‘The Long Paw of the Law’ by Diane Kelly

Mount Readmore Book Review 2018, 143/200

37638022

eBook Edition

Finished on 9/27/2018

Goodreads

Genres: Mystery, Cozy Mystery, Crime Fiction, Police Procedural, Paw Enforcement

A police officer and her handler defeat a nefarious cult, one liver treat at a time.

Spoiler-ific review

I was given this book for free for the purpose of review.

This was a fun crime-solving novel. I enjoyed it quite a lot, and not just because Brigit the dog was AMAZING. The author did a fine job of weaving together three realistic plotlines into a respectable story. I Recommend it to fans of the cozy mystery genre.

To start things off, I was impressed by the author’s research. She demonstrated a clear knowledge of Texas police law and it’s rather famous cult history. She brought this knowledge to life in her plot, a plot which featured a prominent cult element. Adjacent to this knowledge was her down-to-earth approach to actual policing- the main character and her dog actually went on patrol and were tasked with solving more than just the main crime. They did boring police stuff, like following up leads and confirming alibis- which I found fascinating to read because so often authors neglect it.

The characters were fun, particularly Brigit the dog. There were three viewpoint characters: Megan the detective, her partner Brigit and the antagonist Father. The author did a good job of making me the reader care about the fate of the characters, rooting for the good guys and against the bad guy. The heroine was a brave cop and her partner a trusty canine which was a good combo.

The plot wasn’t really a mystery. We knew from basically page one who the villain was because the villain was one of the POV characters, so there was nothing really mysterious about it. Instead this was a straight up crime-solving story, where the Megan and Brigit must unravel the clues they have and save the kidnapping victims.

The pacing was fast, but not too fast. The author included just enough slow drama-focused scenes to add depth to the characters and narrative. We get to experience Meg’s love life and watch her try to piece her boyfriend’s family back together again after a tragedy. This secondary plot arc tempered the speed of the intrigue innate to the cult plot.

Spoilers follow from here on!

I like to finish my book with constructive criticism. So here’s what I have to give: there was very little tension until the last few pages of the book when (Spoiler) Brigit is shot. Don’t worry, the dog lives. The author needed to increase the tension, perhaps by adding fangs to the lawyer’s threats or perhaps by having the Father actually threaten to kill the kidnapping victims. We needed consequences, either directly against Megan, Brigit or the kidnap victims.

Net total I Recommend this book. This was a fun, semi-cozy crime solving novel which I heartily enjoyed for it’s police procedural elements.

 

 

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