This is a cracker of a read, but anyone who expects this to be a horror book will be in for a shock. I first read it many years ago but only had a vague recollection of it, so it was like opening up a brand new book. It is the story of Fluke - a dog with a difference, who has vague puzzling memories of the time before he was a dog - of when he was a man. He doesn't have full memory of his previous life, just bits and pieces, but enough to realise that he once had a family and came to a violent end. We follow Fluke's adventures in life, from birth, his first unsuccessful home, an animal rescue centre, living as a street dog, right up to his final adventure when he decides to find his human family. We also meet his friends, including Rumbo the hard nosed street dog, Victoria the bitchy cat, a fox who lives up to a reputation of being sly, and the friendly badger who finally puts him in the picture regarding his past life.
From the description you could be forgiven for thinking it might be a bit like those old "Homeward Bound" dog and cat voyage type movies - but it is far less sugary and more gritty - it is about survival on the streets and although Fluke meets humans who are kind to him and feed him, he also comes up against some very very sinister characters indeed who basically destroy his trust - especially in little old ladies!
It is a fantastic read, and James Herbert has written it so well with such wonderful description that you really get the feeling that maybe he was once a dog in a previous life and is writing from memory. After reading it, you will never look at your dog in the same way again. Highly recommended.