Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Candidate for Murder


In this realistic fiction novel, actually the seventeenth in the Mac Faraday Mystery series by Lauren Carr, the election season is occurring in Spencer, Maryland, and tensions are ablaze between two factions, chiefly the lifelong residents of the community and those fleeing big city life for a quainter settlement, the latter taking charge of the city council and imposing regulations involving banal things such as outdoor clotheslines. Disillusioned with the two main candidates, Police Chief David O’Callaghan nominates Mac Faraday’s German Shepherd Gnarly to run for mayor, and though this seems at first a mere jest, things become serious when the canine becomes the frontrunner, and thus, his human opponents attempt to fling mud his direction, with the dog’s friends seeking to clear his name.

In a rarity, Carr includes a helpful list of dramatis personae with decent descriptions for each character in order of appearance, with the prologue occurring four years before the book’s main timeframe, with Gnarly on a military mission with soldiers in Iraq near the Syrian border, where the canine is accused of killing a handler. This plays well into the hands of his mayoral opponents in the story’s present time, with the general narrative, despite its somewhat asinine concept, generally being enjoyable, with a riveting denouement and satisfactory conclusion. Though it’s not the first in its series, mystery enthusiasts will be happy to know that they needn’t read the books predecessors to enjoy the seventeenth entry.

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