Set in a hard-boiled pet-noir world of cats and dogs, “The Unscratchables” by Cornelius Kane spins the yarn of homicide detective Max “Crusher” McNab, a bull terrier who teams with siamese cat Cassius Lap, an agent working for the Feline Bureau of Investigation. Their goal, find the serial killer cat that’s targeting dogs…from KIRKUS
Pseudonymous Kane’s debut shows what happens when the guardians of the mean streets are a bull terrier and a Siamese cat.
Whatever has become of all the humans absent from Det. Max (Crusher) McNash’s world, they’ve certainly left their mark. Crusher, divorced by the wife who thought he was doing a lousy job of raising their five pups, wears clothing, frequents bars, appreciates attractive pooches and treasures a night at the boxing arena watching feral Zeus Katsopoulos challenge Rocky Cerberus. By the time he gets to see this fateful match, however, Crusher is already paw-deep in pursuit of a serial killer, a cat of preternatural size and power who’s terrorizing dogs across the city. When Crusher’s best witness, Flasha Lightning, not only refuses to say anything specific but keeps running away, Chief Kaiser Kessler calls in Cassius Lap of the Feline Bureau of Investigation. Like the salt-and-pepper rapport of the suavely manipulative Siamese and the blunt bull terrier, innumerable details of plot, setting and characterization evoke a fictional universe in which cops and criminals aren’t exactly cats and dogs but aren’t exactly people either.