Sunday, July 12, 2009

Review: The Unscratchables: A New Breed is Right!

The Unscratchables:A New Breed of Crime Novel
By Cornelius Kane
Scribner
ISBN: 9781416596417
259 Pages


On the back cover of The Unscratchables by Cornelius Kane , the book is declared a “hard-bitten crime story and a sharp-fanged satire,” but I must say that my most enjoyable feelings while reading the book was a fun comedy. The satire is there, sure, but many readers that enjoy the unusual will be carefully reading every word, to enjoy how the author has wonderfully translated the human world into “animal-speak”! Sometimes I smiled, sometimes I grinned, and sometimes I even laughed as characters were described:

Pompey was a giant Neapolitan Mastiff with undershot teeth, a slobber problem, and a clouded left eye where he’d run into a stick.

I was armed with a Fido & Wesson; Lap had a small carton of full-cream milk.


Scenes were developed:

I tried to ease into the spirit but all I could think about was that someone might see me [sitting beside a cat]...all sorts of dogs were crammed in...Celebrities: Brad Pitbull, Mutt Damon, Benji Affleck...

It all started when two ‘weilers were found near Slinky Joe’s Sardine Cannery. They had been cut up pretty bad. Barnabus’s droopy basset jowls smirked as he told Crusher that his autopsy showed that the Rottweilers were killed by a cat!

Max McNash (Crusher to his friends), a bull terrier Detective in the slaughter unit in San Bernardo and Siamese Cassius Lap of the FBI (Feline Bureau of Investigation) from Kathattan are teamed when the killer is identified as a feral cat.

As murders continue, Max has little to go on. A security guard is the next killed and then a man who worked at Chumps, where pet food is made! There seemingly was no relationship between any of those who had been killed. Little by little however, Cassius was developing a theory, one that might reach into the police department itself and even higher! And even though Max hated to admit it, he was slowly growing to admire and respect Lap, even if he did use trigger commands like “Stay” and “Good” to get Max’s support.

For no matter who was dying, somebody was responsible for how the cat had been changed into this “killing machine!”

This book is great! A fun read for animal lovers especially. For those that enjoy satire of governmental plots—it’s in there! But...wait until you read why the cat killed all the dogs!

Seriously, The Unscratchables by Cornelius Kane is a great mystery and I love great mysteries...but this “new breed” of cops starring Max and Cassius is, hopefully, the beginning of a new series. I’m wondering if the author can keep his wordplay up for more books! What say you, Mr. Kane?


G. A. Bixler