Still Waters

FBI K-9 Series Book 7

Sara Driscoll

Kensington Pub

Nov 29th, 2022

Still Waters by Sara Driscoll is an entertaining story.  Sara Driscoll is the pseudonym for authors Jen J. Danna and Ann Vanderlaan.  This story combines training, competition, and murder. 

“At the beginning of June, we were contracted for two more books, eight and nine in the series. It was in the middle of June Ann had received word that she had cancer.  We all thought she had three to six months. Because it was breast cancer that metastasized, she died in two weeks.  It was four weeks start to finish.  I hope Ann has taught me everything I need to know.”

The FBI K-9 team gets approval for a water-search training weekend in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area in Superior National Forest in northeastern Minnesota. This training is combined with a three-part search and rescue timed competition. The first morning the handler and their canine partner are on a boat with a pilot, diver, and trainer.  Hidden at the bottom of the lake is a small container of human remains.  The dogs are supposed to bark when smelling it and the diver goes down and retrieves the bait.  

“The idea for the story sort of came to me.  It is based on a classic Agatha Christie in an English manor.  My problem was putting all the canines into an English manor. Our version of doing this, trapping them in the wilderness.  Ann came up with the idea of having law enforcement competitive trials. All search and rescue (SAR) need continuing training and education. We built the competition into the training, with all different types of dogs.”

It is not just a competition but an R and R for the team.  The Human Scent Evidence Team is represented by Meg Jennings and her black Lab dog Hawk, along with Brian Foster and his German Shepherd dog Lacey. They are accompanied by Lieutenant Todd Webb, Meg’s boyfriend that works for D.C. Fire and Emergency Medical Services, Ryan, Brian’s spouse, and Josh and Luke, Todd’s brothers.  

“Todd is very pragmatic, straight forward, grounded, and practical. As a firefighter he will always come to people’s rescue. He is Meg’s rock because he is calm, caring, and protective.”

The evening of the first day, Meg went for a walk with Hawk.  Upon returning she sees a fellow dog handler, Rita Pratt, from the Laramie Sherriff Department, abusing her dog. Because Pratt fears Meg will report her, she quickly files an unfounded complaint against Meg that could cost her job and have Hawk removed from her care. To make matters worse, the next day Hawk scents more human remains.  But this time when the diver goes down into the water, he finds the body of Pratt. Because of the run-in, Meg becomes the prime murder suspect. The FBI investigator also has tunnel vision and seems to only look at Meg as the guilty party.  Now Meg needs her wits, Hawk’s skills, and all her friends to help prove her innocence.

“Pratt has a hard exterior. Meg does not understand how Pratt treats her dog, abuse-like.  She is arrogant, an instigator, petty, cruel, aggressive, and a troublemaker. There is evidence in the past she is a back stabber who double crosses.”

This story is action packed from page one.  It has suspense that will keep readers on the edge of their seats.  A bonus is learning more about the bond between the dog and handler and the different approaches Search and Rescue must use given the different terrains.



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About the Author

Elise Cooper

Elise writes book reviews that always include a short author interview.