Wednesday, July 20, 2016
Dog Gone - Ever Wanted To Hurt Someone? So Has Sam!
AUTHOR: Diane Moat
PUBLISHER: Outskirts Press
PUBLISHING DATE: April 13, 2016
FROM GOODREADS: Samantha Holden is camping with her boyfriend in a remote area of Tennessee when she discovers the body of a dog. The animal has been brutally tortured and killed, and Sam is incensed by its senseless death-and the apparent disinterest of the local police. She resolves to learn more about saving animals in distress but soon realizes that this can be a frustrating business as her efforts are constantly hampered by endless rules and red tape. In desperation, Samantha turns to crime in her efforts to tackle those who harm and abuse animals, while never losing her focus of finding the man who killed the dog she found. Assisted by a gorgeous "fence," a social media guru who spends her life indoors, and a retired gangster, Sam follows her instincts with an undeterred and unrelenting fortitude until she finally tracks down the heartless killer and faces him in a final reckoning. Dog Gone is a satisfying adventure for animal lovers everywhere.
MY THOUGHTS: I knew when I went into this book, I might have some trouble dealing with the fact that it centers around animal abuse. I mean, come on - anyone who knows me knows I love my animals, especially dogs. However, I will say that I believe Moat does a wonderful job of addressing a hard topic without turning the reader off.
Several years ago Sam lost her mother and father in a tragic plane crash. Around the same time, she also stumbles across the body of a deceased boxer at the edge of the woods while camping with her boyfriend Daniel. Sam becomes enraged to see this dog has been brutally abused and cast aside like a piece of trash. Her anger comes to a head and she starts to battle the horrors of animal abuse in her area - sometimes anonymously and sometimes illegally. She also knows that she will never be able to fully recover until she finds the person who caused the deceased dog, which she names Elvis, and make sure he/she pays.
I love the characters Moat creates in this book. Sam is strong and is filled with tons of anger, yet at times she shows a vulnerability which makes her even more likable. Reading the book I was very aware Sam was skirting the law and doing lots of things she probably shouldn't, but since she was doing it for the animals, I always cheered her on. Sam does not work alone and her friend Melissa, boyfriend Daniel, Michael her fence, Aunt Pi the computer-genius hoarder, and a retired gangster all play an important role in this tale. The book kept me engrossed up until the end. As I mentioned, Moat handles a difficult topic with such care and I never once felt she was trying to make the book sensationalistic or gory. I believe the book is left open enough that there could be a sequel, and I can only hope one is in the works. Moat is also able to weave historical happenings into a current-day story which help the reader understand how Sam got to where she is today.
I only had one small issue with the book. I sort of felt the ending was rushed. Moat tells such a great tale, and the entire book is pretty much relevant to the story, but for some reason I can't pinpoint, the end just seemed to piece together all too quickly. Other than that, I have no real complaints.
I want to thank the author for providing me with a copy of this intriguing book. She also graciously did an interview on my blog which provides some more insight on Sam and the crazy cast of characters. This book is a must read for anyone who has seen a story on the news or in the paper about animal abuse and wished that they could get 5 minutes alone with the individual to take care of the matter.
RATING: 4 PAWS
BOOKER T'S THOUGHTS: Thank you Diane for naming Elvis. It shows so much respect that this poor dog who was beaten and abused was given a name and some respect, even when it as obviously too late. I also enjoyed hearing about Thing One and Thing Two. Although I am not a rescue dog, Mom, Dad, Cassius and I raise money and make a donation yearly to help the shelter in our area. You told a terrific story and I loved to hear Mom cheering Sam on to "Kick some butt!"