Anyone who has read about search and rescue (SAR) dogs will know
how smart and well trained they are. While Hawk, the K9 partner, is
front and centre, this book is not for the sentimental. I had to take
breaks from reading STORM
RISING, as the destruction caused by major Storm Cole is all too
familiar and tragic today.
With the increase in occurrences and ferocity of storms, the rescue
services are recruiting any help they can get, which we learn includes
the FBI SAR team of Special Agent Meg Jennings and her black
Labrador, Hawk. These brave, determined trackers are tasked with
finding anyone stranded by flooding -- alive or dead. This work isn't
easy for them either, and Meg is careful to put fitted boots on her dog's
paws and give him rewards even when the search ends in bitterness.
An overturned van needs to be investigated, and Meg finds a tragedy.
But someone got out, and suspecting they need medical aid, Meg sets
Hawk to track the scent. The trail leads to a young teen suffering from
a broken leg and exposure, and there's still someone else to find,
because she'd never have made it to the high school alone. By now
Meg is convinced that the two girls were the terrorised victims of
human traffickers, so if finding the second one means heading into the
alligator-infested, thorny swamp, that's what the team will have to do.
The descriptions of the Virginia coastal area near Nag's Head are rich
and detailed, with visual and emotional impact, such as Meg standing
by a house and imagining a massive wall of water rolling up to it in the
dark. We've seen weather damage on our TV screens but the people
who have to cope -- either by fleeing or trying to hold out against the
odds -- need to live with the aftermath for months or years. This
carefully paced thriller really brought that home to me. How to even
know where you are when there are no streets left to match the Google
maps? Helpfully at the start of each chapter, we get jargon explained,
like a catching feature, which is a landmark that searchers can use to
navigate around a stricken area. The danger only increases when Meg
pursues the traffickers. As well as Hawk she has family and colleagues,
of course, including characters we met earlier in the FBI K9 series. Sara
Driscoll's STORM RISING is a
powerful and moving read, showing us that when all is devastated, we
have to hold on to our humanity.
The heart-pounding thriller of a series continues as FBI
Special Agent Meg Jennings and her search-and-rescue K-9
companion confront the fury of nature—and the more dangerous
nature of man . . .
In the wake of a devastating hurricane, Special Agent Meg
Jennings and her Labrador, Hawk—invaluable members of the
FBI’s Human Scent Evidence Team—have been deployed to
Virginia Beach. They have their work cut out for them. Amid
graveyards of debris, and the buried cries for help, the
search and rescue operation begins. The most alarming
discovery is yet to come—a teenage girl hiding in the Great
Dismal Swamp. Shaken by the storm, she has reason to be
scared. But this young survivor is terrified of so much more.
Her name is Emma—a disheveled runaway lost to the sordid
underbelly of a Virginia sex-trafficking ring. Its leader
has disappeared in the chaos—along with other victims. With
so much evidence, and so many witnesses, seemingly washed
away, Meg joins forces with Special Agent Walter Van Cleave
to ensure no further harm comes to their vulnerable charge.
They soon discover that this is no small-time localized
syndicate. Its branches are rooted in some of the most
influential powers in Virginia. Now as Meg’s investigation
digs deeper, she’s making some very dangerous enemies. And
one by one, they’re coming out of the storm to stop her.