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Wolf's Bluff / W.D. Gagliani

Leisure Books / June 2010
Reviewed by: Joan Turner

Wolf’s Bluff is the third novel in W. D. Gagliani’s action-packed werewolf series, picking up the story of Homicide Detective Nick Lupo where Wolf’s Gambit ends. In the last installment, three mercenaries from the Wolfpaw organization had been murdering members of the reservation tribal council at Eagle River. The killers were werewolves, and up until then, Lupo had believed himself to be the only one afflicted with the curse. Eager to learn if there are more werewolves in Wolfpaw, he travels to Georgia to investigate the organization’s training facilities. There in a confrontation with the group that almost costs him his life, he wonders if any of the members are not werewolves.

Meanwhile, vicious animal attacks are on the rise around Wausau, Wisconsin, the victims mostly homeless people and hikers. Lupo suspects many people reported missing may also number among the dead. Heather Wilson, the female reporter bitten by one of the mercenaries at Eagle River had been presumed drowned, but now she has returned with no explanation, and Lupo believes she may be responsible for the murders. He has her under surveillance. Unknown to either of them, Wausau Detective Sheila Falken is watching Heather as well, and for her own reasons. 

Lupo’s relationship with his girlfriend, Jessie Hardin, the reservation doctor, strained since the Eagle River murders, becomes more flammable with his resolve to investigate Wolfpaw. She fears he may trigger another attack upon them by the mercenaries. She turns to gambling at the new reservation casino to relieve stress, yet the breach between the couple widens when Lupo admits he is following the sexy Heather Wilson. Unknown to either of them, a deadly trap is already being laid.

Internal Affairs officer Griff Killian distrusts Lupo and is obsessed with proving he is a maverick cop and possible murderer. Lupo’s police councilor has secretly turned over confidential information to the IA officer, and Killian dogs Lupo’s trail intent on exposing the detective.  

Interlaced with flashbacks from Lupo’s troubled youth, as recorded in the journals of Caroline Stewart, the reader sees the difficult lifelong struggle Nick Lupo has faced with his affliction and his efforts to control the beast within himself.

Wolf’s Bluff is the most intense and terrifying novel in W. D. Gagliani’s original and unparalleled horror-crime series. The writing is lean and precise, the characterization suburb. Suspense mounts to a fever pitch as the fast-paced, non-stop action builds towards a bloody confrontation. The dramatic narrative delivers punch after punch, ending with a shocking conclusion that leaves the reader reeling. 

Wolf’s Bluff is an excursion into horror that’s not to be missed.

Purchase Wolf's Bluff by W. D. Gagliani.

Posted on Tuesday, July 27, 2010 at 10:57AM by Registered CommenterDark Scribe Magazine in | Comments Off

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