Book One in the National Forest K-9 Series
She thought she’d never trust again…
After losing her military K-9, former marine Maya Thompson swears she’ll never work with dogs again. But when she returns home to Colorado and accepts a job with U.S. Forest Service law enforcement, fate brings K-9 Juniper into her life just as another tragedy unfolds.
Juniper, a beautiful two-year-old Malinois, isn’t the only new addition to Maya’s life. Josh Colten, the local deputy sheriff, insists on helping with her new case. Handsome and mysterious, he’s all anyone in town can talk about, but Maya can’t let herself like him, let alone trust him.
When Maya’s grandfather goes missing amid a growing drug war, Maya must put her faith in Josh, and her own battered instincts, to find him. But there’s a web of secrets tying her grandfather to the tragedy that brought Juniper into her life—secrets someone would kill to keep hidden.
—Author Barbara Nickless
—Author Clay Stafford
—Author Margaret Mizushima
Kathleen Donnelly’s experience as a K-9 handler makes Chasing Justice a joy to read.
—Author Baron R. Birtcher
—Books of My Heart
—Happily Ever After Romance
First Place for Romantic Suspense in the PenCraft Awards
Winner of the American Book Fest 2022 Best Book Award for the Animals/Pets category
2023 Silver Falchion finalist in the Suspense category and Readers’ Choice Award
“Chasing Justice is a smart, action-packed, and compelling debut. Donnelly’s depiction of the relationship between the protagonist, U.S. Forest Service Officer Maya Thompson, and her K-9 partner, Juniper, is filled with warmth and authenticity. A romantic subplot adds spark, and the topic is as timely as it gets. Put this book at the top of your ‘must read’ pile!”
—Barbara Nickless, author of the award-winning Sydney Parnell mysteries
“Kathleen Donnelly’s thrilling debut, Chasing Justice, takes the reader on a wild ride in the beautiful yet dangerous Colorado mountains. Donnelly created strong characters, especially her main character, Maya Thompson. Maya, a Marine veteran who has returned home to Colorado to heal from losing her military K-9 in Afghanistan soon finds herself facing her deepest fears including, bonding with and working a rambunctious Malinois, ‘Juniper’ for the U.S. Forest Service law enforcement. Donnelly is a K-9 handler herself making the dog work realistic. I look forward to reading more from this author!”
—Clay Stafford, Killer Nashville founder, bestselling author, filmmaker, composer
“Chasing Justice is an exciting debut with a terrific new crime fighting duo—U.S. Forest Service Officer Maya Thompson and her K-9 partner Juniper. An experienced drug dog handler herself, Kathleen Donnelly delivers an authentic thriller with plenty of outdoor action. A must read for dog lovers and crime fiction lovers alike.”
—Margaret Mizushima, author of the award-winning Timber Creek K-9 Mysteries, including Hanging Falls
“Debut author Kathleen Donnelly has crafted a textured and compelling first novel in Chasing Justice, the story of returning Afghanistan veteran, Maya Thompson. The narrative opens as Thompson returns home to her rural small town, to complete her training as a US Forest Service law enforcement officer, where she is forced to confront her personal demons, and the emotional scars left by the losses she suffered in wartime, most particularly the tragic death of her K-9 partner. As compassionate as she is competent, Maya is thrown into the investigation of a shocking case that makes her question everything (and everyone) she once thought she knew. The author’s extensive experience as a K-9 trainer lends a palpable level of realism to every page, and her sure and confident voice as a storyteller propels a narrative that makes Chasing Justice a genuine joy to read. I look forward to more from Kathleen Donnelly, and this compelling new series.”
—Baron R. Birtcher, multi-award-winning author of Rain Dogs
“This is the author’s debut novel, and it was an enjoyable debut. Her real-life experience as a narcotics dog handler added realism to Maya and Juniper’s relationship; it was clear that she’s very knowledgeable about working K-9’s in the field. If you enjoy suspense and books involving K-9’s, this may be a book for you. There’s plenty of action as the characters also begin the process of healing, forgiving, and learning to move on from the past.”
—Harlequin Junkie (read more)
“Chasing Justice has a lot to recommend it. I really liked how the dog, Juniper, was very involved in the story and we got to see her actually do some work… I enjoyed reading and the layers of story with the “police” investigations, K-9 training and work, personal relationships and romantic elements… I’m hoping this will be a series and we will see more of these characters and setting.”
—Books of My Heart (read more)
“In all, I enjoyed Chasing Justice, and would happily return to this world for more. If you like a gritty suspense story with a touch of romance, love K-9 dogs involved strongly in the plot and love to put puzzle pieces together, then this story is perfect for you.”
—Happily Ever After Romance (read more)