Stalking Ground by Margaret Mizushima. Published by Crooked Lane

Deputy Mattie Cobb, her K-9 partner, Robo, veterinarian Cole Walker and deputy Ken Brody are combing the mountains outside Timber Creek for Ken’s missing girlfriend. It’s only October, but a winter storm is bearing down on the mountains and by the time their worst fears are confirmed and the woman’s body is found, the snow is already coming down. Ken decides to hike back into town for help, while Cole tries to find a way to make shelter for them from the worsening storm. Mattie and Robo are left guarding the body in one of the creepiest book scenes ever. The fierce storm, the isolation from civilization, the claustrophobia and the sense of being hunted ratchet the tension up to an almost unbearable place. The second book in the series is less about the K-9 aspect of the crime and more about the characters and the mystery.

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