The Pack by David Fisher
In this reprinted 1976 horror: on a remote island abandoned summer dogs form a killer pack. The police could care less. Rabies is mentioned as jerk ass macho man Larry and his unloved wife and children visit his parents on the island. Larry hates his estranged loser brother. Larry is a useless, thick idiot who caused the dog pack to attack in the first place.
Why do people get away with abandoning their summer dogs? Why does nobody help the dogs? One of the dogs is an Irish setter. The vile summer visitors get no retribution for their animal abuse. The pack is rightfuly angry and they have a justified lethal response when the dubious Larry kicks off a massive fuss.
The pack attack lays bare fissures within the family. Larry is an absolutely deranged macho jerk, his wife Diane is deprived of support and things get brutal and nasty. Larry's stupidity and sexism are a source of tension and this family's downward spiral is going to keep heading south. This was good.
There is toxic masculinity, sexism, domestic violence, pill popping, violence and a jerk Vietnam vet brother who sleeps with a teenager and engages in reckless acts. There is an Evel Knievel reference and one of the dog pack is a WOLFHOUND. How did they get off the island? The ending sees it all ready to start again.
“Man-killing dogs sitting calmly in the front yard were hard to accept.”
“He was the man, and therefore, by historical defintion, the burden was his.”
“Gun-toting social scrounger.”
“The dogs; the rotten, disgusting dogs, had humilated him, made him less of a man.”
“Finally. She needed him.”
“Baying its pain.”
“Who now lived in the woods and ran with the pack.”