A woman goes on trial for killing an intruder to defend her dog in this canine-centered legal novel.
Cecilia Chandler didn’t even want a dog. Her contractor husband, Joey, picked out the golden retriever Ferris, along with the small town where they live. When Joey dies suddenly in a workplace accident, the grieving Cecilia is left with Ferris as her only consolation. When an intruder attacks Cecilia one night in her backyard and Ferris rushes to her defense, the culprit attempts to kill the canine. Cecilia quickly shoots the man instead; he is later discovered dead. Cecilia isn’t worried by the killing. After all, she was acting in the self-defense of a family member—right? Police Chief Holden Owens agrees, though he may have more than a professional interest in Cecilia. Others are not so sure. The law says that a pet is property, and killing in defense of property is considered murder. Prosecutor Daniel Briscoe, who has ambitions of higher office, is hoping to make an example of Cecilia, who is not well liked in the town. Luckily, Cecilia’s predicament attracts the attention of celebrity defense attorney Wyatt Sewell, who is interested in capitalizing on the case’s potential high profile. Cecilia’s future hangs in the balance—and all because of a dog she didn’t want. Kennedy’s (Gone But Not Told, 2019, etc.) prose captures the tension of a small-town murder case with plainspoken precision: “Most people are habitual. In a small town, a good police officer can easily figure out a resident’s habits. The time they usually leave for work, where they get gas, where they get coffee. It took Vinnie only a day to figure out Clayton Hindel’s.” The premise is a little silly, and the ending is never really in doubt, but the author’s storytelling talents keep the plot speeding along, and readers will be reasonably entertained. A few twists and turns lurk in the second half, but this is ultimately a book for dog lovers rather than for fans of intricate legal dramas. Those who fit that bill will likely walk away thoroughly satisfied.
A light, well-crafted courtroom thriller for those who love pets.