Written by: Myra Gabor
At the beginning of the story, we witness the murder of a woman and her two children, which we later find out occurred hundreds of years ago in Eastern Europe. The woman is accused of being a witch. Her children are killed in front of her eyes before she herself is burned to death in her wooden hut. She vows revenge on the instigator of the murder. We then move to the present day to Homestead, Montana. The modern story is set in the fall, in that beautiful, rural community, set in the midst of mountains and forests. The people who live there are interested in hiking and hunting. The community is big enough to support a decent sized school as well as several small businesses.
In the pre-dawn shapes appear out of the fog. They are wolves which are suddenly everywhere in town. The townspeople are nervous, even though it is apparent that the wolves are not attacking anyone. No one knows why so many wolves would suddenly show up in an inhabited area. They do not even seem to notice the people, but it does seem that they are searching for something. Fog, wolves, mystery. Quite a basis for a book.
It’s too bad that the rest of the story cannot keep up this premise. Enter the stock characters. We have Niels Johns, the wolf expert, who happens to have chosen to live in this town. In the movies, this character would be the kindly old professor who has an explanation for whatever is happening. Niels, however, is young enough to capture the attention of the heroine. Enter the heroine, Annette Highlander. She is a single mother with two adolescent children who will go to any lengths necessary to protect her children. What can I say about the children. They keep sniping at each other, but they don’t want to admit that they really like each other and would also do whatever they have to in order to defend each other.
Mysterious things keep happening, such as the appearance and disappearance of a book on lycanthropy (werewolves). This book comes and goes as needed. Also, Annette seems to be two people at the same time. Somehow the woman who was murdered is magically sharing Annette’s body and managing to turn her into a wolf, again, as needed. It is clear that a supernormal wolf that is attacking and killing people in the town. However, by the time I found out who it is, I no longer cared.
The secondary characters, who would be a film’s supporting players, are more interesting than the chief players. Retired attorney, Lucas Webb; good guy, Sheriff Baker; and real estate broker and all around sleaze, Les Farnum.
This book starts out slowly and never picks up speed. The author has stated how much he enjoys the work of Lovecraft and Dean Koontz. So do I. It’s just too bad it’s not reflected in this book. I give this book a middle of the spectrum grade. It’s readable, just not very exciting. I found myself counting pages to see when the book would finally end and I haven’t done that for a really long time.