Deputy Mattie Cobb and her sister, Julia, travel to Mexico to visit their mother, but when they arrive, they discover that she and her husband have vanished without a trace. Back in Timber Creek, Mattie finds a chilling note on her front door telling her to look for “him” among the standing dead up in the high country.
The sheriff’s department springs into action and sends a team to the mountains, where Mattie’s K-9 partner, Robo, makes a grisly discovery—a body tied to a dead pine tree. Mattie is shocked when she realizes she knows the dead man. And then another note arrives, warning that Mattie’s mother is in desperate straits. In a last-ditch gambit, Mattie must go deep undercover into a killer’s lair to save her mother—or die trying. (Summary via Goodreads)
Sometimes there is a book you are reading and you are enjoying it so much you want to read it slowly so you can savor every word. Then there are books that are so exciting that you want to read it fast so that you can see how it ends. Standing Dead by Margaret Mizushima is both of those situations. By now you are invested in this series as this is the eighth book in the Timber Creek K-9 Mystery series so you are very familiar with the characters and their lives. But if you haven't read the previous books and are just stumbling onto this book, don't worry. You will catch on pretty quickly and be a loyal fan.
In Standing Dead Mattie and her K-9 partner Robo are involved in a case and it is PERSONAL !! Mattie has had a tramatic childhood where her father was shot dead in front of Mattie, her mother and her older brother when she was two years old. Then her mother, brother and herself were held captive for years. Luckily they eventually were able to get away from their captives and Mattie and her brother were placed in foster care in order to keep them safe. Mattie's brother died but she found out she has a sister, Julia and they found out where their mother was living, in Mexico. Unfortunately when they went to see their mother she had packed up with her husband and left without telling anyone where they were heading.
Both Mattie and Julia return home, Julia to California and Mattie to Colorado but as soon as Mattie gets home she receives a note indicating there is a dead body in one of the local campgrounds and the note is signed "A friend of your father's". The dead body ends up being her mother's husband. This starts the team on a dark, narrow, and winding trail and Mattie is determined to do whatever it takes to save her family !!!
Standing Dead will have readers on the edge of their seats and you may even fall off at times !! You will be thoroughly invested in this story and as much as you want to get to the ending to see what happens, you will also want to slow your reading so that you can be sure not to miss anything !!! Mizushima knows how to tell a story and this is one that I can see being a Lifetime movie on television.