Take two ornamental dogs and ten people who all want to steal them, and before you know where you are, there are four dogs instead. Donna Moore moves her dogs and her characters so swiftly that you can barely work out in which car boot the corpse is resting now.
Two real (well not real real, obviously) and two fake Tibetan dogs change places with each other at almost breakneck speed, in and out of Glasgow. It says screwball caper on the cover of Old Dogs, and that’s precisely what Donna has written.
Three ex-hookers in their seventies and a very young Big Issue seller come up against an innocent buddhist monk from the Western Isles, two very ‘different’ museum staff, an Australian murderer and a couple of neds. Donna knows her Glasgow perfectly, so gets the accent spot on, not to mention the atrocious dress sense of her neds. Let’s not mention it.
I have never before come across anyone colour coordinating their balaclava with the rest of their outfit, but I admire it. Matching gun goes without saying. (Personally I think this character has a lot of Donna in her.)
It was possible to work out how Old Dogs was going to end. Well, apart from that little twist. Maybe I should have thought of that, too. The fun is in the moves on the chess board of the Glasgow and Loch Lomond area, and the character studies. It must be all that travelling on the number 62 bus.
If you don’t like bad language, then this book may be worth avoiding. Otherwise I prescribe it for a bit of cheering up. I can already see the film in my mind.