Hertfordshire, October 5th 2016. At around 2 am, PC Dave Wardell and his dog, PD Finn, were trying to apprehend a robbery suspect when Finn was seriously injured, sustaining near-fatal wounds to both his chest and his head. Having undoubtedly saved his handler's life that fateful night, the race was then on to try and save Finn's...
Dave Wardell’s memoir, Fabulous Finn, charts an incredible journey. From near death, through a complicated four hour operation, to the anxious hours and days when Finn fought for his life, and, finally, to the day when, recovered from his horrific injuries, Finn was back on the job and delivering his first catch.
It is, however, so much more than that. Spanning the period between the attack and Finn’s triumphant return to service, Finn will also look back on his and Dave’s lives and escapades, examining the relationship between one man and his dog, from when Dave collected Finn from his kennels, at just 9 months old, to the passing out parade that saw them partnered up professionally. (They’ve been together seven years now, and have spent more time together than Dave has with his wife.)
Fabulous Finn also charts the career of a singular, highly trained, highly decorated dog; in his time on the job he’s tracked offenders of all kinds, once for over four miles, once for over two hours - long after everyone else had given up. He’s found missing children and missing adults – some intent on suicide - tackled armed offenders, and put violent partners behind bars, so that their victims could again sleep at night. He’s tracked down both burglars and the property they’ve stolen – in one case, of a celebrated Hollywood actor, after the crew of the expensive helicopter deemed the area already cleared. Every piece of stolen loot was returned.
But Finn isn’t just a police dog; he’s also a cherished family pet. Yes, Dave’s daughters know he has to go out with daddy to catch bad people, but to them he’s just their beloved dog. Who goes into schools, and does breathtaking displays. A police dog with a soft spot for kittens.
Fabulous Finn is a story of loyalty and friendship. It celebrates both the bond between humans and animals, and, through the telling of Dave’s journey to become Finn’s handler (Finn might describe it differently...), of the transformative power of love and loyalty.
Lynne Barrett-Lee was born in London and became a fulltime writer shortly after moving to Cardiff in 1994. She is the author of ten novels, including her acclaimed debut, Julia Gets a Life, and Barefoot in the Dark, which was shortlisted for the 2007 Melissa Nathan Award for Comedy Romance. Her novels have been translated into several languages and she has also contributed two titles (one ghostwritten for television presenter Fiona Phillips) to the UK’s Quick Reads Campaign, which provides easy-to-read books for adult emergent readers.
Most recently, Lynne has returned to h...
More about Lynne Barrett-Lee,
Born and raised on a south London council estate, Dave Wardell has always loved dogs. The family dog, Jess – actually his father’s dog, and also a German Shepherd – was a constant companion. As a small boy, Dave could often be found curled up with her at the bottom of the stairs, waiting for his father’s return home from work – something that continued long after his untimely death just before Dave’s first birthday.
Life was tough for Dave’s mum and, along with his older sister, Dave didn’t have the happiest of childhoods. And o...
More about David Wardell