Do not deny that urge to adopt a rescue dog!
The Hand That Feeds You
A J Rich
Simon & Schuster Aust
Morgan’s life seems to be settled – she is completing her thesis on victim psychology and newly engaged to Bennett, a man more possessive than those she has dated in the past, but also more chivalrous and passionate.
But she returns from class one day to find Bennett savagely killed, and her dogs – a Great Pyrenees, and two pit bulls she was fostering – circling the body, covered in blood. Everything she holds dear in life is taken away from her in an instant.
Devastated and traumatised, Morgan tries to locate Bennett’s parents to tell them about their son’s death. Only then does she begin to discover layer after layer of deceit. Bennett is not the man she thought he was. And she is not the only woman now in immense danger…
A great psychological drama.
A J Rice is the pen name of two authors – Amy Hempel and Jill Ciment, together these two authors have a written a seamless narrative of manipulation and intrigue; a great psychological thriller. But this book is so much more than a suspenseful narrative; the writers manage to pack the book with information on dogs, dog handling, dog refuges, forensic evidences, pathology, university study/clinical psychological studies, psychoanalysis and relationship studies. Irony abounds – the master’s student whose thesis on victim psychology, in particularly identifying what makes a victim is a “victim” herself, self-realisation is a major character in this novel.
The opening scenes are mind-blowing: the situation that Morgan discovers when she returns to her flat is so serve it causes a psychotic break, and the event that occurred in her recent past (no spoilers here) is traumatic, violent and demeaning and informs/determines so much of her later behaviours. So much action and intrigue occurs in these first few chapters that the book has effortlessly hooked you in. What occurs thereafter is just a bonus! The only fault I found with this narrative was how quickly the conclusion was presented – it felt rushed and the timing felt out of sync with the rest of the novel.
Be warned after reading this you will feel an uncontrollable compulsion to adopt a dog from a dog rescue centre. Do not deny this urge.