Jonathan Buckley takes the reader through a complex obstacle course of a plot, culminating in a not very satisfying finale.

Don't get me wrong, this is a very well written and beautifully observed piece of work, and Buckley has a rare talent for putting the oddities of modern day life into the spotlight.

The story begins as an inquisitive dog finds a bin bag on a beach, and joyfully brings his owner a dismembered arm as a trophy.

The arm belongs to Henry, a tramp who often slept on the beach of this south coast town and was well-known to many of its residents. Or was he?

As the police begin to investigate Henry's murder, they realise the scruffy old vagrant delighted in fooling all of the people, all of the time.

Was he really called Henry? Did he actually have a wife? And why did he tend to disappear for weeks on end?

All becomes a little clearer as the story unfolds, but even in the final pages, we are still not sure. The story of the murder investigation is muddied by the rather superfluous introduction of a romantic sub-plot, which never quite rings true and becomes something of a dead end. Overall, So He Takes The Dog, is a book which promises a great deal, but ultimately fails to deliver. Sandra Dyson