The Last Woman in the Forest by Diane Les Becquets.
Marian Engstrom works with a group that uses rescue dogs to detect scat that indicates species abundance and distribution. The process allows for monitoring threatened or endangered species around the world.
On an assignment to northern Alberta, Marian falls in love with Tate. When they are on separate assignments, word arrives of Tate's death. Marian is devastated, but as she becomes aware of inconsistencies in Tate's life, she finds herself with questions concerning the unsolved murders of several women.
Needing to have her questions answered and put to rest, she contacts a retired forensic profiler to clear her unwanted suspicions. The pov shifts between Marian and Nick Sheppard, the profiler hired to resolve Marian's doubts.
The information about training and working with dogs used for conservation purposes is fascinating. Marian's innate connection with dogs and Nick's deep relationship with his wife add to the depictions of the two main characters. The suspense is a slow burn, and although you may suspect some of the twists, the novel is compelling.
This is the second novel I've read recently concerning dogs trained to detect scat for conservation purposes. Christine Carbo's A Sharp Solitude also has a scat detection dog as an important plot element.
Crime Novels about Working Dogs I haven't read any of these books, but will be keeping them in mind. The list doesn't include The Last Woman in the Forest, A Sharp Solitude, or Margaret Mizushima's series featuring Robo, but does offer some interesting possibilities featuring working dogs.
I also intend to look for Les Becsuets first novel Breaking Wild.
Read in September, 2018; review scheduled for February 25, 2019.
Suspense. March 5, 2019. Print length: 352 pages.