Sunday, July 16, 2006

Book: For The Dogs, by Kevin Wignall (2004)

Once upon a time, in the barely remembered days before the Internet, you only knew a writer through that writer’s books. Then came websites and e-newsletters, which allowed you to feel as if you had ongoing relationships with authors.

Now, thanks to technology’s ability to put various carts ahead of assorted horses, it’s possible to become a regular visitor to an author’s blog while never having read any of said author’s books. At least it’s possible for me to do that. I’m sure the rest of you have your priorities in order.

Kevin Wignall is a contributor to the group blog Contemporary Nomad. It offers smart takes on a range of subjects, with a nicely international perspective. I stop by there so often I figured it was high time I read one of Wignall’s thrillers. I wasn’t disappointed in For The Dogs.

Ella Hatto’s summer trip to Italy is rudely interrupted by an attempt on her life. She’s saved by Lucas, a retired assassin who reluctantly signed on as Ella’s secret bodyguard as a favor to her father. When her family is killed, Ella realizes that Lucas is the only person who can help her understand the world she’s now in – and the desire for vengeance that threatens to overwhelm her. The problem is that assisting Ella means Lucas will have to plunge back into a violent life he thought he had left behind.

For The Dogs is lean, brutal, surprisingly emotional. Wignall writes in a spare style that bears comparison to Georges Simenon, one of my favorites. I intend to read Wignall’s other books. In the meantime, there’s always his blog.