With a double homicide and kidnapping at the center of Bad Dog, the book certainly qualifies for the genre of crime novel, but this “fiction” from one of America’s first independent criminal profilers also asks: What are the biggest crimes, and who perpetrates them?
Philpin’s most autobiographical work to date, Bad Dog takes the reader from a backwoods Vermont homicide into a tale about war and the lies that have led us into wars, a tale of living through two bouts of national madness.
PRAISE FOR BAD DOG
Bad Dog is a remarkable novel in more ways than one, starting with the dialogue. It’s smart and fast and real, bare of explication, the kind of talk screenwriters aim for. Philpin, though, does something I’ve never quite seen before, embedding the distilled dialogue in a narrative that almost seems an opposite language a wildly diffusive monologue inside the teller’s brain, ranging unrestricted through memories, riffs on history, outbreaks of anger, the lost dreams of America. On the way to breaking the standard rules of fiction, Bad Dog delivers something that lies at the heart of every novel our need to make sense of the world.
— Josephine Humphreys, author of Nowhere Else on Earth.
Bad Dog is a fictional memoir about crime and life by an author who understands both. At the center of the tale is a double murder and the abduction of a child, but the biggest crimes of all are the lies perpetrated by a government bound and determined to wage war. Head down the rabbit holes of Vietnam and Iraq with a trippy, disillusioned guide who refuses to dance to the drumbeats of death. You’ll feel compelled to read non-stop but forced to pause to contemplate the truths on each page. An unforgettable read.
— Diane Fanning, author of ten works of true-crime and five mystery novels including Twisted Reason, the most recent in the Lucinda Pierce series.