Sometimes the Wolf by Urban Waite

Once a respected sheriff of a tiny Washington State town, Patricksometimes the wolf Drake had a career and a family.  But his wife died of cancer, and pending bills drove him to do some things he’d rather not admit, until he was convicted of smuggling drugs across the border.  After serving twelve years, Patrick earns parole, and his son Bobby, now a deputy in the same department Patrick headed at one time, is ready to collect him from prison.

There is not much affection between the two.  Bobby had to drop out of college at the time of Patrick’s conviction and only visited his father once during his prison term.  Bobby’s marriage is also on shaky ground, and it doesn’t help that his wife has more to say to Patrick than he does.

It would be nice to hope that Patrick is able to put everything behind him, but his past actions have too many loose ends, the most ragged ones being two other convicts who have something monetary in common with Patrick.  Needless to say, they are both quick to eliminate obstacles, particularly the human kind.

Sometimes The Wolf starts out as a simmering family drama with a few sinister inklings thrown in and then ratchets up to a furious pace.  Waite writes beautifully and somewhat dreamlike.  At first, the novel was slow going, but the storylines soon wove together into an intense page turner.  Put the backdrop of the Cascade Mountains and Seattle into the mix, and you have a very satisfying thriller.

Waite has two other previous books – The Terror of Living (a prequel to this one) and The Carrion Birds.  We have all three at the Greensboro Public Library.

(William Hicks, Information Services)

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