THE DOG MEN
by Patricia Crandall
Ten-year-old Wyatt and eleven-year-old Hannah uncover the dark world of illegal dog fights when they trespass at a Vermont farm and peep through a barn window. And when crotchety old Lester Cranshaw’s dog, Paddy, turns up missing, there is no holding him back from investigating the situation and the kids join in. In the dead of the night, after the trio are captured and held hostage at the Inglis farm, Wyatt will need all of his wits and courage to escape in order to save the lives of his friends. THE DOG MEN draws the reader into a tempest of animal abuse, lawlessness, and kidnapping within the confines of small-town happenings. A chilling plot and a peerless relationship between kids, adults and pets.
Wyatt watched Mrs. Forbes drop apples and oranges into brown paper lunch bags. Then came two bananas.
He frowned. “Won’t the sandwiches get crushed, Mrs. Forbes?”
Her hand stopped in mid-air. She reached into the bags to adjust the distribution of food. “Satisfied?” She smiled.
“Yea.” Wyatt swiped the cowlick bangs away from his forehead.
“I’m not happy, Mom,” eleven year old Hannah piped up. “How about peanut butter cups and Kit-Kats?”
“You two are breaking me down.” Cleo Forbes shook her head. “I’ll put in candy if you promise to eat the fruit. Just don’t toss it.”
“We’ll eat everything.” Wyatt smacked his lips.
The phone rang and Wyatt watched Mrs. Forbes turn her back to answer it. He heard the loud, whining voice of old Miss Filmore. He inched over to the peninsula and reached into the candy bag, tossing more chocolate into the lunch bags.
Hannah covered her face to smother giggles.
"I don’t know what’s going on,” Cleo said as she returned to the peninsula and greased a cake tin. “But a hike and fresh air will do you both good. Wish I could join you.” She sighed. “At least I’ll get the wool sweaters and blankets aired on the line. It’s a perfect day for doing that.” She started taking stuff out of the cupboards. “And, don't be late like last time. You scared me half out of my mind! When it got dark, I really worried."
"I'll make sure we're back on time, Mrs. Forbes," Wyatt zipped his lunch into his black knapsack. Hannah’s mom was really nice and made terrific brownies, but she was an awful worrier. It wasn’t dark yet when they got back. Not really. “Come on Hannah. Hurry up.”
She was shoving stuff into her backpack. Just like a girl to bring all that. Hannah went out the door ahead of him and Wyatt hesitated. “Mrs. Forbes? When did you say my mom and dad are coming home?”
Patricia Crandall is the author of nine books, and a 2023 winner of the Besties of the Capital Region Awards, Author Category. Her latest book, “Lacey O’Dunn, The Rookie,” is a crime/thriller involving drugs and car bashing senior citizens on icy winter roads. She has also published numerous articles and short stories in various magazines and newspapers. Her book, “The Dog Men,” third edition was also just released. Patricia is a member of Sisters in Crime (Mavens) and National Association of Independent Editors and Writers. She lives with her husband, Art, and a rescue cat, Bette, at Babcock Lake in Grafton Mountains near Petersburgh, New York. She has two children and three grandchildren who live nearby.
The author will award a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner.