4 out of 4 stars
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Parts Per Million by Mitchell Wido and K.R. Gordon is a story about the Puppies Behind Bars program. Five puppies are born in a women’s prison, where they are to be raised to become part of law enforcement, as explosive detection canines. The puppies are named Dunkin, Deja, Disney, Dover, and Dolly. Prison inmates, Shawanda, Martha, and Didi train the puppies for the first 12 months of their life. Dunkin dies shortly after birth from “wasting puppy syndrome.” After the remaining four puppies turn 12 months of age, they are assigned to handlers in the Federal Canine Training Program. If the dogs and their handlers complete this training successfully, they will go their separate ways to follow their individual career paths. If the dogs or handlers make even one mistake during the final test, they will be disqualified from the program. One mistake in the field can mean death for one, or both of them. Will these four puppies and their handlers survive training, or will they be replaced? Will they survive the training, only to die in duty?
This book will take you to a Taliban combat zone in Afganistan, cartel wars on the Border, a murder case, and the arrest of a fugitive. You will go into a women’s prison and learn how these yellow labs are trained as puppies. To be successful, the handlers and dogs need to love and trust each other. The dogs can sense their handler’s stress and emotions, and this can distract them from doing their jobs. Dogs have normal tendencies to be affectionate and loyal, but these special dogs’ training and personalities go beyond what you see in most households. They go into extremely dangerous situations without any hesitation.
There were a couple of things I liked about this book. First, as an animal lover, I liked how it is stressed that dogs need love and affection. Second, each chapter was devoted to a single character and their dog which made it easier to remember which dog was assigned to whom. There was nothing I disliked about this book. It was well-written and had only a few minor errors that had no impact on the story.
I recommend this book to older teens and adults, who are interested in dog training or crime. It is not appropriate for younger readers due to some of the profanity. There is mild sexual content that probably will not be offensive to most readers.
I believe this book was professionally edited because I only found two formatting errors and two typographical errors. I am happy to give this book 4 out of 4 stars.
Parts Per Million
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