Written by: Matt Molgaard
Dana Stabenow’s Wolfsbane and Mistletoe installment is a rather intriguing tale. Bodies are piling up in correlation to the Alaska full moon. Quite a few bodies in fact and each and every victim have been torn to shreds, their soft tissue cleaved violently from their frames. Law enforcement is stumped, but an anonymous call sends a trio of officers to the home of a family that seems all too savage to fit into the bracket of innocence.
Take note however, that this house call carries hidden surprises, and this reclusive family is not only suspect but violent. Extremely violent. A fatal showdown unfolds, flames take to life in the wake of a massive explosion, and it seems as though what troubles the family have wreaked on locals has finally met its conclusion. But there’s a twist in store for readers. The spin begins its steady creep to the forefront of the story around the midway point, but truly blossoms in the stories waning pages.
Of course I have no intention of disclosing the big reveal, so cast aside any hope of spoilers. You’ve been given the gist of the tale it’s up to you to pursue the full story.
While I enjoyed Stabenow’s expert character development – Dana really instills a life in these characters, endearing them with noteworthy and memorable personal traits – I found pieces of this specific tale to be a tad disjointed. These misfires arrive in the story’s latter portions, so they don’t hinder the read too much, they simply leave readers scratching their heads a bit as The Perfect Gift begins to approach conclusion. There’s a sense of disjointedness in the final climax.
Readers are left with a bit of conjecture to juggle, as a few details aren’t quite panned out as thoroughly as possible. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the “big hurrah” of the tale, but it didn’t necessarily… fit the story. As the story meets its end, it’s tough to not feel as though a few pages were omitted; pages that could have lent some cohesiveness to the story and conclusion in particular.
The Perfect Gift is an enjoyable read that most certainly captures the essence of Christmas. Unfortunately the train slips slightly from the tracks as the locomotive reaches its ultimate destination. Just the same, I’d recommend checking this one out: it won’t take but five minutes to read the story, and hey, maybe you’ll spot knots in the loose ends I detected.