Tuesday 7 May 2019

Book ~ "Deception Cove" (2019) Owen Laukkanen

From Goodreads ~ Former US Marine Jess Winslow reenters civilian life a new widow, with little more to her name than a falling-down house, a medical discharge for PTSD and a loyal dog named Lucy. The only thing she actually cares about is that dog, a black-and-white pit bull mix who helps her cope with the devastating memories of her time in Afghanistan.

After fifteen years - nearly half his life - in state prison, Mason Burke owns one set of clothes, a wallet and a photo of Lucy, the service dog he trained while behind bars. Seeking a fresh start, he sets out for Deception Cove, Washington, where the dog now lives.

As soon as Mason knocks on Jess's door, he finds himself in the middle of a standoff between the widow and the deputy county sheriff. When Jess's late husband piloted his final "fishing" expedition, he stole and stashed a valuable package from his drug dealer associates. Now the package is gone, and the sheriff's department has seized Jess's dearest possession - her dog. Unless Jess turns over the missing goods, Lucy will be destroyed.

The last thing Mason wants is to be dragged back into the criminal world. The last thing Jess wants is to trust a stranger. But neither of them can leave a friend, the only good thing in either of their lives, in danger. To rescue Lucy, they'll have to forge an uneasy alliance. And to avoid becoming collateral damage in someone else's private war, they have to fight back - and find a way to conquer their doubts and fears.

Mason Burke has spent the last fifteen years in prison in Michigan for committing murder.  Towards the end of his sentence, he was put in a program to train dogs.  Lucy, the dog he was assigned, was scared and timid when she arrived at the prison but became a great therapy dog six months later.

Lucy was given to Jess, a Marine veteran, who keeps reliving her time in Afghanistan, seeing her best friend get killed.  When Jess arrived home in Washington, she has PTSD and is a widow (her husband, Ty, had gotten drunk and drowned while she was away).  All she has left is the rundown house and Lucy.

The local deputy was involved in a scheme ... and Ty had stolen some drugs from him.  The deputy thinks Jess knows where Ty had hidden the drugs before he died.  With his life on the line, he does all he can to pressure Jesse for the information and even takes her dog from her, promising to kill Lucy.

When Mason is released from prison, he just wants to make sure that Lucy is okay and in a good home before he can start his new life.  When he hears that she is about to be put down for attacking a police officer, he heads to Washington to do all he can to save Lucy ... and gets himself involved in trying to save Jess' life too.

I've read many books by this author and have liked them ... though I tried to like this one, I couldn't get into it.  I enjoy reading books about and with dogs so was cheering for Lucy and that's what kept me reading.  Maybe I didn't find the story interesting?  I didn't find myself drawn to the characters and didn't find them overly believable.  As I was reading, I found myself hearing them talk and act like backwood hicks out of a bad movie.

It's written in third person perspective with a focus on the various characters.  As a head's up, there is swearing.

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