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The Pits is a crime fiction novel that looks at the relationship between a man and man’s best friend. Kramer was a farm boy that grew up in Palco, Kansas and joined the Marines to see the world. He always held a fierce love for animals and had one dog, Rusty, who had been his best friend until the dog’ passing. He found that same companionship with Shadow. He detested the so called sport of dog fighting and after seeing first-hand the destruction in Afghanistan, he couldn’t understand how anyone could be so blood thirsty to participate in dogfighting. Kramer felt it was his duty to fight for these tortured and helpless animals, as much as it was his duty to protect his homeland. He would uncover a ring of crime that included not only dogfighting, but drugs, Cartel connections around the world, corrupt cops and inevitably the torture of animals.
Smith created a fast paced, action filled, well written novel with characters full of depth. This novel was well researched and emotionally fueled with our hero being the centerpiece and his dog the inspiration. The Pits touched upon the morals of people who would choose to participate in such a hateful crime. It exposed some of the motives, money being the overwhelming favorite, and the methods by which owners would force these dogs to fight. There were a few graphic dogfights included within the pages, which only highlighted the cruelty of the practice and why Kramer was so compelled to involve himself in its destruction.
Smith intended for the relationship between Kramer and Shadow to be one of intense love and trust. I cannot stress how much that relationship highlighted how horrible the abuse these dogs forced to fight experienced. This novel had the ability to shock me with the amount of detail provided about the abuses these animals were forced to endure. The amount of effort placed in raising awareness in this novel has to be acknowledged.
The Pits handled a sensitive topic in a very inspiring way, with an interesting story line full of twist and discoveries. I recommend this novel and give it 4 out of 4 stars. If you have ever loved a dog, or any animal for that matter, then you will understand and appreciate Kramer’s dedication to fight for the animals he loves.
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