THE CHINA DOGS: an off-the-chain thriller with heart

Posted: August 22, 2014 in Uncategorized

Every once in a while, there’s a piece of thriller fiction that has a storyline that’s meant to hook its readers in more ways than one. My personal favorite kind of thriller is that which plays with ordinary concepts in extraordinary situations.
I’ve had the tremendous honor of reading such a thriller, by the title of THE CHINA DOGS, written by Sam Masters(whom I thank wholeheartedly for the review copy he sent me), and it’s off-the-chain. Pun intended.
The idea of a dog as a pet is something ultra-familiar to a great number of people on this planet. Dogs of all shapes and sizes have been around humans since the early days of mankind. To say we have grown used to their presence would be one of the candidates for the understatement of the millennium. The evidence that dogs are descendants of one of the ultimate predators on the planet seems to matter very little to us.
Imagine a world in which it would have to matter quite a lot, and you get an idea what THE CHINA DOGS is essentially about.
With the action moving between Miami, New York, Washington, China, North Korea and other locations, this thriller follows albino lieutenant(stroke of genius by the author) I. “Ghost” Walton on a quest to elucidate a series of ghastly dog attacks, ended with people ripped apart like rag dolls. This book, for a thriller, has it all: a wild, yet entertaining premise, with dogs running amok on humans, in what is one of the most chilling what-ifs I’ve encountered in a thriller: a likable protagonist in Ghost, whose taste for culture, along with his distinct appearance provides the novel with a surprising hero, a badass sidekick in Zoe Speed, the would-be photojournalist with a shady past who Ghost grows quite fond of, plenty of political skullduggery with US president Clint Molton doing his best to defend America from its worst nightmare, brought forth by Chinese president Xian and General Zhang, who thrives to be his successor. The whole mayhem is orchestrated through Project Nian, an ultra-secret weaponization project seeking to bring America to its knees through man’s best friend. I loved every moment of this book. Granted, it is not supposed to be Shakespeare or any other literary colossus for that matter, but, for a thriller, it does its job finely. The reader is always kept on the run, so to speak, and thus, the 470 pages of the novel fly by at a blistering pace. This has a chance of becoming a summer blockbuster film, a canine World War Z, if you will(Someone cast Paul Bettany as Ghost, please!). Who wins? Man or canine? USA, China or North Korea? Does the refined hero get the bad-ass chick? What does I stand for? Read this 5-star thriller to find out! Thank you, Mr. Masters! Great job!

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