Dog fighting meets murder in the latest case for veterinarian Rachel Goddard and her boyfriend, Sheriff’s investigator Tom Bridger.
Mason County, Va., has been repeatedly plagued by dog-fighting rings, and now it seems another one is open for business. So Rachel won’t win any popularity contests through her determination to save a pack of feral dogs that has been harassing area farms. When the much disliked physician Gordon Hall is found dead with his throat ripped out, many jump to the conclusion that the dog pack is responsible, but evidence shows that only one dog accompanied by a handler did the deed. The highly dysfunctional Hall family is now led by the dying Mrs. Hall, who can hardly cope with her arrogant son Ethan, her wild daughter Beth and her adopted children Soo Jin, David and Marcy. All have been emotionally crippled by their hypercritical father’s impossibly high expectations. As Tom learns that family pets that have been disappearing were destined to be bait for fighting dogs, Rachel still struggles to capture the feral dogs before they are all shot. The problems would be hard enough for both Tom and Rachel even if they weren’t the subjects of murderous attacks.Parshall’s latest is more than equal to earlier series entries (Broken Places, 2010, etc.), with spine-chilling tension from cover to cover.