Sunday, February 1, 2009

Red, A Trailing Bloodhound
Colonel S.P. Meek
1951, Alfred P. Knopf

Red sniffed at the ground for an instant, then sprang forward with such suddenness that Slim almost lost his footing on the grass. An instant later he was racing along after the big dog, hanging on to the leash with both hands.

When the local newspaper pressures New York's governor into creating a canine tracking unit in the state police force, Slim Courtney is the sole trooper chosen to train with the dogs. Slim quickly forms a bond with the quixotic bloodhound Red, whose talent for trailing is tempered by his aggression when he finds his target. And Courtney faces a greater challenge than proving his favorite dog can be safe tracking lost children - he must convince a skeptical boss and public that the bloodhounds will earn their keep.

A tough adventure story for adults and teens, featuring a truly horrific crime scene early on where a man has murdered three children and his own grown daughter. The dog-makes-good theme is classic, but the characters lack depth and individuality, and the dog is never seen very clearly. The information about bloodhounds and their impressive trailing ability, is dated but interesting, as are the scenes in which Red proves his worth.

There is a plot concerning a kidnapped child, Butch Clymo, whose parents are estranged because Mr. Clymo is, in the words of a household servant who clearly has issues with Mrs. Clymo:

a prince, sir, a regular, two-fisted guy with hair on his chest. He likes to hunt and fish and he likes dogs.

The wife, of course, is a hysterical, controlling, weak woman who has tied her son, sissy-like, to her apron-strongs, called him Cecil instead of Butch, and doesn't realize that what she really wants is to have Mr. Clymo take the reins.

Even given that it's a different era, the violence and pure misogyny of the book are repulsive.

Other Books by the Author
Juvenile Fiction - Dogs
Jerry: The Adventures Of An Army Dog
Gypsy Lad: The Story Of A Champion Setter
Franz: A Dog Of The Police
Dignity: A Springer Spaniel
Gustav: A Son Of Franz
Surfman: The Adventures Of A Coast Guard Dog
Hans: A Dog Of The Border Patrol
Pat: The Story Of A Seeing Eye Dog
Red: A Trailing Bloodhound
Boy: An Ozark Coonhound
Rip: A Game Protector
Omar: A State Police Dog
Rusty: A Cocker Spaniel
Ranger: A Dog Of The Forest Service
Boots: The Story Of A Working Sheep Dog
Pierre of The Big Top: The Story Of A Circus Poodle

Non-Fiction - Dogs
So You're Going To Get A Puppy

Juvenile Fiction - Horses
Frog: The Horse That Knew No Master
Midnight: A Cow Pony
Pagan: A Border Patrol Horse
Bellfarm Star: The Story Of A Pacer

Author Information Sterner St. Paul Meek (1894-1972) was a very early science-fiction who later began writing adventure stories revolving around dogs and horses in the early 1930's.


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