“The Gordonston Ladies Dog Walking Club: Unleashed” by Duncan Whitehead is a long awaited sequel and one that does not disappoint.
Once again we are served a cocktail of clever plotting, comic and suspenseful entertainment and colourful characters in an intriguing and original setting.
This time we start with a secret nightly burial, setting the tone for the secretive and murderous atmosphere in the outwardly peaceful neighbourhood of Gordonston, Savannah. Who does not have a secret, hidden agenda or a mysterious past in this novel?
A lot is going on in the neighbourhood these days, for example. Elliott is running for Major, Cindy expects her nephew returning from Africa and the gossip still focuses on missing people and romantic liaisons – so life is busy as usual.
The same can be said for a certain organisation that, for a fee, will resolve some of your problems for you, and which – lately – is getting a lot of business from the Gordonston neighbourhood.
“Unleashed” is fantastic as a sequel. It brings back some of the familiar and successful formula of intrigue, suspense, great characters and the hugely entertaining dynamics of the dog walking club; yet it introduces new characters, new themes and then blends them with the old through some unexpected twists, connections and turns of events. The plotting is excellently done and surprised me many times throughout reading the book. I would have been happy with a simple formula repetition since I enjoyed the first book so much, but Whitehead has simply used it as a stepping stone for a much more evolved and complex novel, unleashing the full potential of old and new. Threads you thought were tied up are not, so always expect the unexpected. There are some great stereotypes and hilarious moments but don’t fear that it is all mindless entertainment. Some characters show depth and serious reflections, adding a more thoughtful note and class to the story.
Sharp, witty and well written this should sweep awards and nominations as easily as its predecessor did. For fans of crime fiction with a humorous tone I couldn’t recommend this highly enough and this is saying something since I don’t often get excited over crime fiction.
Duncan was born in England in 1967. After a successful career in the Royal Navy where he served in British Embassies throughout South America and saw service in the Gulf War he joined the world of super yachts as a Purser onboard some of the world’s largest private vessels, working for many high profile individuals, being fortunate enough to visit some of the world’s most luxurious and exotic places.
Eventually retiring to Savannah, Georgia, he began to partake of his greatest passion, writing. Initially writing short stories he finally put pen to paper and wrote THE GORDONSTON LADIES WALKING CLUB, inspired by the quirky characters and eeriness of his new environment. The book, a thriller, which boasts an assortment of characters and plot twists, is set in the leafy neighborhood where he lived.
His passion for comedy saw submissions to many online satire news sites and a stint performing as a stand- up comedian.
He is a former boxer, representing the Royal Navy and an English under 19 team as an amateur and is a qualified teacher of English as a foreign language as well as a former accomplished children’s soccer coach.
In 2011 Duncan returned to South America, spending six months in Brazil and a few months in Paraguay before travelling to the Middle-East and Europe before returning to the United States to settle in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
He is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese and lists his hobbies and passions as cooking, the Israeli self defense art of Krav Maga and the pressure point martial art Dim- Mak.
Duncan has written over 2,000 spoof and comedy news articles, under various aliases, for an assortment of web sites both in the US and UK.