Ryder Creed and his dogs have been making national headlines. They've intercepted several major drug stashes being smuggled through Atlanta’s airport. But their newfound celebrity has also garnered some unwanted attention.
When Creed and one of his dogs are called in to search a commercial fishing vessel, they discover a secret compartment. But the Colombian cartels’ latest shipment isn’t drugs. This time, its cargo is human. To make matters worse, Creed helps one of the cartel’s drug mules escape—a fourteen-year-old girl who reminds him of his younger sister who disappeared fifteen years ago.
Meanwhile, FBI agent Maggie O’Dell is investigating a series of murders—the victims tortured, killed, and dumped in the Potomac River. She suspects it’s the work of a cunning and brutal assassin, but her politically motivated boss has been putting up roadblocks.
By the time she uncovers a hit list with Creed’s name on it, it might be too late. The cartel has already sent someone to destroy Creed and everyone close to him.
But Creed and his dogs have a few surprises in store on their compound in Florida. Will it be enough to stop a ruthless cartel determined to remove the thorn in its side once and for all?
Breaking Creed is the first book in the Ryder Creed series by Alex Kava. Kava is also the author of the Maggie O’Dell series in which ex-Marine turned K 9 search and rescue dog handler Ryder Creed previously appeared (Stranded) with his lovable Jack Russell Terrier Grace. Ryder, along with his partner Hannah, owns and operates a canine cadaver search team that has made a national name out of finding things nobody else can.
In this first installment, Rider and Maggie's stories eventually come together when the two are linked by a powerful drug cartel. Right out of the gate, Rider and Grace find themselves on a boat where the cargo is absolutely shocking. 5 kids are found being smuggled out of the US heading to South America. While helping out the US Customs & Border Protection, Ryder is approached by a 14-year old drug mule named Amanda who begs for his help, leading to Ryder being put right at the top of the drug cartels hit list, and a life or death struggle that hits close to home.
Meanwhile, FBI agent Maggie O’Dell, who continues to be disrespected by her boss Assistant Director Kunze, finds herself investigating a body dumped in the Potomac and ends up deep in the heart of the south. Happenstance brings the Maggie and Ryder together in Alabama, and if you haven't read Stranded, you wouldn't know that there is a bit of chemistry between them. Maggie's struggles once again continue when she finds herself surrounded by venomous scorpions, and targeted with poisonous snakes. I think Kava enjoys torturing Maggie. I just hope that she relents one of these days, and allows herself a little happiness among the darkness that she deals with as an FBI profiler and serial killer tracker.
Breaking Creed is a very faced paced mystery, with short chapters, but ends kind of abruptly in my opinion. The story features awesome dogs, scary spiders & snakes, and a drug cartel that has both Maggie and Creed on their hit list. The story traverses the US going from the Gulf Coast of Florida, to DC, and Alabama. I'm not a dog person by any stretch of the imagination, but I will say that I thoroughly enjoyed Grace and the rest of Ryder's brood that he trains and helps keep safe while their owners are serving this country. I enjoyed that Ryder and Hannah take in unwanted strays who are dropped off at their doorstep by owners who no longer can deal with them.
I liked that Kava features a veteran in Jason, along with his friends, who have struggled since returning home from the wars in the Middle East. I have to say that I respect Kava's use of veterans in this story and didn't leave me wanting to feel sorry for them. Unfortunately, there are way too many people in this country who hate and disrespect veterans like myself, instead of trying to help them heal, and welcome them home.
Author - Alex Kava
Title - Breaking Creed
Series - Ryder Creed # 1
Published by Putnam Adult
Release Date: January 27, 2015