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Under The Dog Star (2011)

by Sandra Parshall(Favorite Author)
3.88 of 5 Votes: 4
1590588789 (ISBN13: 9781590588789)
Poisoned Pen Press
Rachel Goddard Mystery
review 1: The latest in the Dr. Rachel Goddard, veterinarian, mystery series has as its backdrop dog fighting and collecting (only the collectees were children, not animals.) Less character development than I'd come to expect from this series, but a solid novel nonetheless.One of the areas that I respect is that when Sandra Parshalls chooses an issue to wrap her story around, she lays it out but doesn't preach and preach about it. So many issue books lose me as their passion exceeds their narrative. Ms. Parshalls respects her readers enough to expect that they can understand the point she is making.
review 2: Sandra Parshall's latest Rachel Goddard novel tackles a tough subject, making clear that dog fighting cheapens the humanity of everyone involved: the owners, t
... morehe trainers, the promoters, and the enablers who place the bets. Many readers abhor graphic descriptions of animal abuse -- I'm one of them -- but the fights and their aftermath, although not sanitized, are handled with restraint. When Gordon Hall, a much hated doctor in the mountain community of Mason County, Virginia, is found with his throat torn out, Deputy Sheriff Tom Bridger, Rachel's significant other, believes the culprit was a fighting dog, deliberately used as a weapon. So does the coroner. Nonetheless, Ethan Hall, one of Dr. Hall's two biological children, is convinced it was the work of a pack of feral dogs. He rounds up a group of local knuckleheads to hunt and kill them all. Tom suspects Dr. Hall's murder is tied to the return of a local dog fighting ring. He must discover who killed Dr. Hall and put the dog fighting operation and its leader out of business. Meanwhile, Rachel and her young assistant, Holly Turner, are trying to round up a pack of starving, abandoned dogs who are roaming the countryside for rehabilitation at Holly's sanctuary. In so doing, Rachel has made enemies, and her life is in danger. The soft-hearted Rachel doesn't let the threats or Tom's concern for her safety put a brake on her efforts. Besides Ethan, Dr. Hall and his terminally ill wife have one other biological child, a daughter, and three adopted children. Two are mixed-race and one is South Korean. All have been psychologically damaged by their cold and exacting parents. Rachel is determined to help them all, but is particularly involved with Marcy, the youngest of the adopted children. The first time Rachel met her, Marcy whispered "help me," but stopped short of an explanation when her brother, David, suddenly appeared. Something is very wrong in this strange family, and Rachel is determined to ferret out the secrets. Strong tension, swift pacing, intricate plotting, and heart are the hallmarks of this book. Also welcome is the return of Frank, the cat, Billy Bob, the bulldog, and Cicero the parrot (my favorite psittacifrome since Rick Riordon gave us the foul-mouthed parrot in "The Devil Went Down to Austin." (Cicero, in case anyone cares, is feisty and endearing but his speech is G-rated.) less
Reviews (see all)
Fun mystery. I will have to go back and read the previous books by this author.
Did not read this - was trying to add The Dog Stars by Peter Heller
I liked this book. The plot was a bitdifferent. I like her writing.
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