Reviewed by Anne Boling for Readers' Favorite
Bart was named after his Uncle Bartlett. After returning from Vietnam where he was a POW, Barlett was never the same. He and three other POWs bought a small farm and dwelt together. At first they raised pot then they moved into dog fighting. They began to breed large dogs with wolves, creating mean, huge killers. Although Bart had never met his uncle upon his death he inherited the farm and two of the dogs.
When Bart arrived at the farm he discovered he not only inherited the farm but the man living there. The man was a POW and the will promised he could live there for the rest of his life. Bart and Alan continued the dog fights, making a large amount of money, but when one of the dogs escaped and killed a man Bart began to have second thoughts.
Gary Turcotte does it again. He creates a book with twists and turns and surprise endings. His books lean toward the side of horror. The plots are usually dark. With Brutus The Baby Snatcher Trucotte has raised the bar. As I’ve kept up with Turcotte’s writing career, I’ve seen a metamorphosis into a very good writer. His stories always keep me eagerly turning the pages, staying up late to finish the book and sitting on the edge of my seat. In Brutus we meet dogs that are specially bred to be large, mean killers. The dogs are used for dog fights and the wagers are high. In the book Brutus snatches a baby out of its mother’s arms and eats it.
Though this story is well done, there was one thing that bothered me. Ivan was Brutus’ son; he was larger and more vicious than Brutus. I don’t want to spoil the story so I’ll just say I object to what they did to the wolf/dog at the end. While very few approve of dog fighting, Gary successfully described the horrible event and hopefully discouraged anyone else from participating. The plot was very well developed. The suspense/fear slowly built to a shocking event only to begin building again. The ending really took me by surprise. I noticed a few editing errors but not enough to distract me from the pleasure I received from this book. Way to go Turcotte!