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Full Wolf Moon!

By (June 20, 2017) No Comment

full wolf moonOur book today is the latest edge-of-your-seat pot-boiler by Lincoln Child: Full Wolf Moon, whose tag-line is “On the trail of a killer who cannot possibly exist …” – in case you had any lingering doubts about whether or not it is, in fact, summer.

Full Wolf Moon – not to be confused with any of the books titled Wolf Moon or Moon of the Wolf, or Full Wolf Moon – is the latest adventure of Jeremy Logan, who’s a self-styled “enigmalogist,” a lone, er, wolf freelance investigator who looks into the strange and surreal, the moon of the wolfstuff on the borders of science, the kinds of things that can’t possibly exist, and in the latest adventure, he’s in the wilds of the Adirondacks, near the tiny, secretive town of Pike Hollow, where two backpackers were recently torn to shreds by … something. Game wardens and local naturalists are conflicted about what that something could have been – a bear? More than one bear? What one of Child’s characters wolf_firebirdrather confusingly refers to as a “feral wolf”?

The chance – the faintest whiff – that it could be something else, something unknown to science, has drawn Logan to Pike Hollow like a pig to unsalted peanut butter (they love it! There’s just no accounting for taste …). And sure, he’s perfectly willing to talk with those game wardens, and with local wilderness expert Laura Feverbridge and her iconoclastic scientist father Chase (he performs unconventional experiments on animals, but move along, nothing to see here folks), but the thing that really gets Logan’s enigmalogist juices flowing is talking with the locals about the reclusive Blakeney clan, whose backwoods compound has been in their family – and, um, nobody else’s family, if you catch my drift – for well over a century.

Those locals are happy to tell Logan about the rumors that have clung to the Blakeneys that whole time – rumors of violence, madness, cannibalism, and … you’ve surely waited long enough … lycanthropy. And Child periodically breaks from Logan’s investigation to give us nighttime scenes of terror that certainly suggest lycanthropic activity, as when a local named Sam gets out of his car on a forlorn little road at night and immediately senses something in the nearby scrub … something not-natural. “There was a long moment when he stood, paralyzed with surprise and fear,” Child writes, adding helpfully: “He felt a warm gush as his bladder let go.” Then all hell WolfMoonbreaks loose:

Suddenly, a hundred things seemed to happen at once. Sam abruptly found his feet again and dashed around the front of the car, literally diving inside as a loud crashing burst from the nearby bracken; at the last possible moment he reached back and pulled the door closed, punching the lock as he did so; his flashlight, falling to the floor of the passenger seat, rolled backward and he saw something outside the window that, temporarily, drove all rational thought from his mind. Neighing in terror and dismay, he cringed back, windmilling with his legs, while the thing outside beat on his car with unimaginable fury. And then the light seemed to grow in intensity; the roaring sound suddenly mingled with another; his car shook once again under the violent assault – and then Sam slumped over the center column of the Civic, fainting, as merciful oblivion overtook him.

Logan, we’re told, has been all over the world and seen all kinds of weird things in his self-made profession – “hidden tombs of Egyptian kings; the watery depths of Scottish lochs; the crumbling crypts of Romanian family tombs” and so on. But the closer he gets to learning the actual secrets of the Blakeneys, the more secrets he uncovers from other quarters, and the whole of it is written with a huge amount of expertly-done momentum, paper-thin characters, and the literary skills of a moderately ambitious eight-year-old. In other words, just the kind of thing plenty of people reach for, once the summer heat moves in …