The Darkest Thread by Jen Blood
The brush was thick and the air cool, and the rain pelted my chilled skin. My shirt was drenched, and my ponytail had gotten snagged so many times I was debating cutting the damned thing off. Up ahead I caught sight of a flash of dark fur and cursed under my breath.
Phantom is my lead dog, a German shepherd who was closer to death than life when I rescued her from the needle at an animal shelter in my hometown back in Georgia five years ago. She's one of the best search dogs I've ever had, but she can also be a willful old goat--particularly when she sets her mind to something. This morning, that was exactly what she'd done.
I read this book as part of our mystery group's theme for February - 'Working Dogs' - which would include service dogs, search-and-rescue dogs and dogs trained for combat situations. This is Jen Blood's first Jamie Flint and Phantom book. She has written another series, where Jamie and Phantom appear briefly, but I've not read any of those books. In an interview, she shared that each of the books in this S&R series will be a standalone type story. I listened to THE DARKEST THREAD on audio and it was narrated by Elise Arsenault. She did a good job.
I liked this one well enough, though there were times that I had to suspend my disbelief of certain situations. There is a bit of paranormal activity. Jamie and her son, Bear, can both sense certain presences - what's left behind when people die. Ghosts sort of, but not exactly. Bear is able to sense more than his mother. The dogs in the story are sensitive as well. The FBI team and their handling of the missing girls is where I was a bit skeptical. However, there were extenuating circumstances that explained some of the problems. If I had one issue, I'd say the book was a little long. At one point, a couple of the primary characters are held hostage by someone and that seemed to go on forever. My final assessment is that I would read another book in the series. I do understand that a '1st series book' needs space to set up the characters, etc. Liked the part the dogs played. THE DARKEST THREAD gets a 'mostly' good from me.
Meet Jamie Flint -- a no-nonsense veteran K-9 trainer and handler with a 'gift' she'd be happy to return: like her dogs, Jamie can sense things the rest of the world is blind to.
When teenage sisters go missing in the mysterious 'Bennington Triangle' of Vermont, an area renowned for its disappearances and strange occurrences over the past hundred years, FBI agent Jack Juarez brings Jamie and her dog Phantom in to assist with the search. When Jack learns that the case shares haunting similarities with the murders of the missing girls' aunts ten years before, he realizes they're dealing with much more than two girls who simply wandered off the beaten path. And when a young girl appears in the shadows, visible to Jamie alone, it becomes clear that something is desperately wrong here.