Fabulous Finn, by Dave Wardell with Lynne Barrett-Lee

If you’re a dog lover you might already have come across Finn, the superhero police dog who saved his handlers life and took a life threatening knife to the chest.

I had seen Finn and handler Dave Wardell’s story on the television some time ago then more recently came across them on Twitter where I discovered that their incredible story, Fabulous Finn was about to be published.

So I put in my order on Amazon and within a couple of weeks the publishing date arrived and Fabulous Finn dropped through my letterbox.

If Fabulous Finn had been a work of fiction it would have moved me just as much as it has done knowing it’s a true story because it is written so beautifully – just how I would imagine having a chat with Dave himself might be. It recounts the events of the terrible day Finn and Dave were attacked whilst crime fighting and follows Finn’s subsequent recovery. It’s not for the faint hearted and you will need tissues. I full on sobbed several times over the course of the book. It left me feeling so proud of Finn and Dave and I don’t even know them.

But this is not just a story of a policeman and his dog, nor is it just a story of the twelve year old boy who made it his mission to work with dogs. It’s not just a tale of triumph over adversity in Finn’s recovery. No. It’s so much more. It delivers a message. And the message is that the law in relation to service dogs needs to change in this country. For once you’ve read this remarkable tale of a man and his dog, you’ll discover that the assailant who attacked Finn received zero punishment for the terrifying wounds he inflicted on him. And that’s because in law Finn is regarded as ‘property’ and not as the sentient heroic being he so clearly is.

If you’ve ever loved a dog, if you’ve ever connected with a pet, you’ll know that they are far from property. Finn’s Law aims to change things and give service dogs the recognition, courtesy and respect they deserve. Finn saved Dave’s life that day. Police dogs go to work each day and they serve and protect. Finn’s story is a timely reminder when news headlines are dominated by knife crime that life is fragile and special and important whether you’re human or canine. Out of all my book reviews so far this year, this is the one that matters the most.

So if you’ve got a minute, type ‘Finns Law’ into Twitter, better still follow @davewardell, maybe even buy the brilliantly engaging book Fabulous Finn and read this incredible story. Or of course you could even engage with the campaign for Finns Law directly at finnslaw.com

 

 

One Thousand Stars And You, by Isabelle Broom

Coming soon to a book shop near you is One Thousand Stars And You, by Isabelle Broom.

I hugged my kindle when I finished this one. What a heart warming, lovely read. It’s one of those you’ll want to keep on your bookshelf. I might even buy it in paperback so I can do just that – the front cover is just gorgeous. Oh and I’d also like a sequel please Isabelle if that’s not too much trouble!

Alice, Maur and Steph celebrate their impending thirtieth birthdays with a life-changing celebratory trip to Sri Lanka. When the girls meet ex-soldier Max and his buddy Jamal they settle easily together as a cheery little band of happy travellers. Back home, Alice’s mum and Alice’s fiancé Richard are worrying themselves silly. They’re hoping she’s being sensible. What if something happens to her?

It’s a lovely gentle read for a summer’s weekend. The characters are likeable and Alice’s personal journey is one that will resonate with readers enormously.

Now that I’ve discovered her I’m looking forward to reading more from Isabelle Broom. I give this one an additional five stars to add to the one thousand in the title. With thanks to NetGalley and Penguin Books for this advance review copy.

Gracie’s Secret, by Jill Childs (available summer 2018)

This book review starts with a wow! A big huge emotional and overwhelming WOW! I’m reading two books a week at the moment and I genuinely didn’t think that at this stage, and with 600 downloaded books on my Kindle that I would come across a piece of writing that would move me the way Gracie’s Secret has.

Gracie is three. On an average day during an everyday journey Gracie is involved in a horrific car accident that leaves her fighting for her life and having to be resuscitated by paramedics. Only Auntie Ella, who was driving the car knows what really happened but as Gracie recounts details of the journey and the events immediately afterwards her Mum, Jen realises there is more to her ex husband’s new girlfriend than meets the eye.

Jen is a woman of intensity. Her precious bond with Gracie and a blossoming romance with Doctor Matt dominate the weeks and months after the accident. But something is off. Jen just can’t get past what happened to her little girl and Ella’s involvement in it. Ella is hiding something and Jen is determined to find out what it is.

It’s a heartbreaking and thought provoking tale of a mother’s overwhelming and all encompassing love for her daughter.

I honestly thought I knew where this story was going but a couple of twists had me fooled and then there’s a huge, clever reveal that I simply didn’t see coming and it absolutely floored me.

It’s a rare and beautiful thing to be moved to tears by a story that also makes you reflect long after the book is finished and Gracie’s Secret delivers on this in abundance.

Loved it. So it gets five gently twinkling stars. Thanks to Netgalley and Bookouture for the chance to review this prior to general release. I hope it’s a giant success for the author.