By: Kathleen Kaska Publisher: Black Opal Books Publication Date: March 2017 ISBN: 978-1626946279 Reviewed by: Anita Lock Date: May 25, 2018
A supposed time of respite turns into a traumatic animal rights’ situation in author Kathleen Kaska’s first book of a new animal-rights mystery series.
Kate Caraway and her husband Jack head to Texas after a five-year researching stint that ends badly in Nairobi, Kenya. Staying near the Rodríguezes, their longtime friends, Kate and Jack look forward to a time of respite. Unfortunately, their goddaughter Rosa Linda Rodriguez gets Kate involved in an animal rights issue regarding greyhound racing. Ironically, the issue is in connection with Guy Fordyce, a friend of the Rodríguezes, who is involved in the greyhound racing business. Even though Kate is a seasoned animal rights activist, what she doesn’t anticipate is the grisly death of Jesus, Rosa’s informant.
Ruthlessly investigating the mysterious murder, Kate’s prying ways collect information that is confusing at best. The more she sleuths, the more convoluted her clues become. It doesn’t help that Rosa Linda’s interest in the issue suddenly wanes. The only way Kate will get concrete answers is to sneak into the Fordyce kennel and find out for herself. Slinking to the back of the facility, Kate believes that she witnesses enough of the real goings-on to begin connecting the puzzle pieces. But when she’s about to leave the area, and an arrow pierces her arm, Kate realizes that there are broader issues that go beyond the greyhound situation.
Kaska’s newest book raises awareness to the evils of Greyhound racing. A page-turning mystery riddled with red herrings, Run Dog Run opens immediately with unsettledness—a theme that sets the pace for the whole of the plot. Kaska places a strong feminine character in the midst of uncertainty laced with a flurry of questionable characters. Indeed, Kate Caraway is one gutsy protagonist who is accustomed to uncomfortable situations and facing her challenges head on.
Kaska uses both tightly-knit and directed dialogue and passages replete with detailed descriptions to bring her characters and scenes to life. Her crisp narrative draws her audience into the realm of animal abuse and in particular the ugliness of Greyhound racing. Aside of creating a well-defined cast, Kaska masterfully and aptly weaves in vivid depictions of not only the breathtaking landscape of Nairobi but also the Texas Hill Country—all complete with native flora and fauna, birds, luscious sunrises, brilliant sunsets, and massively star-studded skies.
Animal rights activists will be pleased to know that a percentage of the proceeds from the sales of Run Dog Run will be donated to The Greyhound Project, Inc. Closing on a satisfying note, Run Dog Run sets the groundwork for the next installment in Kaska's new series.
Quill says: Run Dog Run will definitely keep mystery aficionados on their toes to the very end.