Under the Dog Star by Sandra Parshall takes the sultry dog days of summer and adds in a healthy dose of intrigue around missing dogs, a pack of feral dogs, rumors about dog fights, and a wicked killing. The action takes place in rural Virginia and the mysteries are investigated by veterinarian, Dr. Rachel Goddard, and her significant other, Deputy Sheriff Tom Bridger.
The veterinary clinic has a wall filled with pictures and notices of missing dogs. There are numerous sightings of a pack of feral dogs that are attacking livestock. Now a local doctor, the owner of the local hospital, has been killed and the killing appears to have been committed by an animal, possibly a dog. It doesn't help matters any that Rachel and her assistant, Holly Turner, are trying to rescue the "feral" dogs. During these hot and sultry dog days of summer, residents are fed up. Their fire is fueled by the notion that the pack of dogs attacked and killed Dr. Hall. Dr. Hall's eldest son, Ethan Hall wants results and he's decided those results include hunting and killing the feral dogs. But as Rachel and Holly begin to trap these dogs, they come to realize the dogs aren't necessarily feral but starving. They've attacked local livestock in order to feed, nothing more. But what's behind the missing dogs and is it possible that the killing of Dr. Hall was actually murder? Was the good doctor killed by an angry ex-coworker or unhappy patient or patient's family member? Is there a link between the murder of Dr. Hall and the rumored dog fights? Rachel and Tom do their best to learn the answers to these questions while maintaining personal safety and building their relationship.
There's a lot of drama as well as mystery in Under the Dog Star. Rachel gets involved in trying to salvage the lives of the adopted children of Dr. and Mrs. Hall, while racing to beat the clock and rescue the wild dogs before they are hunted down. Under the Dog Star is a quick-read mystery filled with interesting characters and tons of action. Look for Under the Dog Star to be released on 09/06/2011 by Poisoned Pen Press.
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