Sunday, April 14, 2013

The Gordonston Ladies Dog Walking Club by Duncan Whitehead ~ review

  • Hardcover: 196 pages
  • Publisher: Dog Ear Publishing (November 14, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1457514516
  • ISBN-13: 978-1457514517

This book is also available in e-book as well as paperback form.

Something is not quite right in the leafy Savannah neighborhood of Gordonston. 

As the friends and fellow members of her afternoon cocktail club gather to mourn the death and lament the life of their neighbor, Thelma Miller, not all is what it seems.

When old friends vie for the attention of widower, Alderman and mayoral candidate Elliott, jealousies surface and friendships are strained. An old woman with a dark secret and an infamous uncle plots her revenge for a perceived wrong done over thirty years before, a once successful children’s writer with his own secret is haunted by memories of the past and aspiring model Kelly Hudd has just won the trip of a lifetime.

As secrets are revealed and history, both old and recent unravel, and an intertwined web of deceits and lies surfaces in the middle class neighborhood, a killer lurks and is anyone really who they seem to be? 

An enigmatic European gentleman in South America, a young Italian count parading the streets of Paris and a charitable and kindhearted nephew recently arrived from India add to the remarkable assortment of characters in this story of intrigue, deceit and revenge. 

What is the secret a recently retired accountant is trying to hide and just why did the former showgirl and attractive sixty two year old widow Carla Zipp really have plastic surgery?

A mysterious organization with links to organized crime, a handsome fire fighter who can do no wrong and a trio of widows with deep hidden agendas compound a story of simplistic complexity. As twists and turns lead the reader to a conclusion that they will not see coming and a sucker punch ending that will leave you breathless, the Gordonston Ladies Dog Walking Club’s top priority remains the need to chastise the culprit who refuses to ‘scoop’ after his dog walking sessions in their treasured park.

My take on this book:
Secrets abound in the tiny neighborhood of Gordonston, an affluent neighborhood outside Savannah. The four members of the Gordonston Ladies Dog Walking Club have been meeting for the last ten years in the neighborhood dog walking park, while their dogs romp and play, they share cocktails and the latest gossip. When one of their members Thelma Miller passes away from throat cancer, we start to see the secrets that the other three members have been hiding. Two members are hot for Thelma's husband,and hope to snag him, while the other one holds a deep hatred for him. In addition to the ladies we also meet several other neighbors that use the dog park, and each one has something to hide, whether it's an affair that they don't want revealed or perhaps its a secret job no one knows about. One thing's for certain the residents of Gordonston will do anything to protect their secrets even if it means murder!

I loved the way Mr. Whitehead presents this story. In the first chapter he opens with someone digging a hole, which firmly hooked me because I knew a murder was going to be committed. Thing is I couldn't figure out who would be killed or even who the murderer would be.  "The Gordonston Ladies Dog Walking Club" provides the reader with an interesting cast of characters,all of whom seem to be honest, upstanding citizens, but once their stories are revealed they are anything but, instead we learn of the dirty little secrets that they have kept hidden. Duncan Whitehead creates several interesting characters but does a fantastic job of making each one unique so that I never had to wonder who I was reading about. In addition to well crafted characters, the author also delivers with a fast moving plot filled with mystery, suspense, intrigue along with several twists that left me breathless with anticipation as to what might happen next. All I can say about the ending was I never ever guessed who would be revealed as the hit man or the Director. A real page turner that is perfect for anyone who enjoys a story filled with secrets, mystery along with devious characters who aren't always who they seem to be. While I loved the ending I can only hope that Mr. Whitehead will continue this story with a sequel, after all there are three more jobs to be completed! On a scale of one to five I would give this book a six because it's just that good!

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