We must maximize our efforts to counter violent extremism, radicalization and recruitment in the United States and stop using xenophobia and ethnic stereotyping. – Bennie Thompson
Time and again we see leaders and members of religions incite aggression, fanaticism, hate, and xenophobia – even inspire and legitimate violent and bloody conflicts. – Hans Kung
Humans never grow up. – Me
It starts innocently, though horribly. A teenager, one of those most careless of creatures, so certain of their own immortality. A skateboard, a bridge over a highway, and a long, long fall. And a specially trained soldier, drummed out of the corps for reasons unsure and unknown, a victim of circumstance – a victim whose world will now start to spiral out of control.
What happens when a military commander goes out of control? When the good join the evil, and death and destruction are the outcome? And what if what seems simply a tragic accident is actually something more? Something horrific beyond thought or comprehension?
Lambert has written a military-based tale of murder and hatred, sociopathy and convoluted planning that would make the Gorgon weep. Set in Idaho, the poster child state for domestic terrorism and religious fanaticism, as well as fanatical racism, this could have been your standard tale of psychotic racial hatred and military misanthropy. However, this is more than that. For, within an outstanding story of suspense and terror, Lambert introduces a nearly paranormal aspect – the dogs.
Todd Clarke has escaped custody. When a teenager fell to his death onto the hood of his wife’s Mercedes, and the state police officer, seeing the child and recognizing him as his own, attacks Clarke, threatening him with his gun, Clarke’s training kicks in under the shock of the child’s death, and Clarke disarms and kills the officer. In hiding in the mountains, Clarke runs across a supposed hiker and his dog, Sparky, and the outcome is the death of the hiker – and the friendship of the dog. Chased by agents, both known and unknown, Clarke begins a race for his life, with the nearly supernatural assistance of Sparky – an assistance that comes with the help of many other dogs, mutts mostly, lured to Sparky by a force which Clarke does not understand, but which saves his life again and again.
I adored the part the dogs play in the story line. As the author states in his statement regarding his book: So I read this book the other day, about a man in some real trouble, at an uncertain and dark point in his life. He meets a dog, and that changes everything. The dog is no ordinary dog, but I ask you: what dog is ordinary? With the help of this amazing dog and some of his canine friends, the man finds the strength to keep going.
Much like Todd, I have my own story of a dog who saved my life, who drew me back from suicide and self loathing, who taught me what love truly was. I wouldn’t have made it with him, just like Clarke needs Sparky and his friends.
Another thing that truly dug into me was the story of military personnel gone rogue – men of power who convoluted and destroyed the very essence of what is good about the military, turning it into a twisted and evil power used for the worst possible reasons. Hatred and domination, and all that is wrong and disgusting about the sort of mentality that hates others in the name of their concept of a hateful and brutal god. I have always found it interesting – those who preach Gods goodness and power and mercy, and that all things “great and small” are created by this god – but will, in his name, murder and torture and terrorize all those whose skin colour is not the same as their own.
But my favorite part of the whole book? The dogs, those loving, loyal, and tremendously brave creatures who will lay down their lives for the right and the true. If for no other reason, if you love dogs, you must read this book. You will never be sorry you did so.
Whatever the evolutionary basis of religion, the xenophobia it now generates is clearly maladaptive. – Lawrence M. Krauss
I received this book from Lucy Felthouse at Writer Marketing Services. I have received no compensation for any postings which I have undertaken, or any reviews written. All thoughts and comments regarding Stray Ally or any other books reviewed for Writer Marketing Services are my own.