“Talon, Combat Tracking Team”, Ronie Kendig

Talon-cover_FINAL-197x300Having read Trinity, the first in the series, a few months ago, I was eagerly awaiting Talon, the second. It exceeded my expectations. It took me a little while to get into Trinity, but I was hooked on this story from the first pages.

Kendig has created a great character in Dane ‘Cardinal’ Markoski. Cardinal has a troubled past which is intriguing and it simmers below the surface for the entire novel until it crashes into the present in it’s climactic ending. Great, great writing

I hope Kendig builds a series around Cardinal. She has developed a character with wonderful apparent complexity (or is it just male aloofness?) that drives both the action and much of the dialogue.

Aspen, his romantic interest, didn’t really grab me. There was too much reference to flicking curls away but more significantly I didn’t see the underlying strength of character that her colleagues in the book saw.

Talon, the Labrador Combat Tracking Dog, was masterfully crafted. He was an emotional wreck through losing his handler and throughout the story we see his journey from skulking under buildings through fear and uncertainty to tentative steps of courage to a heroic final encounter that brought tears to my eyes.

The fast-paced action, the supporting cast, and a story that takes us global to Djibouti, Africa all make this an absolutely compelling novel.

I so wanted to give this novel 5/5, however, there are a couple of plot points that I struggled with that led me to rate it 4.5/5.

The third in the series, starring Beowulf the beast, handler Timbrel and her suitor, Candyman, is set up to be an epic. Can’t wait!

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