Doggerland is the second Sam Applewhite adventure written by Heide Goody and Iain Grant. This time we find Ms. Applewhite, once again joined by her faithful friend Delia, her magical dad Marvin, and her billionaire ex-boyfriend turned contract-employer, Rich, in the midst of seemingly unconnected deaths, both human and poultry.
This second charming adventure introduces a new cast of lively characters within the local independent living facility. The quirky characters conjure questions of ethics and morality. What does one do when the law doesn’t provide justice?
Applewhite stumbles her way into clues, connections, and patterns as she navigates a safety drill with Ice Age animal actors, cooks Christmas dinner on an abandoned oil rig in the middle of a near-hurricane, experiences sailing on a Viking longship, and tries to stay alive, all while keeping an eye on her community service crew. Who says a girl can’t do it all?
Like Sealfinger before it, Doggerland utilizes multiple viewpoint storytelling. However, this book increased the number of viewpoints, which provides extra juicy plots and an added layer of humor.
The authors graciously pulled back the curtain on the fascinating “Viking” family of Odinsons, who are worthy of their own series, taking us from an introduction of their borrowing-without-returning habit in the first book to an invasion of the family compound. Hopefully Hilde stays in the spotlight in future adventures. She would be a very welcome addition to the little crime-fighting crew.
This enjoyable read engages from the first chapter through the end. While it didn’t elicit as many giggles as Sealfinger, it maintains the authors’ use of ridiculous events, conversations, and witty one-liners to lighten the otherwise dark plot. I still managed to chuckle quite a bit.
I found myself pondering bigger questions raised by the ethical decision-making of the characters. One line in particular stuck with me long after I put the book down.
For one thing, it teases a potential road of deeper character development that I didn’t realize I was hoping the authors would explore. But also, it stood out to me because it is food for thought in life: “It’s not about the odds, it’s about the skills. The most masterful players of any game are the ones who make it look as though someone else is in control.”
Do I view life as a game? If so, am I a master or a piece being moved? I’m not one to be drawn towards books that make me think. I prefer escapism. This book doesn’t seek to be thought-provoking. It may have been the mood I was in at the time, the authors’ successful subtle guidance of our subconscious, or maybe it was meant to blatantly instigate a discussion. No matter how it got me there, I am glad it did. I enjoyed the ride.Doggerland is for mature audiences, but a bit lighter murder caper than its predecessor, though it’s a close competition in terms of body count. For those keeping track, it wasn’t “Reverend Green in the ballroom with the butt plug.” This one will keep you guessing until the end about who is really in control.