Shadow Pack, by Marc Daniel
* * * * (4 stars)
(I won a free copy of Shadow Pack in a giveaway, and would like to thank the author for the book.)
The ingredients for a perfect crime thriller:
Series of mysterious and bizarre murders - check.
Honest cop on the case - check.
Outside expert brought in by his old army buddy the honest cop to help out - check.
Frick and Frack, the detective team who aren't quite as clever as they think they are - check.
Corruption in high places - check.
The Mob (Russian, in this case) - check.
Femme fatale - check.
Spunky lady journalist - check.
Vengeful daughter - check.
Pack of werewolves - check.
Thousand-year-old Viking shapeshifter - check.
Wizard in a pointy hat - check.
Paranormal suspense isn't my usual reading, but I do enjoy the occasional crime thriller, and I really enjoyed the way Shadow Pack puts the two together. The story is fast-moving and suspenseful, with lots of exciting action, and I really enjoyed the character of Michael Biorn. It's kind of gory in places, but that's about par for the course when you've got both werewolves and the Mob involved.
The story seems pretty straightforward - not so much a mystery, since we're seeing things from the bad guys' point of view as well as the good guys'; the suspense comes from seeing who will get the better of the other. But there's also a very nice twist to it, very cleverly set up, and it took me a while to catch on to the fact that there was a twist. Once I realized there was something else going on under the surface, I didn't have too much trouble figuring out what it was, but it was fun to read the rest of the story to see if I was right.
There are a few rough spots in the prose, and the ending seems kind of abrupt, but overall the writing is very clear and readable. Fans of werewolves or crime thrillers, or fans of crime thrillers about werewolves, will enjoy this.
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