Publisher: Random House
Release Date: April 14th 2009
Series: Beka Cooper #2
Genres: Fantasy & Magic, Mysteries & Detective Stories, Young Adult
Beka Cooper is no longer a Puppy. She’s a Dog now – a full-fledged member of the Provost’s Guard, which keeps the peace in Corus’s streets. Beka’s natural skills of observation and tenacity are augmented by her unusual magical talents, which allow her to gather information both from pigeons are from the eddies of dirt and dust that swirl on street corners. But even her magic isn’t very useful when unrest comes to Tortall’s capital in the form of counterfeit coins, which turn up in shops all over the city. Merchants raise prices to cover their losses, and with winter coming on, hikes in food and fuel costs could spell disaster – most of all for the city’s poor.
The Dogs discover that gamblers are bringing the counterfeits from Port Caynn – and that the Port Caynn Dogs don’t seem to be doing anything about it. Beka and her mentor, Clary Goodwin, are chosen to go undercover in Port Caynn and find out what they can. And wherever Beka goes, so do some of her animals. Departing from Corus with her are the scent hound Achoo, who has been newly assigned to Beka, and the pigeon Slapper, who carries the voices of the dead.
In Port Caynn, Beka and Goodwin delve deep into the gambling world. There Beka meets a charming bank courier, who may be involved in the counterfeiting ring. Things come to a head just as Goodwin returns home to report in Corus. It won’t be enough to Beka to be her usual “terrier” self. She’ll have to learn from Achoo to sniff out the criminals – to be a bloodhound.
BLOODHOUND takes place approximately a year or so after the events of TERRIER. Beka is a fully fledged member of the Dogs but hasn’t been having too much success with partners of late. Time is not wasted on this fact however, and we a pretty quickly launched into a plot line that is faster and even better than the TERRIER’s.
After some exciting events and realisations early on, Beka and Clary are sent to Port Caynn undercover. The stakes are highter here, and they have to be careful in a new town where they have no idea who to trust. They have many run ins with less than savoury people, but also a lot of good, entertaining interactions that I enjoyed reading. The entire mystery a lot more elaborate than the two plot lines of TERRIER. More danger, more action, faster pacing, Beka has grown a lot and it was great to see her hard work pay off to become one of the best Dogs in the country.
Romance is also more present in BLOODHOUND. To my dismay, Rosto wasn’t the love interest, but rather a new character. He was entertaining and funny, a real flirt. Little shy Beka really didn’t know what to do with herself at the time. I love how he helped her have fun doing light things, something we’d never seen her really do before.
New characters are introduced, a lot of whom are central to the plot. Achoo was lovely, though it was weird not hearing her thoughts how we’d hear Pounce’s. Other characters from TERRIER were left in Corus and I really missed them and what they brought to the story, though they do have mentions and cameos. Some other older characters died, and I almost cried in those scenes. Almost.
BLOODHOUND was a really enjoyable story. It was written in the same entertaining manner as TERRIER, which allowed a lot of showing not telling through the use of what messes appeared on this diary pages. It was also much more fast paced with a bigger mystery and higher stakes. Beka proved once again to be a strong female character who could let her hair down and have fun as well. I can’t wait to read MASTIFF and find out how this trilogy ends.