Kirkus ReviewsA one-time veterinarian descends into a maelstrom of violence and grim ethical dilemmas. A kick in the head by a horse ruined Frank Winter's budding veterinary career. Then a doping mistake at the track leads two quiet men to haul him off to a remote zoo full of castoff circus animals. Thrown into a tank of alligators, he escapes with the help of a starving lion. After carelessly killing a trucker, Frank stops for gas in a dying town near the California border, meets Horace Sturm, who virtually owns the town, and pitches him the idea of taking in the zoo animals and arranging to have people pay large fees to hunt them. Sturm, whose brain tumor makes his sanity questionable, is a ruthless businessman who takes Frank's idea one step further. Frank ends up taking care of the animals, who must be kept in good enough shape to hunt, and after the original animals are killed, Sturm sends his minions off to collect unwanted former pet lions and other exotics and builds up a profitable business in hunting and animal fighting. The evil business spirals out of control, putting Frank in another precarious position. Jacobson trenchantly denounces the substandard treatment of animals and the questionable practice of paying to hunt captive animals in a debut packed with relentless scenes of death and torture. Sensitive readers beware.
- Gale Group
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 6.00(w) x 8.60(h) x 1.30(d)
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Foodchain based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
He was distracted by the blood he saw his mom cough up while attending a racing horse at Arlington. Not paying enough attention to his patient, promising veterinarian student Frank Winter takes a kick to the left side of his head leaving him with brain damage and ending his career. Frank still owes his college debts to Castellari who has plans for him to make remittance. Sergio and Guilio abduct Frank and Red for a horse doping that ended up on the news when the steed died. The boss of the two thugs Castellari does not like public mistakes so they must pay. They are dumped at a zoo for circus animal throwaways. There the felons toss Frank into an alligator tank, but he escapes with the help of a lion. He flees, ending up in Whitewood, California where he meets the town monarch Horace Sturm who is dying, like his fiefdom. Horace persuades Frank they can make money while humanely dispatching the starving zoo animals with safari hunts. Pulling no punches Jeff Jacobson hammers at the hunting for sport community and at animal abuse, abandonment and neglect with a tale that Sam Peckinpah would have loved to film. The vivid in red story line is fast-paced from the moment that Castellari's thugs arrange a visit to the zoo for Frank. Aptly named as the animals are in the ooze below the Foodchain, readers who enjoy plenty of guts, blood and gore will join Frank on his joy ride; those who prefer cozies will want to pass. Harriet Klausner