Monday, October 6, 2008

Until the Last Dog Dies, by John Laurence Robinson (River Oak)

(click cover for more information)

Guy’s book. Good guy’s book, but definitely a guy’s book.

In Until the Last Dog Dies, John Robinson does a terrific job of rolling out a great PI tale in true Mike Hammer fashion. The lingo, the interior monologues, the first-person view—he’s got it down to a T. But John is in no way a Mickey Spillane wannabe. John creates a unique character with a complex personality that keeps him two steps ahead of predictability.

Joe Box is a Vietnam vet, ex-cop, now private investigator, who’s wartime past is thrust back upon him in an extraordinarily terrifying way. In a search-and-destroy mission that goes horribly wrong, his infantry squad captures a traitorous sniper, Martin ten Eyck. Politically connected, the traitor is spirited away Stateside and tucked out of sight into a mental institution—presumably for life. That was thirty years ago. He’s out. Not long enough.

The “rehabilitated” patient is released and the horror begins. Now, each member of Joe’s old infantry squad is being fingered for death—not just any death, but death meted out in way each individual feared the most: stabbing, aircraft accident, electrocution—you name it. It’s up to Joe to find him and stop the killings. Only he doesn’t have to find the killer; it’s his turn for the killer to find him.

A new Christian, Joe is still sorting out his spiritual responsibilities, moral obligations and personal expectations immersed in a hard-bitten line of work and battling a history of traumatic episodes that multicolor his world view and self image. Helping him deal with all this is the lovely, witty and intelligent Angela, an intercessory prayer warrior at his church. But Angela helps him do more than overcome his own mental obstacles, she plays a crucial role in the battle against the spiritual forces driving ten Eyck.

In Until the Last Dog Dies, John Robinson takes us back to rural Kentucky where we relive Joe’s grass-roots boyhood haunts (pun intended). We trek the steamy paths of Vietnam with his unit on the trail of a rogue sniper, whose phantom-like ability elevates the nerve-shearing terror of jungle warfare. And we journey with Joe along the uneven road of discipleship, learning with him what it means to trust God and apply Biblical principle in the toughest emotional, mental and physical circumstances.

And everybody knows only guys are interested in stuff like that.

Oh, okay, so maybe not just a guy’s book. Read it and see whatcha think.


Anonymous said...

Sounds like a story you would hear from Jim Lovell but with more umph to it. Very interesting and an attention grabber if you like reading about war & mystery.

Bruce Judisch said...


Yup, this was really quite good. I've not dabbled much in the genre before, but I know John Robinson through an online writer's forum. Thought I'd try it out. It's very imaginative; keeps your attention the whole way through.

Happy reading!

Cheers! Bruce