The novel “Dog Duty” is certainly the most exciting and energetic animal centered novel I’ve ever read-and I’ve read a few. This was by far the most action packed story-and that is what I knew I was getting into. It moves at a quick pace-the story starts off dark, then goes light for a bit, but as the story is revealed it gets darker than it had previously (with plenty of anthropomorphic ideas to keep it fresh.) Once I read a few sentences of the Amazon sample-I bought it and knew I’d love it.
Without ruining the plot-the book is about a tough cop dog with a (he may not admit this), kind soul named Fritz-who is on a revenge quest to go after a bad mutt named Clay who wronged him, with the help a few ‘pet dogs’-making for interesting and sometimes humorous. It is written as a noir (reminded me of the movie “Sin City” with its descriptions of gritty and ‘not good’ environments. Filled with bad dogs and even worse ideals.)
The author did an awesome job with describing places where you would never want to go-human or canine. So, I did enjoy the plot-if you like stuff like as I said, “Sin City” or any noirish detective thriller, you’ll enjoy it-of course, having dogs starring in the story throws a bunch of new twists in there (ideas that will surely help me with my own writing of anthropomorphic animals)
As for the characters (the thing that keeps me reading any book) I loved Fritz right when I met him. Yeah-he’s not like my happy go-lucky real life black lab, Xena at all-he’s rough and he’s seen a lot. However- I do enjoy dogs who are less playful and more ‘strong silent types.’
I sensed a lot of courage, fight, will to survive and even kindness him as he told his story. When I say kindness, I mean that he truly did care about others-he wasn’t one to play with children or make humans amused, he was kind in the sense that he truly knew how to help others and did a good job doing so-I certainly would trust him if he was by my side.
The most enjoyable part for me-besides the story being about a dog,was I loved hearing the story from his perspective. I felt like I was sitting by him as he spoke about his dangerous story, which really helped me envision what it would be like to meet and speak with a police dog-his protective and assertive personality was all spot on, and I sensed he’s a ‘good dog’ (not that I’d harp on the usual dog stuff if I DID talk to him-I’d be respectful and not bother him much.)
As for the other dogs who helped Fritz on his revenge quest, I liked them all equally, I loved how ‘dog like’ they were and how often they thought about food and were sort of clumsy-his buddies were just ‘pure dog’…but in a way, they grew more than Fritz did. They to learned to be courageous in the face of danger, and it made for great storytelling.
The villain, the ex-military Rottweiler named Clay was a downright scary bad guy. I didn’t think he would be to be honest, but it WAS scary, because a large dog like that could indeed harm or kill a human, Clay was the dog in my nightmares when I was terrified of them in my younger years, his personality was also interesting. Cocky and downright evil.
So, any complaints? Not really-I guess I would have liked Fritz to save a human, but I understand that the story is ‘dog centered’, but perhaps in a sequel (which I REALLY would love-I will read every book centered around Fritz.) Because of my poor memory-I forgot which breeds some of the dogs were (not the fault of the writer though, his writing was quite clear and distinct.)
Anyway, I was so impressed with this book-please read it. It’s totally worth it.