Those are the last words Forest Service law enforcement officer and K-9 handler Maya Thompson ever heard her mother say.
Returning to the Colorado mountains, ex-soldier Maya is no longer a scared little girl.
She’s here to investigate her mother’s cold case, but fear creeps in when it comes to her personal life—things are getting serious with Sheriff Deputy Josh Colten.
After new DNA evidence surfaces, both her beloved grandfather and Josh warn her away from the case, suspecting that she could be the next victim. But Maya doesn’t listen.
Instead, Maya and her K-9 partner, Juniper, track a suspect deep into the forest and directly into grave danger…
This is an adult 18+ story that may contain language, possible violence, and/or sexual situations geared to an adult audience.
Title: Hunting the Truth
Series: National Forest K-9 #2
Author: Kathleen Donnelly
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Published: September 26, 2023
Publisher: Carina Press (Harlequin)
My Rating: 4.5
When Chasing Justice came out last year, I was hoping it would turn into a series since Maya, Juniper, and Josh’s story was compelling, but I felt like there was more to learn… and I wanted to know more. So, I was very glad to discover Hunting the Truth. I will strongly suggest reading Chasing Justice first if you have not already, for the second story will give some spoilers for the first one, so be aware of that possibility even though each is a stand-alone story with a thread woven through them that connects. If that doesn’t matter to you, then dive in for an intense mystery/romantic suspense with more than a few twists and turns.
As we return to the National Forest K-9 series, Maya is working a cold case, one with personal connections, as she is determined to discover who murdered her mother. Her last memory of her mom was when she’d told Maya to hide, to get away from the bad people. Now, she’s going to find out who killed her mother and, more recently, her grandmother. Both her grandfather and the man she’s falling for are asking her to step away, that this search into the past is far too dangerous. But she cannot. Justice needs to be delivered to those who took the lives of these two loved, important people in her life – and she’s not stopping until that is done. She’s walking into danger with her faithful K-9, Juniper, at her side… and there is not one thing that will stop her.
The intensity of Maya, the loyalty of Juniper, and the devotion of Josh once again captured me as their story unfolded. Because of the mystery involved, you’ll not get any plot details here, but there are twists along the way, turns that dead-end (or do they), and danger that leaps off the page as Maya sets out to do exactly what she intended. Bring a murder to justice. I like Maya a lot. She’s been through so much, made bad decisions, had life overwhelm her, and paid the price. She’s also determined to overcome those obstacles (some that she herself planted) to move forward with her life. She’s far from perfect; more importantly, she’s believable because of her imperfections. I adore Juniper. Serious and devoted when the job calls for it, funny and zany when just being a pup. (I don’t think any dog ever outgrows being a pup.) And I’m encouraged by Josh and Maya’s romance as it deepens and moves to another level.
I had an absolute blast with Hunting the Truth, and if you enjoy a well-written mystery or romantic suspense that will keep you on edge, have you fearful for characters, plus lets you smile at a dog’s adorableness… then you’ll love Maya, Juniper, and Josh’s newest adventure. I’m hoping for a few more.
*I received an e-ARC of this novel from the publisher via NetGalley, and I sincerely thank the author or publishing house for their trust. It is my choice to leave a review giving my personal opinion about this book.*
Available in print or for your favorite e-reader