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Dark,
Dramatic,
Interesting

2 reviews

Under the Dog Star (Rachel Goddard)
by Sandra Parshall

Published: 2011-09-06
Paperback : 250 pages
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Recommended to book clubs by 2 of 2 members
Pets in the mountain community of Mason County, Virginia, are vanishing mysteriously and “Missing Dog” posters cover the waiting room walls at Dr. Rachel Goddard’s veterinary clinic. A pack of feral canines roams at night, attacking livestock. Now a prominent physician, Gordon Hall, ...
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Introduction

Pets in the mountain community of Mason County, Virginia, are vanishing mysteriously and “Missing Dog” posters cover the waiting room walls at Dr. Rachel Goddard’s veterinary clinic. A pack of feral canines roams at night, attacking livestock. Now a prominent physician, Gordon Hall, lies dead in his yard, his throat torn open. Sheriff’s Department investigator Tom Bridger believes the killing was premeditated murder, with a trained attack dog as the weapon.

Tom also suspects these seemingly coincidental events are connected to the resurgence of an old plague: illegal dogfighting. But Dr. Hall’s son insists the feral dogs killed his father, and he organizes men to find and shoot the animals. Rachel makes deadly enemies by trying to rescue the dogs and move them to a sanctuary.

Does one of Hall’s five children hold the key to his murder? Why is the youngest Hall daughter so frightened that she begs Rachel, a stranger, for help?

Tom and Rachel face two killers, one human and one canine, and uncover a more complex web of lies and brutality than they ever imagined.

Editorial Review

No editorial review at this time.

Excerpt

Under the Dog Star

Chapter One

In the silver moonlight, the dogs appeared as a dark mass moving down the hill and across the pasture. They headed straight toward three dozen sheep huddled on a carpet of autumn leaves under an oak. ... view entire excerpt...

Discussion Questions

Do you believe Rachel and Holly are doing the right thing when they save the feral dogs and give them sanctuary?
Do you see a parallel between the way the feral dogs were treated by their former owners and the way the Hall children have been treated by their parents?
Do you believe Rachel is wise to try to intervene and help Marcy Hall?
This book doesn’t show any scenes of dogfighting in progress. Do you think the author makes the horror of this brutal “sport” real without showing it?

From the author

Notes From the Author to the Bookclub

Dear Reader,

In Under the Dog Star, veterinarian Rachel Goddard confronts issues that she and I are both passionate about: mistreatment of animals and child neglect. I have tried to present real-world problems in the context of a gripping story -- without including graphic scenes of abuse.

Rachel cannot stand by while animals suffer -- and she feels equally driven to act if she believes a child is mistreated. In Under the Dog Star, she makes enemies when she scrambles to save feral dogs wrongly blamed for killing a prominent doctor, and at the same time becomes entangled in the sad lives of the doctor’s adopted children.

This fast-paced mystery, praised by Kirkus Reviews for “spine-chilling tension from cover to cover,” is also a story about the meaning of family, the power of compassion, and the duty we have to the animals that share our lives.

Award-winning author Deborah Crombie calls it a “tense and compelling entry in one of my favorite series” and adds, “Believable, sympathetic protagonists; a beautifully evoked setting; a haunting crime -- Under the Dog Star is one of the un-put-down-able reads of the year.”

Best wishes,

Sandra Parshall

www.sandraparshall.com

Book Club Recommendations

Member Reviews

Overall rating:
 
 
  "Dramatic!"by riegerd (see profile) 01/22/12

I really enjoyed this book. There was never a time when something wasn't going on and it was dragging. I didn't know the killer until almost the end and even then there were a few twists I w... (read more)

 
  "It’s full of suspense from beginning to end."by ebach (see profile) 10/31/11

You won’t have to wait a chapter or two for something to happen in Under the Dog Star by Sandra Parshall. It’s full of suspense from beginning to end. And the suspense doesn’t take lon... (read more)

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