Thursday, February 25, 2021

Retro Horror Vol. 7 - Dog Kill


It's time again for Retro Horror!  Stormi and I plan on doing these every two months so you can expect the next one in April.  This month my pick also doubled as one off my "Read My Own Shelves" project.  Two birds with one book - gotta love that (actually no birds were harmed in the making of this post).  I had very mixed feelings about this month's book so read on and see what they are.  Then hop over to Stormi's at Books, Movies, Reviews! Oh My! and see what she read.

TITLE: Dog Kill
AUTHOR: Al Dempsey
PUBLISHER: Prentice-Hall
PAGES: 203
SOURCE: Personal Library


Jake was no man's best friend...A trained guard dog schooled in viciousness, the Doberman was 95 pounds of murderous muscle and fang. He'd left a trail of bloodied foes during months of aimless wandering. 
And then he'd met The Pack. He'd become their leader. They were a motley assortment--a lost Labrador, a strayed pointer, a harrier "liberated" from a laboratory, even an abandoned beagle. And one was a part-time member, a sleek boxer whose owner felt he should "sow his wild oats." He was the deadliest of them all. 
Some still lived off the leavings of man, but others had gone feral, had tasted blood and felt the frenzy of the kill. Soon they would all turn feral, and they would range for miles in the farmland and suburbs around their hidden lair. 
They would learn to kill, beginning with rabbits and then moving to ever larger game. They were a hunting pack, perhaps the most terrifying predators known to civilization.

MY THOUGHTS: So I won't lie.  With a title like Dog Kill, I knew some dogs were going to die.  I was mentally prepared for that.  What I wasn't prepared for was the amount of stupidity exhibited from the humans in the book.  

So basically the books alternates between the characters' part of the story and then the various dogs' part of the story.  We get to see how each dog came to be "wild" and living on their own.  What followed was tales of abuse, abandonment, irresponsibility, incompetence, arrogance and stupidity - do you see a theme?  The dogs start doing what feral dogs will do and killing animals and seriously, I couldn't wait to see them kill some of the stupid people.  Hmmm, there's that word again.  In the end, while I didn't hate the tale, I wasn't thoroughly impressed either and I ended up being glad it was a pretty short book.

And just to show you that I don't always pay attention to the synopsis of the books I read, there was a regal Boxer in the story named Duke.  Now Duke was a good boy, like all of other dogs in the book had they been treated right.  But he had a dumb owner who thought Duke deserved to be let out to roam sometimes and sow his oats and he believed people would be lucky to have puppies sired by his pedigreed dog.  I think he was the WORST.  No, I take that back,  He wasn't. And spoiler alert, he didn't die and I wished he had.

I will say that the author did a lot of research for the book and it showed.  He interspersed in the book a lot of commentary about the nature of canines and how humans domesticated them and how they were once wild beings.  He also spoke a lot about how many dogs are born unwanted and from carelessness and how stupid people can be.  I clearly believe he knew how stupid he made his characters and did so to prove a point so that made the book more bearable.  

So overall, if you like horror, it wasn't really scary.  And if you love dogs, it's a little heartbreaking.  But I don't regret the time spent reading it and hey, that's more than I can say about my last retro read.  But I do think it should have been titled Stupid People.



  1. Only stupid people abuse and neglect a loyal hound. I'm afraid I just find it so hard to read this kind of book as it makes me so angry!

    1. I was angry so I completely know how you feel.

  2. Stupid People does sound like a better title for this one. (And for a lot of other things happening in the world right now, too.)

  3. Not sure I would like this, stupid people drive me crazy!

    1. I couldn't recommend it. There has to be better horror books out there.