by Sandra Murphy
This week we have a review of The Keepers by Jeffrey B. Burton along with a fun guest post by Jeffrey about his adopted dog Milo. Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of the book, and a link to purchase it from Amazon and an indie bookstore.
The Keepers by Jeffrey B. Burton
Review by Sandra Murphy
Mace Reid lives with four dogs, trained to find dead bodies, aka cadaver dogs. And then there’s Billie Joe, a bloodhound pup with a habit of finding poop to roll in, no matter where he is. He only has to be out of sight for a minute.
When Mace is called out, the dogs search for scents particular to bodies and then give a signal when they’ve been successful. Vira, his newest dog, a golden retriever, has special abilities. She not only can find the body, she sort of catalogues the scents around it and has pointed out the killers, even a week or more after. Mace doesn’t tell many people about her talent. Who would believe it?
He’s called to a crime scene, an aging rock star, killed with his own signature guitar. The scene is a bloody mess. Vira is technically there to look for drugs. Mace manages to get her near the body in the kitchen, just as a test of her special abilities.
Their next case is to search a park at three in the morning. A special prosecutor has gone missing. Vira finds him in no time, face down in a pond. Considering his body is facing up, this is even more shocking. From then on, Mace and his dogs are in danger. Extreme danger.
It’s hard to go into hiding when you don’t know who you’re hiding from and you have four dogs with you while doing it. And have to find a place for Billie Joe to hang out before you go.
To tell more would give away parts of the plot. Suffice it to say, it’s a page-turner thriller. This is book two in the series, and I look forward to many more. Mace is a guy smart enough to know his dogs are smarter than he is. He has a connection to each of them so close, he knows what they’re thinking and how they’ll react in any given situation. This is a book I’ll read again and again.
By Jeffrey B. Burton
My wife and I tend to adopt dogs that no one else wants.
Amber the Australian shepherd was one in a litter of seven that a colleague was trying to find homes for. Lucy the Pomeranian came from a family that was heading out and making a new go of it in Missouri. But Milo the beagle (that’s “Mr. Milo” to you) came to us from my daughter’s friend. Evidently, Milo had been a present from an old boyfriend. The boyfriend was long gone, but Milo remained, and it was impossible for her to take care of him living in an apartment while working at her post college jobs.
Thus, one day Milo arrived at our house.
Unlike Lucy, who marched into our lives issuing edicts and ultimatums, Milo was meek, a bit on the scaredy-cat side, but who could blame him having, at age two, been plunked off at some stranger’s house and ditched. After my daughter’s friend took off, poor Milo hid under the dining room table for most of the day. It was where he ate his first meal, and where he returned after doing his business on the lawn outside. Between checking in on him, I spent the evening watching baseball in the family room. Hours later, he sauntered quietly into the room, sat at my feet, and stared up at me.
“I don’t know, Milo,” I said, scratching behind his ears, “Twins pitching ain’t gonna cut it this year.”
At that he leapt onto the couch, snuggled up next to me, and we’ve been thick as thieves ever since.
Pound for pound, Milo’s Arnold Schwarzenegger. How do I know this? After living with us a week or two, there came a storm. Lightning flashed across the sky, followed by a thunder crack—a hellraiser that shook the house. Then the sofa began to rise, not unlike the Tower of Terror ride at Disney World. I shot off the couch an instant later in one of the two times Milo’s made me move quicker than Barry Allen (aka The Flash). Turned out it wasn’t a poltergeist after all, rather the goofball not only tried squeezing his entire body beneath the couch but damn near succeeded. Since then we’ve been trained to rush him to the basement in case of thunderstorms or fireworks, although my wife sometimes makes a tent for him in the laundry room and, on occasion, I’ll slip him a Mickey Finn of hemp calming treats.
I also know Milo is Hercules because of how he got me back for making fun of his terrier pal Hamlet who lives down the way. We were out on a morning stroll the first time we met Hamlet. After introductions had been made and the dogs were sniffing about, I got all twitchy until I could no longer control myself.
“Hamlet, huh?” I blurted to Hamlet’s owner, a sweet elderly woman with a walking stick. “To pee or not to pee.”
After receiving a courtesy laugh, we resumed on our daily constitutional. Minutes later a deer flew past in a neighbor’s yard; the doe couldn’t have been more than ten feet away. Of course, Mr. Milo tore ass after it, ripping my arm off in the process. Yup, he certainly got me back for getting all smarmy about his new friend’s name. An exhilarating start to a beautiful summer morning; unfortunately, I had to scamper home and hunt down a YouTube video on re-attaching limbs.
On a different morning hike, Milo and I encountered neighbors setting up for a garage sale. I scanned about to see if they had a table stacked with used books for sale; however, Milo had a different idea. When I glanced down, his hind leg was in the air and he was nearly done streaming onto a box of goodies as yet to be unpacked.
This was the second time Milo’s forced me to move faster than the Flash.
My wife installed a pet door in our sliding glass door so the pups could visit the backyard at their leisure. Lucy got the drill right off the bat, but Milo watched Lucy pass through the pet door as though she were in the transporter room on the Starship Enterprise. How was Lucy able to morph into the side of the house, he no doubt pondered? So I took it upon myself to shove him through a few times until he grasped the subtler nuances of how it operated.
Would have been easier wrestling an alligator.
But now tonight, as we’re snuggled in and watching a ballgame on TV, Milo stares up at me as I scratch his neck. “I know,” I tell him. “They’ve still got to work on their pitching.”
To enter to win a copy of The Keepers, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “keepers,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen August 14, 2021. U.S. residents only, and you must be 18 or older to enter. If you are entering via email please include you mailing address in case you win, it will be deleted after the contest. You can read our privacy statement here if you like. BE AWARE THAT IT WILL TAKE MUCH LONGER THAN USUAL FOR WINNERS TO GET THEIR BOOKS DUE TO THE CURRENT CRISIS.
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