Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Review: The Gordonston Ladies Dog Walking Club by Duncan Whitehead

The Gordonston Ladies Dog Walking Club by Duncan Whitehead

Amazon product description:
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.

Soon secrets are revealed  and an intertwined web of deceits and lies surfaces in the middle class neighborhood where a killer lurks, but is anyone really who they seem to be? A mysterious old man 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  former showgirl and attractive sixty two year old widow Carla Zipp really have plastic surgery?

As the plot thickens and the Georgia temperature rises we discover who is destined for an early-unmarked grave in the wooded park that centers the tree-lined avenues of Gordonston.

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 readers 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 thoughts:
At under 200 pages this book could easily deceive the would be reader into thinking that it's a quick, mindless read, but this little book packs a BIG story.  This book is filled with mystery and misdirection rolled into what appears to be common, every day happenings in a small neighborhood called Gordonston.  There is so much going on within the pages that you really have to be on your toes not to miss the details.  Irony, steeped in nuance and subtlety, make up an interesting, original and fairly complicated storyline.
The characters are creative and well done.  The connections between and around the characters are brilliantly planned and strategically eluded to until the whole thing comes together in an expertly crafted, ingenious ending.
Well worth a read! Don't let the "skinny book" look fool you.