forensic Unit is kidnapped, Meg Jennings and her dog Hawk join in the search. Meg soon learns a killer is stalking her and killing look-alike victims. Would she be next?
Coded notes tied to dog collars or leashes addressed to Meg at the FBI contain messages about where to find victims. Deciphering the code and then working out the location of the victim takes the combined efforts of a decoder and a Confederate War historian. Luckily for Meg, in addition to the FBI's cryptographers, she has her sister Cara, a puzzle whiz, and Clay McCord, an investigative reporter who happens to be a Confederate history buff.
By the time the FBI canine units find the first, actually, the second, victim, she is warm but dead and buried in Arlington Cemetery. The message about the first victim surfaces and they reach her while she is still alive but in a coma. Apparently, the killer intends to suffocate his victims.
A breakneck search begins with each new message and victim. Some of the rescues present hair-raising dangers. In one, she and Hawk have exactly seven minutes to locate the victim and get her to safety before the building where the killer hid her explodes. Meg's boss orders her not to attempt the rescue, but she does and succeeds.
Cara and Meg begin to compile a list of childhood friends, looking for someone who might hate Meg. One of the rescued victims is able to work with a sketch artist to provide a face, but Meg doesn't recognize the person.
Then, the killer does the unthinkable and it catches Meg unprepared.
Driscoll provides a rollercoaster ride as Meg and Hawk along with other FBI K-9 teams fight to save lives. She also manages to mix in a budding romance between Meg and a hunky fireman. This not a typical murder mystery, but it is a struggle to save lives and stop the killing. It will be especially welcomed by those who like see competent women doing a tough job as well as for dog lovers. After the fifth victim, a few readers will need a break. Hopefully, the next FBI K-9 mystery will be coming soon.