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Full Wolf Moon by Lincoln Child

Published by Doubleday on May 16, 2017

Fiction like the Jeremy Logan series demands (as do many horror stories) a willingness to suspend disbelief for the sake of being creeped out. Still, Lincoln Child never pushes the boundaries so much that an open-minded reader will become unwilling to accept the scenarios he creates. Child always makes events seem as if they could happen, even if they couldn’t.

Historian and paranormal investigator (“enigmalogist”) Jeremy Logan is asked to investigate the deaths of two hikers in the Adirondacks, where Logan happens to be staying. The unfortunate hikers were “savagely mauled to death” under a full moon at different times in roughly the same location. A killer who lives in the area after his release from a mental health commitment becomes a convenient suspect as new killings occur, but the reader knows that ordinary killers can’t tear people apart.

After a bit of investigation, Logan learns that the community considers the Blakeney clan, an inbred family of backwoods lunatics, to be a more likely culprit than a rogue bear. But are the Blakeneys just garden variety crazy, or are they werewolves? Rumors abound.

Of course, werewolves come out when there’s a full moon, and a scientist in Full Wolf Moon who happens to be studying the effect of the moon on small critters posits a reasonable theory as to why that could be true. At least it’s reasonable in the context of thrillers and horror fiction, which means it might be malarkey, but it sounds plausible. That’s really all the reader can ask in a story about a possible werewolf.

Child evokes some genuine emotion during the course of the story. Secondary characters have enough depth that the reader will care when they encounter misfortune. The book isn’t particularly frightening, but it creates a nice atmosphere of "things that go bump in the woods."

The story moves quickly and it’s entertaining, although the resolution is less surprising than Child must have intended. Full Wolf Moon is certainly better than most of the vampire stories, and nearly all of the zombie stories, that have flooded the market in recent years, making this werewolf story a good choice for horror readers who want to expand the range of monsters that keep them awake at night.


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