Huff takes on werewolves, 1992 style. Henry tempts Vicki with a case needing discretion–a possible murder of werewolves. Since they were shot in wolf form while guarding sheep, it could have been a case of mistaken identity, until the most recent victim was hit with a silver bullet. City girl Vicki needs to head out to the country, and Henry goes to provide the night support. Back in the Toronto, Mike Celluci is digging deeper into Henry’s past and discovers how little anyone really knows about him.
It’s an interesting risk, taking characters out of their developed urban setting, and introducing a new species in only the second book. It turns out to be rather prescient, as a number of writers end up following in the same footsteps (Patricia Briggs Mercy series, Charlaine Harris’ Sookie series). Here, the werewolves are known as wer, preferring to stay isolated with their own kind and only leaving established packs for genetic diversity. They made and broke their own mold, however, because these are the only werewolves I’ve seen who are more like human Labradors then vigilant meat-eating warriors. Their idea of patrols? Peeing on a fence post.
The mystery is straightforward, but keeping them safe is complicated by the wer’s intense zen-ness. Vicki wanders around the land, eventually encountering a number of possible suspects. The killer was obvious to me as soon as they were encountered, leading to some frustration with Vicki for being so dumb. It’s apparent that sometimes Huff makes the mistake of forgetting Vicki’s police officer/investigator skills when it’s convenient for plotting. However, at least the telephone does not have as crucial a role. This installment also has developments with Henry and Vicki, so when Mike arrives to share concerns with Vicki, it takes a somewhat predictable turn.
Should you read it? I find myself in a hard place on this series. I think, if one enjoys the genre and enjoys more detailed writing, it might be worth it. I can see this series appealing to Sookie Stackhouse fans. It’s a pleasant read, though it stays rather firmly within genre lines, both in terms of mystery and in terms of romantic triangles.