Tuesday, July 12, 2011

For the Dogs

Kevin Wignall
For the Dogs

Simon & Schuster, 2004

(Full disclaimer: I’ve read this book in Russian translation.)

Unknown assassins shot the whole Hatto family at their home. Only Ella Hatto, daughter of Mark Hatto, vacationing in Italy with her boyfriend, stays alive. When another assasin tries to kill Ella, the girl is saved by hitman Lucas hired by her father. Lucas devotes a safe place to frightened lovers, hoping to get through to Mark Hatto to take further instructions. Found out that his employer is dead, Lucas, conscientious hitman, who also has a daughter of Ella’s age, takes responsibility for her Hatto’s daughter. And when the boyfriend after what had happened breaks up with Ella, she asks Lucas to help her to find the killer of her family and take revenge on him.

I should immediately warn you that if you approach this novel as a realistic one, it can disappoint you. The author does not go into detail, the killings are committed too easily, the police, it seems, can not find not even a criminal, but even their own toothbrush in the morning. But if the novel is read as a parable about revenge, cruelty and punishment, this is a powerful book. At the beginning of the novel Ella and Lucas are the antagonists, the exact opposite: she is an innocent and defenseless girl, he is professional killer, with his own rules, but still a killer. Wignall gradually shows how the essence of Ella and Lucas begin to penetrate each other. Lucas, already burdened with a conscientious and complexes, derives from the girl love for friends, learns the importance of relationships and begins to look at his life from a different angle. Ella, while living with the killer some time, as if passes all human what she has inside to Lucas, becoming more hardened, and all the feelings inside her becoming dull, there is only a desire for revenge. Wignall depicts this transformation as a gradual phenomenon, like a tumor growing inside the human body.

Greed, envy, anger, meanness - it's all filling “For the Dogs”. Sometimes dogs are more human than people - and Kevin Wignall wrote about it this beautiful book.

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