Valiant Defender

By: Shirlee McCoy

His daughter’s been taken...

The last showdown in the Military K-9 Unit series

After relentless searching, Captain Justin Blackwood’s closing in on the Red Rose Killer. But when his daughter becomes a target, the hunt turns personal. With the help of his new partner, Captain Gretchen Hill, and his K-9, Quinn, Justin will race to save his daughter and bring down his nemesis once and for all...or die trying.

Aside from her faith and her family, there’s not much SHIRLEE McCOY enjoys more than a good book! When she’s not teaching or chauffeuring her five kids, she can usually be found plotting her next Love Inspired Suspense story or wandering around the beautiful Inland Northwest in search of inspiration. Shirlee loves to hear from readers. If you have time, drop her a line at [email protected]

“I need to find my daughter.” If Quinn could find a scent trail, they might be able to follow it to Boyd’s location.

“You need to slow down, Captain.”

“That’s an easy thing to say when it’s not your daughter in the hands of a serial killer,” Justin responded, regretting it immediately. He knew Gretchen cared deeply about the work she did and about the people she worked for.

“Maybe. Probably. But we have a job to do here, and the first step in that is figuring out where he took her.”

“That’s what Quinn and I are going to do. Find!” he commanded and the Malinois took off, sprinting downstairs and out the door. Sirens were blaring, lights flashing on the pavement. Backup was there, but Justin ignored everything but his K-9 partner.

* * *


These soldiers track down a serial killer

with the help of their brave canine partners.

Mission to Protect—Terri Reed, April 2018

Bound by Duty—Valerie Hansen, May 2018

Top Secret Target—Dana Mentink, June 2018

Standing Fast—Maggie K. Black, July 2018

Rescue Operation—Lenora Worth, August 2018

Explosive Force—Lynette Eason, September 2018

Battle Tested—Laura Scott, October 2018

Valiant Defender—Shirlee McCoy, November 2018

Military K-9 Unit Christmas—Valerie Hansen and Laura Scott, December 2018

Dear Reader,

What a blessing and joy to be able to end the Military K-9 Unit continuity! I love writing about K-9 teams, but the military angle was a new one for me. Military handlers and their dogs have a special bond, and I hope I’ve conveyed that in Valiant Defender. More important, I hope that I’ve offered you a satisfying ending to a wonderful series. Gretchen and Justin are compelling characters. Driven by their desire for justice, they pursue the Red Rose Killer with tenacity and faith. As you follow them on this journey, I pray that your faith will be strengthened and your hope renewed. Happy reading, my friend!


Shirlee McCoy


Canyon Air Force Base was silent. Houses shuttered, lights off. Streets quiet. Just the way it should be in the darkest hours of the morning. Captain Justin Blackwood didn’t let the quiet make him complacent. Seven months ago, an enemy had infiltrated the base. Boyd Sullivan, aka the Red Rose Killer—a man who’d murdered five people in his hometown before he’d been caught—had escaped from prison and continued his crime spree, murdering several more people and wreaking havoc on the base. He’d released two hundred highly trained military dogs from the base kennel and created a feeling of unease among the community. Sullivan wanted to destroy everyone and everything that he blamed for his failures.

Justin planned to stop him.

“What are your thoughts, Captain?” Captain Gretchen Hill asked as he sped through the quiet community. A temporary transfer from Minot Air Force Base, Gretchen had been in Texas for several months, observing the way Justin, himself a K-9 handler, commanded the Security Forces. When she returned to her post, she’d help set up a K-9 unit there.

“I don’t think we’re going to find him at the house,” he responded. “But when it comes to Boyd Sullivan, I believe in checking out every lead.”

“The witness reported lights? She didn’t actually see Boyd?”

“She didn’t see him, but the family that lived in the house left for a new post two days ago. Lots of moving trucks and activity. She’s worried Sullivan might have noticed and decided to squat in the empty property. Since she lives on the same court, she’s terrified.”

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