Tuesday, November 1, 2011

{read: vet fiction} The Call by Yannick Murphy

Somewhere I saw this book blurbed as "not your father's James Herriot," and I definitely agree. This is written in the first-person style of a vet's log book ("the call," "the action," "the results") and also has some other categories like "what I thought about on the way home" and "what the wife made for dinner." Although the style could be limiting, Murphy brings to life the New England landscape, farms, people, and animals. The story follows the vet as he tries to find out who shot his son in the shoulder while they were hunting, causing him to fall from his tree stand, land on his head, and end up in a coma. The police have no leads, so the vet starts to ask around. It's a small town, and he's convinced that someone knows who shot his son. He begins to suspect some of his clients and makes up reasons to visit them so that he can think of incriminating questions to ask them. In the meantime, part of his past is coming back to lay its hands on his present, and he'll have to make a difficult decision.

Murphy's characters are finely drawn and her language is crisp and clear. This is a quick and engaging read. It's the first book of hers that I've read, but I'd love to pick up another one.

If you like this one book, check out Murphy's blog from September that's posted at Powell's books. It's written in the same style.

The Call by Yannick Murphy (Harper Perennial, 2011)
My rating: 4 stars

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