Friday, September 11, 2015
Review: SOMETIMES THE WOLF
Reviewed by Craig Sisterson
An outstanding literary thriller that places Waite alongside the likes of James Lee Burke and John Hart: elegantly written rural noir with swirling undercurrents of personal and societal issues.
Set in the natural wonder of the Pacific Northwest, SOMETIMES THE WOLF sees the return of Deputy Sheriff Bobby Drake (from Waite's highly acclaimed debut THE TERROR OF LIVING), who is still trying to live with the ongoing impact of his father Patrick, the former Sheriff, being imprisoned for drug running.
Patrick had single-handedly raised his family in a small mountain town after his wife's death, but financial pressures led him to bad people and worse choices, and he was convicted of one of the biggest crimes in local history.
Twelve years later, Bobby is faced with Patrick being released from prison, and all the conflict and confusion his reintegration into 'life outside' may entail. While the Drakes might want to just get on with their lives, others don't want to let them - including a relentless DEA agent and Patrick's former prison mates.
Bobby has his own problems too: his father has cast a long shadow over his life, personally and professionally, and he's curtailed his own dreams along the way. In a small town, people don't forget easily, and his family legacy is a mixed one at best. When trouble brews, Bobby is forced to make some tough decisions about where he stands, as a cop, a husband, a son, and a man.
Urban Waite spins a masterful tale, full of emotional impact as well as page-turning storytelling. He writes in uncommonly beautiful, searing prose, demonstrating (like Burke, Hart, and others) that crime fiction can be literary as well as entertaining. A tale that is as thought-provoking as it is entertaining.
This is a very, very good book that's cemented Urban Waite onto my must-read list.