toronto police at night.jpeg

Vicious Dogs

Henry Brock

in this first book of the lasker investigation series, down and out p.i. derek lasker wades into toronto's dark underworld of violence and crime in search of the culprit of a heinous crime.

Despite its gruesome subject matter, “Vicious Dogs” remains an excellent, vibrant read - mystery Scene Magazine

Manhattan book review

star rating 5/5

Brock reshapes the traditional gumshoe persona in his debut noir novel. Set in Toronto, Canada, Brock's first-person plot features Derek Lasker, a quasi-typical loser PI who feigns a tough outer shell. Yet underneath the artificial display is a man with a penchant for classic literature, such as the works of Shakespeare, Orwell, and Kafka.

Brock surrounds his principal character with a tight and colorful cast of characters who serve for the most part as foils; many of these foils are just plain bullies. Nonetheless, Derek always finds a way to either work around or with these surly characters while attempting to bring his case to a close.

Brock's narrative is a pleasant mix of conventional and not-so-conventional hard-boiled noir, which includes a good deal of captivating dialogue and a pinch of banality amid a heavy surge of mystery-laced twists and turns that is all woven together with light humor. This balanced combination is certain to become a new favorite for noir aficionados.

Obviously, since Vicious Dogs closes on a cliffhanger, fans should be on the look-out for its sequel, tentatively named String Theory. 


Author of Old London Blues and Guns of Brixton

I bloody loved it. Henry Brock's Vicious Dogs is a brutal slice of lowlife noir that smartly blends Charles Bukowski with Eddie Bunker and breathes new life into the PI novel.

Eric Beetner

Author of Rumrunners and The Devil Doesn't Want Me

Vicious Dogs hits all the right notes. 

A north-of-the-border PI story from down in the gutter. Derek Lasker is an investigator with nowhere to go but up, but watching him do so is great fun and will surely launch a long-running series. Spot on for PI fans who like a character to root for tangled in a messy investigation.


Trailer 1

Published on Dec 7, 2016

The Manhattan Book Review loved Henry Brock's novel "Vicious Dogs" so we made this video to share the news.

Trailer 2

Published on Jan 4, 2017

Vicious Dogs is getting some great early reviews.

Trailer 3

Published on Jan 6, 2017

A reader asked a question regarding the book "Vicious Dogs" and the author Henry Brock provides an answer.