Beka Cooper is having trouble settling into the Provost’s Guard. In just five months as a full member, she’s already gone through four partners. But now she’s teamed up with the renowned Dog Goodwin and an even more famous dog—a scent hound named Achoo. Part of a team at last, Beka is sent on a special mission to Port Caynn. Once there, she delves deeper into the dark underworld of Tortall and learns that corruption extends beyond the Rogue’s Court of criminals. It would be risky to continue to investigate, but Beka’s not one to give up the scent. Even if it means ending her career…permanently.
Checking in with Beka five months after becoming a Dog, it’s obvious she’s struggling to settle. After starting out with Goodwin and Tunstall, two of the best Dogs around, she was not prepared to be partnered with Dogs who don’t have the same work ethic. Working her way through several partners, she’s starting to blame herself for not being able to make these partnerships work. I know this was published over a decade ago but this is just one of many topics in Bloodhound that seem incredibly relevant today. Corrupt or lazy Dogs who are protected by the system that is supposed to protect the people. Sound familiar? Add in Nestor and Okha/Amber Orchid and their transgender discussion and this book could have easily been published in the last few years.
With the addition of Achoo, Beka teams up with Goodwin to take on counterfeiters in Port Caynn. The location change and the new cast of characters added a twist to the formula. It was interesting to get a new perspective on how not only the Dogs but a different Rogue runs things in another city. It’s reminiscent of how the corrupt Rogue before Rosto ran things in Corus, but worse.
Beka gets a little romance, Goodwin gets to gamble and exercise her acting muscles, and they work off each other to get the job done. Beka continues to be persistent and an excellent Dog, but this time we get to see how big her heart is. From rescuing Achoo to her acceptance of Nestor and Okha to her treatment of her little stalkers on the streets of Port Caynn. She’s so unflinchingly logical; rather than going along with social norms, she takes people at face value and accepts them into her life based on their actions and character.
I enjoyed the story, the characters, all of it. Beka continues to be an excellent role model and protagonist, not only because of what she does but because of who she is. Provost’s Dog is proving to be a strong series and an excellent addition to the Tortall universe.
Goodwin watched me as I packed up. "He's got a lot of charm. He might also be one of the Rats we seek."
I looked at her. "Do you believe I'm a fool, Goodwin?" I asked her. I confess, I was hurt she might think it.
She sighed. "No. Your life might be easier if you were. A fool for love is happier than a Dog with a heart that's all leather."