St. Martin's, Oct 2008, $26.95
Six days ago the 7.5 earthquake devastated several villages on Santa Marina Island in the Caribbean. Former Navy SEAL Jude Marrok and his dog Ned are part of the Red Cross rescue effort hoping to find survivors. However, whereas Jude has given up in this small hamlet, Ned keeps searching when someone starts shooting at them; Ned is hit. Jude vows to find the sniper and rip out his or her heart after he takes his canine buddy to the rescue effort veterinarian Dr. Devon Brady.
Kingston reports to his superior Raymond Danner informing him he shot the dog, but Jude is unharmed. Raymond warns him to kill both or else; Kingston knows hunting the SEAL is safer
Jude brings Ned to Devon ordering her to fix his dog before vanishing like a magician. The note he left her says he will come for Ned as soon as he can. Devon and Ned return to her home in Colorado where his Caribbean caper follows Ned there. Jude arrives to protect his buddy, one of the “Dogs of Summer” while Danner and his business associates use her as a target to get to him.
Although over the top of the Pike’s Peak and overloaded with too many angles, fans of Iris Johanson will enjoy her latest romantic suspense thriller due to the gender war between the battling buddies of Ned. The story line is fast-paced and loaded with non-stop action even as the various prime support cast groups at times seem overwhelming for the reader and Marrok to handle. Still, with Ned matchmaking and refereeing, DARK SUMMER is a fun read.