With the news that ‘For The Dogs’ is now making its way to the big screen after a long hiatus since the film rights were picked up, I thought I would take the opportunity to post a quick review of this excellent thriller. Before his current success as a YA writer in the guise of K.J. Wignall (the vampire Mercian Trilogy: Blood, Alchemy and Death), Wignall was a pretty damn nifty crime writer, and is still a regular participant at UK crime festivals. Personally speaking, I think that ‘For The Dogs’ is one of his best in which we see a young woman, Ella, seeking revenge for the seemingly needless slaughter of her family in what looks a traditional gangland hit. Enlisting the help of the mysterious enforcer Lewis, who has been tasked by her late father to protect her, we follow Ella’s descent into her own personal hell as her thirst for revenge utterly consumes her. Lewis is battling with demons of his own, having been estranged from his former partner and daughter through the demands of being an ice-cold killer. He undergoes a metamorphosis during the course of the novel as he reassesses the brutality of his former actions and where he is in his life now, yet when he is needed most seeks to support Ella in her mission. In terms of characterisation it cannot be faulted as Wignall injects an equal amount of sympathy for both Ella and Lewis, whilst revealing the more unpleasant aspects of their ‘true’ natures. The novel has a very ‘European’ feel to it not only in terms of the locations used, but in the overall tone and pace of the story. More is said almost by what is left unsaid and the whole pace and emotion of the narrative lends itself more to a niche foreign language film, so will be interested to see how it emerges at the hands of a big screen production. I would definitely recommend reading the original (although a little difficult to source at the moment- I bought my copy from the US) before seeing the film, as the book would be hugely enjoyable for fans of the ‘European’ crime noir.
Visit the author’s website here: http://www.kevinwignall.com/
Other crime titles by Kevin Wignall:
Sam Worthington has signed on to star in the upcoming thriller For the Dogs, it has been announced.
The 36-year-old star will play an assassin hired by a college girl to target the murderers of her family.
© Rex Features / Alan Pryke / Newspix
The film, written by The Messenger writer Oren Moverman, will be directed by Salt‘s Phillip Noyce and is based on the novel by Kevin Wignall.
Worthington will also be producing the film in collaboration with FilmEngine and Full Clip Productions.