2 September 2019
Cadaver Dog Book Cover Cadaver Dog
Doug Goodman
August 5, 2015

Training a dog to track a zombie is like training a cadaver dog or a bomb dog. It takes patience, trust, and the right dog-and-handler team. And to not be afraid of zombies. When Angie Graves is approached with the idea of training a dog to track zombies, she thinks this is a bad idea. She has worked all kinds of dogs, including cadaver. But she needs a different dog for this line of work, and the only one available is a rescue named Murder. The problem is, Murder is nothing like a hero dog. He is scarred emotionally and physically. He is slow to trust, has a mischievous mind, and obsesses over his chicken toy. But if he and Angie can learn to work together, they may be able to solve the riddle of where the zombies come from, and why they are snatching up people.

I do not usually talk about this, but I am a zombie-fiction-a-holic. Oh, yes, I do love my zombie books. ‘I’ve loved them for years, and I think they are probably one of the best parts of sci-fi and dystopian fiction when done well.

Today’s review is on Doug ‘Goodman’s book “Cadaver Dog,” and it is zombie fiction, specifically sci-fi. I want to thank Doug for his patience while I read this, I picked it up on Kindle Unlimited, and he had asked me to review it. I’m so glad he asked!

For my first impressions of “Cadaver Dog,” I want to go into how happy I am with the hook on the story, and how it drew me into the premise seamlessly but also, gave me a great idea of what was going to come. Doug writes in a consistent and well-paced way, and I found the hook to be exciting and an excellent start to such fiction. Truthfully, I hadn’t realized it was zombie fiction initially; I thought it was a wonderful tale about a smart woman and her dog. I’m so glad that was also part of the story, and the concepts fused!

Let’s go into the critiques for the review. Thankfully, there is only one critique I had for “Cadaver Dog,” and it has to do with the “Whole Story” category of my scoring. Specifically, at the end of the book, one of the main story characters has been pronounced dead. And yet, as the ending comes to be with the story elements finishing, that character is not dead at all. There is some odd thing that happened, I re-read it twice to be sure I didn’t miss anything, and I couldn’t figure out what happened. There was no mention of it that I read, and it’s confusing. On the off chance that there was an explanation that was threaded in there somewhere, I didn’t understand it, so it was not clear enough.

I have a feeling the answer comes in the sequel book, as a kind of cliff hanger to keep you reading and enjoy it. With that in mind, I have to score based on what  I read-only at the time. This is why I am critiquing that I didn’t see the problem with the character death resolution, even if the idea was to bring it as a hook in later on in the series.

With that in mind, let me go into what I enjoyed about “Cadaver Dog,” and the first thing I will use is the “Story Structure, Foundation and Presentation” portion of my scoring. Specifically, the foundation in the book in the core of the story and how it is set up is fantastic.

Another thing I truly enjoyed is in the same category, specifically with “Presentation” and that is how well editing for the book went. It’s not a long book, but every page packs a punch. There are not any lingering nonsensical issues causing pacing or tension problems either. One thing that I truly appreciated also under the same category was that the grammar, spelling, and the fantastic plotting for the book. Whoever did the spot editing did fantastically, and I think they also kept up with the majority of the story editing as well. Aside from my issue above with the ending.

My next big love of the book “Cadaver Dog” comes in the “Lost in Translation” category, and that is because I was never lost. I didn’t have to look up the science to understand anything technical.  I didn’t have to look up the machines or robots to know or understand them either, and I never had to look up dog training to understand it. Doug took the guesswork out of the confusion that other readers and I could have because he explained the difficult concepts in simple terms. I think this is fantastic. I wish that complicated science and mechanical concepts were in simple terms where it’s easy enough to follow without having to Google or check a resource for understanding.

Lastly, I want to go over the category of “Cliche Much” and say, I found nothing cliche or overly used trope issues. Zombie novels are tough because it’s easy to get cliche and use tired concepts or be unimaginative. Doug never once had this issue in the writing of his zombies. The premise of how the zombies work, the way people react to them, and the ideas behind how the zombies are created are distinctly unique. I could tell that Doug put a lot of work into his concept, and it is by far one of the most unique and well thought out zombie concepts I’ve ever seen. I love that it rooted in natural creation. I am not going to spoil this; if you are a zombie aficionado, you should pick up “Cadaver Dog” for the uniqueness to the concept and breath of fresh air it brings to things.

Overall, “Cadaver Dog” is intelligent and unique and the right kind of zombie book for someone who hasn’t ever read the genre, or, wants a change of pace to what is typically there.


With all of that in mind, I’m giving “Cadaver Dog” a score of 81/100 which is a four-star review on Amazon and Goodreads. Do you want to read a different kind of Zombie book? You should get yourself a copy today!

Peter Donnelly

Founder of The Reading Desk, supporting readers, authors, publishers and book industry. Top Reviewer on Amazon, Goodreads, and NetGalley

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