Official Synopsis from Goodreads: When Cody, a troubled fourteen-year-old, witnesses a murder, she tells no one. But it begins a spiral for her from which she cannot escape. Her worried mother Skye thinks a change of scene is just what her introverted, withdrawn daughter needs and since her dream has always been to own an inn, she jumps at the chance to buy a dilapidated bed & breakfast in the Berkshires. But being an innkeeper is harder than it seems and Cody still seems to fall in with the wrong crowd. When Adam March arrives as the inn’s only guest, he is accompanied by his rescued pit bull, Chance, a dog who has saved Adam in more ways than one. Cody and Chance begin a wary bond and soon, Adam finds another rescue who needs the kind of attention he gave Chance years ago. With Adam and Skye beginning a tentative relationship and Chance showing Cody how to trust again, this new-found family seems to be on the brink of second chances. But soon, a murderer is closing in—someone hiding in plain sight, and threatening everything and everyone—even Cody’s life.
Setting: Modern day Berkshires, Massachusetts
*** I received an eARC copy of Two Good Dogs from St. Martin’s Press via NetGalley ***
Review: This was a fine, sweet read. It held my attention and I enjoyed the characters, but I didn’t love it.
Two Good Dogs is actually a sequel to the book, One Good Dog, in which we first meet the pit bull named Chance, and Adam March, a human who seemingly has it all and then ends up striking an employee, and he loses everything. One does not need to have read One Good Dog in order to appreciate Two Good Dogs. I’ve read One Good Dog, it was a book club selection, and while I read it, I don’t remember a lot of it, and this didn’t affect my reading of Two Good Dogs at all.
The synopsis above is slightly misleading, as it makes the book seem more mystery based, and it is not. This is definitely a character-based novel, and while some readers may dislike the slow pace, I liked the pace and the relaxation the book provided.
Told from various points of view (we even are treated to Chance’s POV!), Two Good Dogs was great at telling the different stories from all the viewpoints. We hear from Cody, a young gal who is struggling to fit in at school, and is distancing herself from her mother to help protect her. We hear from Cody’s mother, Skye, who has recently moved and purchased an inn that she is struggling to update. We also hear from Adam, who stays at the inn and forges a friendship with Skye and also Cody. The relationships were interesting, and moved at a realistic pace. I appreciated the conflict between Skye and Cody, who used to be so close, but then Cody witnesses a murder and has to act distant to protect her mother. I really felt for Cody, who is dealing with the trauma of witnessing a murder, along with moving to a new town and starting a new school where she doesn’t have any friends, except for the outcast Black Molly, who deals drugs and is a bad influence. Along the way Cody meets a boy named Mingo, and Mingo’s dog, Dawg, is the second dog talked about in the title. I liked Mingo and his story. Mingo is a recovering drug addict, and he tries to get his life back on track after overdosing one evening.
One problem I had with the book is that the POVs were not clearly defined, so sometimes it did take a paragraph or two to know whose head I was in (ie, no name at the top of the chapter or section to identify whose POV I was in). However, this may have just been a formatting issue with the ARC I was reading, I don’t know. It was a minor quibble.
This is a great book for dog lovers! I never thought I’d love a pit bull, but Chance stole my heart in One Good Dog, and he steals it again here in Two Good Dogs. It’s great fun to read sections from Chance’s perspective, which gives a unique feel to this book.
One big problem I had with the book was that at the very end, I was extremely unhappy to see the words “Epilogue” come across my screen. The last chapter just ends in a very dramatic fashion, and the epilogue, while tying things up, didn’t give me enough resolution to the buildup that was the entire book. So this was frustrating, and since it was the end, that is what I remember most!
All in all, this is a good read, and one that I think readers who enjoy character studies and books about dogs will really love. It does have a slower pace, but I found the pace relaxing and readable, and it didn’t bother me. Recommended to those who love animals and taking a chance (ha!) on people.
Bottom Line: Enjoyable and good. Slow paced character study. I rated Two Good Dogs three stars on Goodreads. Wish we could give half stars, as this is really a 3.5 star read for me.
Two Good Dogs is set to be published on March 7, 2017!
Does this sound like a good book? Do you enjoy books about dogs? Do you have a dog? (I grew up with dogs, but don’t currently have a pet of my own.)