Digger: The Case of the Chimera Killer (A Sierra the search dog novel) by Robert D. Calkins. Washington: Callout Press, 2016. 337 page. *****
Seventeen-year-old Bryce is Washington state's youngest search and rescue (SAR) dog handler. He and his K9, Sierra, are called in to locate missing people and find bodies. While explaining what he and Sierra do at his high school, Bryce meets new student Katie who misses her own dog and is intrigued by the accomplishments of Sierra. Bryce and Katie are part of the team searching for the victims of a serial killer and are drawn into a local political power struggle. Bryce eventually discovers the identity of the killer and saves Katie from a savage beating.
A quick read and fascinating look into the world of Search and Rescue teams. Calkins weaves a mystery novel with a complicated plot while entertaining and educating the reader. Sierra takes the name of Calkins' first working dog, who searched for both live subjects and human remains. Fans of dog stories will want to add this title to their "must read" list. I look forward to future Bryce and Sierra adventures.
Simultaneously with Digger, Calkins breaks new ground by publishing two Read to Me Books for pre-school age children.
Sierra Becomes a Search Dog is the story of a little Golden Retriever puppy who excels at neighborhood games of hide-and-seek. Sierra turns that skill into a life-saving act when a little neighbor girl goes missing. This attractive picture book illustrated by Taillefer Long includes Fun Facts to be enjoyed by both the child and parent.
Sierra the Search Dog finds Fred - Ted's friend Fred goes missing and Sierra uses Fred's stinky shoes to follow his scent. Illustrated by Taillefer Long continues the format of the first book and is sure to be a requested favorite.
A third book in the series is coming soon - Sierra the Search Dog saves Sally.
I know a five-year-old dog lover who is going to thoroughly enjoy this series.
I received copies of the books from the author for a review.
Robert “Bob” Calkins has been a search and rescue dog handler in Kitsap County, Washington, for more than a dozen years. He currently searches with K9 Ruger, a four-year-old Golden Retriever who is his third search dog. He and his dogs have responded to everything from routine missing person cases, to homicides, to the horrific landslide that in 2014 swept over homes in the tiny community of Oso, Washington.
Bob is the author of the Sierra the Search Dog series of books for children and adults. Keep up with the adventures of Sierra the Search Dog at her blog: www.sierraserachdog.com. Visit Facebook https://www.facebook.com/sierrasearchdog. More about Robert on his author page at www.robertdcalkins.com.