Posts Tagged ‘under the dog star’
Parshall’s Rachel Goddard series seems to get stronger with each entry. She uses her protagonist’s profession as a veterinarian to explore some of society’s worst issues. In Under the Dog Star, the fourth book featuring Rachel Goddard, Parshall takes a hard look at two uncomfortable issues facing society-psychological child abuse and dog fighting.
The Hall family was “the” family in Mason County Virginia. Gordon Hall, a prominent physician, was also the administrator of the local hospital. His wife Vicky also worked at the hospital. The couple had five children, two biological, one adopted as an infant from an orphanage in Korea and two biracial children whose mother died of a drug overdose and whose white grandparents did not want them. On the outside, the family was “Rockwell perfect.” However, when Gordon Hall is killed outside his home in what appears to be a dog attack, cracks open in the family’s polished veneer.
Dogs are all over this book. Rachel is concerned with the number of her clients who are reporting pet dogs stolen from their yards. Dumped pets have formed a pack, turned feral and are roaming the county terrorizing farmers’ chickens and sheep. Hall was killed by a dog ripping his throat open. Folks immediately assumed it was the ferals that killed the doctor even though the evidence says otherwise. Tom, Rachel’s significant other and the deputy sheriff if the county, is left to hold off the mob wanting to kill all of the dogs while he investigates the murder. Rachel and her assistant set out to trap the feral dogs before the dogs are shot by vigilantes. Because the Hall’s German Shepherd was injured in the attack on Gordon, Rachel has reason to be inside the Hall home regularly to treat the dog. The youngest of the Hall children, Marcy, latches on to Rachel. To Rachel, the child seems frightened. But of what? The more she is around the Hall family, the more concerned Rachel becomes about what is happening inside the house. Before the crime is solved, both Rachel and Tom will run head on into a dog fighting ring operation in the county. Read the rest of this entry »
Family pets are disappearing in Mason County and Veterinarian Rachel Goddard is stumped as to why the dogs are missing and attempting to devise some method to locate the dogs. Rachel has moved in with Tom Bridger, Mason County Sheriff’s Deputy. Rachel and Tom are rapidly adapting to the new living arrangement. Tom worries that Rachel is spending too much time worrying about the missing dogs. Notices have been posted every place and he is sure the mystery will be solved before long.
Tom has another dog-related problem to occupy his mind. There is a pack of feral dogs running around killing livestock. Rachel is determined to help Tom and the local animal authorities capture the dogs and be able to get the dogs to a point where they would once again be the faithful dog of a family in need of a pet. The feral pack is believed to have been brought about by the fact that people who have lost their jobs and their homes have taken to dumping their pets in Mason County in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. The pack had been formed by the group of dogs just struggling for survival.
Suddenly the case of the lost pets and the feral dogs take a back seat to a gruesome murder. Dr. Gordon Hall, head of Tri-County General Hospital is found dead on his property. When Tom arrives on the scene, he finds Dr. Hall’s body along the edge of the woods near his house. Dr. Hall’s throat had been ripped open by a savage animal.
Dr. Hall’s wife Vicky is in very bad health. Vicky is in advanced kidney failure. The Hall’s have one natural son, Ethan, and three adopted children. As the investigation proceeds, it appears that Dr. Hall was not a very popular person in the community and the Hall family was far from a close-knit family. Read the rest of this entry »