Mary O. Paddock

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Instead of following her brother into the family business, Ellen made the stupid (according to her father) decision to become a journalist. Now she’s writing obituaries at a local paper, and living in her parent’s basement, avoiding contact with as many people as possible (especially if those people might be blind dates set up by her friend/therapist, Trish).

Waiting in line at a drive-through, Ellen spots a sad and scared scrap of a dog and makes the impulsive decision to take it home.  Emmett quickly fills a hole in her life, and more than earns his keep by scaring away an assailant one night.  The police think her would-be rapist ran away because he heard something, which he did.  Ellen just doesn’t know how to explain that the something he heard was Emmett ordering him to stop.

Suddenly, there are a lot of people interested in Emmett, and not necessarily for good reasons.  Ellen needs to decide who she can trust, and somehow find a way to keep Emmett safe.

Full disclosure – I’m a complete sucker for books about dogs, especially when those dogs are extra special in some way.  Two of my favourite books ever are Dean Koontz’s Watchers and James Herbert’s Fluke.  However, a book still needs to be well-written with a good plot, and interesting and well-formed characters.  Speak has all that and more.  Once I started, I couldn’t put the book down, and I ended up racing the battery on my Kindle to finish it in one go (I succeeded, with 1% left).  I’d never heard of the author before, but I will most definitely be reading her other works.  The book reminded me of Watchers (without the Outsider), but an alternate version where Einstein had been found by Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum.  Absolutely brilliant.

I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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