Format: Paperback, 368 pages
Release Date: January 5, 2016
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons
Genre: Fiction / Thrillers
When Ryder Creed responds to a devastating mudslide in North Carolina, he knows that the difference between finding survivors and the dead is time. He and his sturdiest search-and-rescue dog, Bolo, get to work immediately, but the scene is rife with danger: continued rainfall prevents the rescue teams from stabilizing the land; toxic household substances spread by the crushing slide fill the area with hazardous waste; and the detritus and debris are treacherous for both man and dog to navigate. But most perilous are the secrets hidden under the mud and sludge—secrets someone would kill to protect. For this is no ordinary rescue mission. Among the buildings consumed by the landslide was a top-secret government research facility, and Creed has been hired to find what's left of it.
Then rescuers recover the body of a scientist from the facility who was obviously dead before the landslide—killed by a gunshot to the head. The FBI sends Agent Maggie O'Dell to investigate, and she and Creed are soon caught in a web of lies, secrets, and murder that may involve not only the government facility, but decades-old medical experiments that are the subject of current congressional hearings. As more bodies are found under even more unusual circumstances, they come ever closer to exposing the truth—but with unknown forces working against them, Maggie, Creed, and the dogs are running out of time.
Silent Creed is the second installment in author Alex Kava's Ryder Creed series. Ryder Creed is a former marine who was a K-9 handler who served in Afghanistan. For dogs and their handlers, they are the first out, and the first to die. For the past 7 years, Ryder and his partner Hannah Washington have run a company called K9 Crime Scents (Search & Rescue dogs). Ryder and Hannah love to rescue dogs from bad situations and train them to be S&R dogs. They've also made a name for themselves by being available at a moments notice to help in disaster areas.
Ryder's best dog may be Grace, the adorable Jack Russell Terrier who made national headlines in the previous installment called Breaking Creed. Ryder's dogs are multidimensional. They are the best air scent dogs anywhere. They are also multi-tasked trained which means they can find cadavers as well as survivors. They can also detect viruses, cancers, and drugs. Ryder was first introduced in Kava's Maggie O'Dell series. It now appears that the two series are linked at the hip since Maggie continues to appear at odd places in the story.
After a landslide destroys a secret DARPA research facility in North Carolina, Ryder is tasked by his former platoon leader, Lt. Colonel Peter Logan, to find any survivors. With his rescue dog Bolo alongside, Ryder's job should be rather simple since he's faced even worse disasters as well as being a target for the Taliban in Afghanistan. But, when Ryder is buried alive after being swept away by a landslide and saved by his dog, things look a bit more gloomy. Ryder then learns that FBI Special Agent Maggie O'Dell has been tasked to the scene as well. She has her own mission.
Things go from simple to dangerous. There are lies, secrets, betrayals, and old secrets just waiting to come out into the open. The main subject of this story is the secretive research centers that Kava believes are all over the country. They each have their own directors. They really don't have any oversight by Congress or anyone else for that matter. I have always been curious about the secret experiments that were tested on our service-members during the cold war. After World War II, America got the German scientists, while Russia got the labs and spread them across their country.
Meanwhile, in DC, Senator Ellie Delanor (Florida) is trying to fight for medical benefits for those who were exposed to pathogens. She is up against the military complex, scientists, and politicians who have made their money off those who they claim to oversee. Now, here is where things get tricky for me. As a veteran, I am always involved in understanding the things that we have been exposed to. It took years for the VA and Politicians to agree that those who served in Vietnam were exposed to Agent Orange.
Why am I bringing this up you ask? Because I was exposed while serving in the Navy and have no clue if I will one day discover that I have cancer or any other number of fatal diseases. I do believe that Kava is trying to send a message here. Let's not fully accept what our government tells us. Let's make sure that journalists are doing their jobs and revealing all the horrors that are service members have been exposed to. And, if civilians were exposed, then there needs to be discussions and reparations for their pain and suffering.
Silent Creed ends on what I feel is a cliffhanger. There is several issues that have not been resolved. Since there haven't been any new Maggie O'Dell books since Stranded, one has to wonder if Kava is ever going to explain what happened and if anything that was left unresolved is going to be resolved. Also, can we finally push Maggie and Ryder together and kick Benjamin Platt to the curb? Ben shows up at the wrong places at the wrong time and interferes in what should be a pretty interesting coupling.