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    Review of MURDER UNLEASHED by Lee Charles Kelley (see his website)

    Avon, December 2003

    Review by Jennifer Vilches

    A prominent Judge is found dead in his car, his throat ripped up, and his daughter's dog his only company. The police point the finger at the dog, a boxer named Roark. Jack Field, kennel owner and former cop, believes that there are no vicious dogs and that behavior problems can be solved with liver treats, a tennis ball or a good game of tug-o-war. He immediately takes Roark under his protection. Jack doesn't really want to get involved in the investigation, but he can't stand by while a dog is accused of murder! With the help of Jamie Cutter, medical examiner and love of his life, he dives into the tangled webs surrounding the murder. It's a race to the finish, as Jack and Jamie dodge bullets and search for clues.

    The banter between Jack and Jamie is lively, and their romance adds extra interest to the story. The supporting ensemble is made up of shallow caricatures, but the main characters have complex histories and relationships. The plot gets a little too busy at times; it doesn't twist so much as become cluttered with numerous side adventures. There is a small logical flaw in part of the plot involving a diary that I found jarring, but not enough to ruin my enjoyment of the book.

    Dog lovers will definitely get a kick out of the canine characters and will probably be interested in Jack's training techniques as well. Author Lee Charles Kelly has been a professional dog trainer for 10 years. Murder Unleashed is a quick, entertaining read and does not depend on having read the first Jack Field novel, A Nose for Murder.

    Three Stars

    Reviewed 4/01/04

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