Wednesday, July 9, 2014
Review of Dog On It by Spencer Quinn (Pocket Books, 2009)
Dog On It is told entirely from the point of view of Chet, a well-trained dog with a great sense of smell, an intuitive ability to read humans, who’s loyal and brave, and is easily distracted by food and the prospect of some fun. The narrative voice is engaging and well pitched and anyone who owns a dog will recognize his canine mind at work. The result is the reader is soon rooting for Chet the Jet and Bernie, his world weary, laconic private investigator owner, who can handle himself in a tight corner when needed. Indeed, the book thrives on the equal partnership. There’s a cozy sensibility to the tale, with a gentle humour running throughout, but Quinn doesn’t shy away from tough and dangerous moments, building the tension at a number of points in the story. The plot of tracking down a missing fifteen year old is relatively straightforward, with no major surprises, but it’s interesting enough. The real strength of the book, however, is the characterisation and the relationship between Chet and Bernie. Overall, an entertaining read that will appeal to all dog lovers, or those looking for a mystery with a novel point of view.