Review of Dog Gone, by Diane Moat
Dog Gone follows Sam Holden in her quest to bring animal abusers to justice—by any means necessary. While camping with her boyfriend, Daniel, in a remote area of Tennessee, Sam discovers the body of a dog that has been brutally tortured and killed. She resolves to learn more about saving animals in distress but is soon frustrated as her efforts are hindered by rules and red tape. In desperation, Sam turns to crime to take down those who harm and abuse animals.
Sam is an engaging character and the epitome of a vigilante. She’s smart, capable, and resourceful. Her life is divided into lawful Sam and criminal Sam and each side has its own cast of characters. While engaging in criminal activity, it was hard not to liken Sam to a secret agent or spy. Moat did a wonderful job of bringing believability to Sam’s “tricks of the trade,” from pulling a job to dealing with her criminal contacts.
Dog Gone reads like a detective mystery—the pace is a bit too slow for me to be able to call it a suspense/thriller. If you’re looking for a face-paced novel, this might not be for you; however, the sedate pace helps believability and increases the significance of the novel’s climax. While there were no glaring plot holes, a particular event that happened in the middle of the book and was not addressed again until the epilogue left me a bit confused. While this was possibly done to leave the option open for a sequel or spin-off, it was still quite jarring.
Overall, Dog Gone is a novel worth reading, and not just for animal enthusiasts. Moat’s prose is easy to read, her characters engaging, and the criminal aspect takes little-to-no suspension of belief. Check it out.