by Sara Driscoll
Published by Kensington Books (27 November 2018)
In the wake of a devastating hurricane, Special Agent Meg Jennings and her Labrador, Hawk—invaluable members of the FBI’s Human Scent Evidence Team—have been deployed to Virginia Beach. They have their work cut out for them. Amid graveyards of debris, and the buried cries for help, the search and rescue operation begins. The most alarming discovery is yet to come—a teenage girl hiding in the Great Dismal Swamp. Shaken by the storm, she has reason to be scared. But this young survivor is terrified of so much more.
Her name is Emma—a disheveled runaway lost to the sordid underbelly of a Virginia sex-trafficking ring. Its leader has disappeared in the chaos—along with other victims. With so much evidence, and so many witnesses, seemingly washed away, Meg joins forces with Special Agent Walter Van Cleave to ensure no further harm comes to their vulnerable charge. They soon discover that this is no small-time localized syndicate. Its branches are rooted in some of the most influential powers in Virginia. Now as Meg’s investigation digs deeper, she’s making some very dangerous enemies. And one by one, they’re coming out of the storm to stop her.
I loved this book! Those four words sum up my entire review - so I don't really need to write anything else! But I will.
Storm Rising focuses on the devastating impact of floods following a hurricane and the discovery of a sex-trafficking ring involving young teenage girls. It's well researched (as always), with plenty of background into the K-9 search-and-rescue team and also disaster management and crime investigations. The book includes some interesting facts at the start of each chapter. This is great for me, as I love to learn something new when I read.
Storm Rising is well written and well plotted - I whizzed through it fairly quickly - with an amazing sense of place, thanks to the vivid descriptions of the floods. It kept me interested and entertained all the way through. The topic is very timely, with US floods (and also fires) in the media spotlight. The book highlights the impact of natural disasters on everyone involved, from those who lose their homes to those responding in an emergency.
Meg is a brilliant main character - although I think Hawk the dog is really the one in the limelight in this series. You could easily read this book as a standalone, but I would suggest you read the previous two books as well, to build up the characters and the dynamics between them.