# of Pages: 309
RAC Book: Yes
Scott James is an LAPD cop who got caught in the middle of a shoot out on a deserted street in the middle of the night. His partner was killed and he was badly injured and left for dead. Despite being encouraged to take a medical discharge, Scott pushes to remain in the department and gets moved to the K9 unit. The dog he chooses, Maggie, was in a terrible shootout as well in Iraq in which her carrier was killed and she was injured trying to protect him. They both have some post traumatic stress and scar tissue to work with. Scott learns some new cops have taken over his case and they want to discuss it with him. Can he finally get to the bottom of what happened? Will he ever avenge his partner and come to grips with the guilt he has for surviving when she didn’t? Will Maggie ever trust a new carrier?
Fans of mystery writers such as Harlan Coben will enjoy this title. It moves quickly and has a lot of suspense and drama. The actual ending seems a bit quick, but the resolution is satisfying. The progression of details keeps the reader interested and the inclusion of the dog to the case helps Scott more than once. Recommended for mystery fans.
# of Pages: 329
RAC Book: Yes
2010 Iowa High School Award Winner
In this father-daughter memoir Cylin and John Busby tell the story of how John was targeted and shot on his way into work in 1979 and the course of their lives changed forever. It was not an accidental shooting and John was in fact targeted for a recent arrest he had made. John did not die from the multiple gunshots to his face and underwent multiple surgeries in order to restructure his face, learn to eat, and learn to talk again. Meanwhile, the family was under intense police protection because it was unclear if they were safe from any subsequent attacks. The overall stress of John’s injuries and their virtual imprisonment in their own home takes a toll on all of them.
The story is told in alternating chapters between Cylin and her dad. This format really helps the reader to understand the situation from multiple perspectives. The fact that it is a true story will interest young readers because it seems so outlandish that something like this could happen in any community. There are some gory descriptions of John’s injuries, but most students will not mind this. Overall, many readers will find this a page-turner and will want to recommend it to their friends.
Age Level: 14 and up
# of Pages: 288 p.
RAC Book: Yes
Dexter Morgan was adopted when he was three and even though he doesn’t remember anything before that, his adopted father, who is also a cop, seems determined to help him rise above his past. As Dexter grows up, however, he begins to feel tendencies toward murder. As hard as he tries to fight it he finds himself murdering animals in the neighborhood. Once his father discovers this he teaches him how to execute a murder so that he will never get caught, while also showing him how to profile serial killers. He believes that if you have to kill you might as well kill people who deserve it.
When Dexter grows up he becomes a blood spatter analyst in a police station while his sister strives to become a homicide detective. He works very hard to find people he believes deserve to die for their sins and making that a reality. Soon there is a new murderer in town who has caused quite a stir since the bodies never contain any blood. As Dexter tries to solve this case it keeps getting further into his psyche and he wonders if it is possible he is committing these murders and not even knowing it. Is it time for Dexter to pay for his crimes before he lost control completely?
This murderous villain forces the reader to ponder very important issues that are often glossed over in television and movies. Is it okay to kill if you are killing other “bad guys”? Is it okay to take vengeance into your own hands? Are there people who truly have a disposition for murder or are they formed into that through environment or mental disease? Dexter Morgan can be a very sympathetic character, but he can also be a monster which makes these stories very complex and interesting to discuss with students. The story itself is very interesting and leaves you guessing until the end. Mystery readers will be fans of this book.