Friday, October 7, 2011

Dogs Don't Lie

Author: Clea Simon
Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc (audiobook) (April 2011)

Pru Marlowe isn't your ordinary animal psychic. A tough girl on the  run from her own gift, Pru left the big city to return to her   picturesque Berkshires hometown looking for a little peace. Too bad   that her training as an animal behaviorist got her mixed up with  Lily, a rescue dog, and Charles, her person. Now Charles is dead, and   Lily looks good for it. After all, Lily is a pitbull, a fighting-ring dropout, and way too traumatized to give Pru a clear picture of what   she has witnessed. But Pru knows something about bad girls trying to  clean up, and, with a sense of justice strong enough to overcome her dislike of human society, she takes the case. Listening to the animals, Pru picks up clues—and learns there are secrets in the  pretty little town that make murder look simple. Unable to tell  anybody about her psychic abilities, uncertain at times about her own  sanity, Pru comes to realize that if she clears Lily, she’ll likely   become the prime suspect—or the next victim. While the only  creature she can totally trust is her crotchety tabby Wallis, Pru’s  got to uncover the real killer—and find a way to live with her gift—before the real beasts in the town savage her and those she   has come to love.

Pru is a psychic who can hear animals thoughts.  She has also been working toward her animal behaviorist degree when her gift showed up.  One of her clients is murdered and she feels she must prove the dog didn't do it.   I listened to the audiobook and at first I wasn't sure I was going to like it.  The narrator's transition from Pru to animal was not always apparent to me. Once I got used to the very subtle difference in the narrator's voice for Pru and the one for animals, it went much more smoothly.  I'm glad that I stuck with it.  The mystery itself was a surprise.  There are multiple suspects and I thought I had it figured out when the author threw in a twist at the end.  That made me like it even more. 

I liked the Pru and her ability to listen and talk to animals.  I often wonder what my cat is saying to me.  Wallis is amusing and in a way her best friends and confidant. One thing I had an issue with is that her cat seems to be the only one with whom she can have a full conversation. With all of the other animals, she must communicate using pictures and images in her mind. This is never fully explained or explored as the story mainly focused on the murder.  I hope that in future books, the reason for the appearance of her ability and her strong connection to Wallis is explored further.  I would also love to see it become stronger over time.

I do recommend this one. It was a quick "read" and I know animal  and mystery lovers will enjoy it.


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