Title: The Dogs
Author: Allan Stratton
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Publication Date: September 2015
Rating: 3 stars
I received an ARC of this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Cameron and his mother are on the run – again. From Cameron’s own father. They’ve packed their bags and moved out to the middle of nowhere in hopes that this time, they won’t be found. They move into an old farmhouse next door to Mr. Sinclair, a strange old man with a few secrets up his sleeve. At school, Cameron is taunted for being the new kid, and even more so when the kids find out what farm he lives on. Apparently, the previous owner of the farm was torn to shreds by his own guard dogs. But that’s not the only gruesome thing to have happened on the farm. Cameron is soon visited by a ghost – Jacky, the little boy whose father got eaten by the dogs. Cameron comes to realize that he and Jacky have a lot in common family-wise. The more information he learns from Jacky, the more secrets Cameron unearths about Jacky and his family. The closer Cameron comes to solving the mystery, the closer his father gets to Cameron, his mother, the farm, and the dogs.
Shockingly, I don’t have much to say about this book, other than it was just plain good. I was not overly impressed, nor was I severely disappointed. I really like the cover, which is what initially drew me in – it’s very haunting but with beautiful colors. The writing was decent, although somewhat amateur. The story was interesting for the most part – murder mysteries, abusive stalker fathers, ghost boys and ghost dogs, etc. I could’ve used some more action and suspense, but I suppose it was a pretty good mystery since I didn’t know the exact outcome of the story.
Cameron was a relatable character, especially when he had those inner conversations with himself. He’d think one thing, then contradict it like he was arguing with himself. I do that a lot, so I understood the internal battle going on inside the kid’s mind. I liked how curious he was and that, even after getting in trouble so many times, he didn’t give up. He knew something wasn’t right, and he put himself in a lot of bad situations just to help Jacky and solve the mystery.
I feel like this review is lackluster compared to my previous ones, but I’m just not sure what else to say. I think this is because the book was just ‘good’ and not super great nor super bad. If you’re looking for an easy, quick, paranormal mystery, definitely check this book out!
Favorite Quote*: “How can anyone know anything about anyone? How can anyone be sure even about themselves?”
*I read and reviewed and ARC edition of the novel – if anything is misquoted in comparison to the published version, please let me know.