Sunday, June 21, 2015

Dad, cop, werewolf

When former Paradise resident John Wilson, who is the editor of Books and Culture (, tweeted that I should read Andrew Klavan’s new thriller, I encountered a violent, bloody exploration of supernatural evil that, like a book on anti-gravity, I couldn’t put down.

“Werewolf Cop” ($25.95 in hardcover from Pegasus; also for Amazon Kindle) starts with a horrific murder scene: “Lots of bodies. Lots of blood. So much disassembled humanity....” Detective Zach Adams and his agent partner Martin Goulart (the duo nicknamed “The Cowboy and Broadway Joe”) work for Homeland Security’s elite, shadowy “Task Force Zero”; they realize the scene is the work of Dominic Abend, a “criminal mastermind” sowing disorder in Europe and now New York.

The handsome Adams is married to Grace, a “Proverbs 31 wife” whom Zach loves deeply. “This was no mere matter of emotion to him. It was a profound fact of his existence.” Their two young children, a son and daughter, idolize their dad. And yet, earlier in the marriage, Zach was seduced by beautiful Margo--and now she wants back into his life.

“Zach Adams never excused himself for anything. He carried in his mind a precise catalogue of his moral errors going back to the age of three, and he lost sleep over all of them.” He is about to lose much more sleep.

Though the novel appears to be a police procedural in its first quarter, a clue that something supernatural is going on with Abend leads Adams into an encounter with a strange woman in Germany. She reveals the ancient curse of the werewolf and the existence of a dagger coveted by Hitler. And Adams himself is transformed into a wolf, rapacious eater of human flesh, who continues the quest to find the dagger before Abend can use it to more fully channel the evil Presence overtaking the world.

Klavan ushers us into Zach’s mind, the flawed cop striving to do the right thing, and the wolf-desire beast who wants to kill and eat. Here, in the midst of horror, the reader will find “mysteries, questions, and possibilities” and will be shaken to the core.

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