In the first in a new series Spencer Kope introduces readers to an FBI tracker that is known as the Human Bloodhound:
When regular trackers are unable to find someone or a clue then the FBI calls in Steps and Jimmy. They are the elite trackers and are able to find anyone, even in remote locations, even when others have failed. Steps has a special vitality he calls shine that shows him where people have traveled to, what they have touched etc. He uses this ability to hopefully bring those who are lost, missing or kidnapped home safely. However, more often than not this does not happen. In their latest case Steps and Jimmy are called to a crime scene where Steps recognizes the Shine from a previous case. Based upon what Steps found they have eleven missing women who fit the same pattern and they are in a race against time to find them before its too late.
I have read other tracker based books before but those involved search and rescue dogs as part of the main story not just a person, so I did find this concept interesting. Kope does a good job of showing how Steps hides his ability while on a track but at the same time you have to think in real like these trackers do some amazing things, that maybe there is an aspect of realism to this idea; the ability to see what others cannot. Kope also does not shy away from the fact that not everyone makes it out alive when they are missing as well as having fairly detailed crime scene information as Steps details what happened.
Steps has the ability to see what he terms Shine. He has has it ever since a near death/he did die when he was a young child. Shine is the essence of an individual. It follows you where ever you go, each person has a different color/colors and this color changes based upon the living status of that person. This is how Steps is able to find people and clues that no one else is able to see. All of this makes Steps an interesting character with his gift / curse as he struggles with those times when he is not able to find the victim in time and Steps can tell mid-track if the person he is tracking is still alive or dead. This plays on his sanity and he struggles with whether he should continue on or not.
I will say the secondary characters are not fleshed out as much as so wanted them to be. This story is really about Steps so it seems like he we Kope’s only focus. You can see their relationship with Steps but it really does not go any further than that even with hi Sarah partner Jimmy.
This was a really good read with an interesting twist on the tracking idea. I like the idea of the elusive serial killer that Steps has been tracking for years but has been unable to find, this added an additional dynamic to the story as it does test Steps' focus. I'm looking forward to reading the second book in this series.