The good dog by Simon Rowell

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Following The long game and Wild card comes another mystery featuring Detective Sergeant Zoe Mayer and her fabulous service dog Harry. When they are called to Mount Macedon to investigate the murder of Piers Johnson, an alleged fraudster, they find another body, that of Antony Peterson, his lawyer. At first glance it looks like a murder/suicide but the evidence does not stack up and Zoe and her new side-kick Ben need to investigate all the suspects who have lost large amounts of money investing in Peterson’s activities.

This is an gripping police procedural mystery, with Zoe and Ben systematically following up on the murder suspects with interviews and phone tapping. The relationship between Zoe and Ben is initially strained and it is interesting to see it develop as the case reaches its stunning and for me, unexpected climax. As the title The good dog suggests, Harry is the star of the novel, with his scenting skills leading him to a body and a kidnapping victim and dog lovers will love this aspect of the novel. He also provides solace to others in distress as well as warning Zoe of impending drones and helicopters, helping her to control her post traumatic stress. The setting of Mount Macedon and its surrounds as well as Melbourne’s suburbs and nods to private schools will be familiar to many readers and will have others looking up place names and countryside.

With multiple suspects, red herrings and twists and turns, The good dog is a page turner that many readers will want to read in one or two sittings as I did. It is an easy to read, engrossing story and I hope that I see more novels featuring Zoe and Harry.

Themes: Mystery, Detectives, Service dogs, Murder.

Pat Pledger