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Giveaway: Underdog by Euan Leckie

' Giveaway: Underdog by Euan Leckie

To celebrate the release of Euan Leckies'Underdog'(Momentum/Pan Macmillan, Oct 2012), RIASS has five electronic copies of the book to give away to our readers. To see exactly why youll want to throw your hat in the ring*, read on for a little more about the bookand an excerpt thats bound to pique your interest. The giveaways open to all, so hop to it!

About the book:

When lonely and troubled teenager Tom White secretly witnesses the world of underground dog fights, he is horrified by what he sees.'But Tom feels a deep connection with one of the dogs he momentarily encounters, a young pit bull snatched from an animal shelter by the vicious gang of 'dog-men'.'Without a thought for his own safety, Tom steals him.'While on the run, a remarkable bond develops between dog and boy that rekindles lost feelings of love and trust within each of them. It is a friendship that offers hope and salvation to both'Until they are caught.


The barn door opened just as Jeffo's head sank below the surface. A hand grabbed the scruff of his neck, heaving him out of the water. As he was scraped over the sides of the barrel, he slipped free and fell, letting out a feeble yelp as he hit the floor. He tried to stand but his legs buckled beneath him and he collapsed onto his belly.

'Get up,' snarled the man.

Jeffo flinched, his ribs stinging as the toe of a boot hit him.

'Youll be getting worse to do than that, you spineless bastard.'

The man looked furious as he stooped to haul Jeffo onto his feet. He dragged him back to his cage and shoved him inside. Jeffo took a few faltering steps, then stood obediently as the chain was thrown roughly over his head and jerked tight around his neck. Despite the dirt and stench around him, and the weight of his tether, it was a relief to be back in the cage.

Jeffo watched as the brindle was led back into the barn. The dog panted heavily as he was caged and chained. Small clumps of matted ginger fur were stuck to his muzzle. Blood dripped from his jaws.

'I'll tidy up the mess next door, then, Cal. Only take a minute.'

'Throw what's left of it into the bushes. I'll see you back at the car.'

Jeffo took a few steps further into the cramped space, his movement slow and unsteady on shaking legs. A metal bowl was tossed into the cage behind him and clattered against the floor, the sound making him turn sharply. He fixed his eyes on the man, who locked the padlock on the cage door and left the barn. His departure was soon followed by the sound of the car's engine revving noisily as it drove over the gravel outside and accelerated away.

When he was sure that the men would not return, Jeffo felt safe enough to sit down. His small ears pressed back, flat against his head, and he shivered as water dripped from his sodden coat.

He slumped to the floor. His mouth was dry and he lapped at the puddled water in front of him, not minding the dirt that came with it or the sourness of its taste. Although hungry, he was too exhausted to get up and did his best to ignore the raw meat half filling the dirty metal bowl.

Jeffo gazed into the dim light. Stretching out his aching forelegs, he sought out a place to rest his chin. Gradually, his anxiety was replaced with an overwhelming tiredness. He closed his eyes and his mind drifted. As he began to doze he remembered the life he once had, the happy times shared with his family. From out of the darkness a memory of the boy came to him. He could see him smiling.

Jeffo did his utmost to hold onto the image, shutting out any thoughts of his surroundings and of the men who had mistreated him. He fell into a dream. He was running free.

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*hat, not dog, and its a metaphorical ring. No animals were hurt in the writing of this post.


  1. Jen Nelson /

    Great giveaway

  2. kitblu /

    Well written review articulate, erudite (admittedly I did not understand the literary references) and exacting. I would put this book into a pile, not to-be-read but also-to-be-read.
    I signed up so I can read more of your reviews.

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