Day of the Dog
by Mark Salvi

"I moved some of the clothing and blankets aside with my gun barrel, and the odor of something putrid hit me in the face. It was a body"

Salvi’s inaugural novel imagines a United States gone terribly wrong. It is a dystopian tale of the future that rival’s Cormac McCarthy’s The Road in bleakness, yet falls short of the literary quality inherent in that tour de force. In this author’s work, detail and action dominate, leaving scant room for the emotional resonance McCarthy wrung from his apocalyptic tome.

It’s just a few years from now, and America has descended into chaos. Radical Islamic terrorist cells have awakened and created havoc. Thefts from universities and medical complexes have resulted in dirty biological weapons being released throughout the country. Nuclear retaliation has followed. Under the guise of doing what they can to help, Russia and China have positioned troops within the US mainland to take territory rather than give assistance. Perhaps worst of all, a new and deadly flu strain has developed from curs eating the remains of those felled by biological poisoning. Rabid canine packs are roaming the countryside, literally devouring people and feasting on carrion. Zombie dogs are becoming the greatest threat to those who have not already died.

In Georgia a man, woman, and child fight to save not only themselves, but also what is left of the decent human beings around them. They make connections with a military and governmental splinter group from Pennsylvania, and together they attempt to turn the tide before the entire nation descends into utter hopelessness.

The author exhibits an exceptional command of survival techniques, weaponry, and combat maneuvers. Over-devotion to detail and a penchant for repetitiveness slow the story and make potentially gripping sequences less, not more, suspenseful. Think of this novel as the paperback equivalent of television’s The Walking Dead—run amuck with mangy mongrels and conservative politics.

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