Go to Homepage   Lee Killough: Wilding Nights

 

Crescent Blues Book ViewsMeisha Merlin Publications (Trade Paperback), ISBN 1-892065-70-3
Police work in the Texas Gulf Coast city of Arenosa Bay is largely a family business -- a large, extended family of werewolves led by a notorious artist and her granddaughter, senior homicide investigator Allison Goodnight. Arenosa Bay aristocracy since before the turn of the 20th century, the Goodnights, their siblings and cousins preserve their really alternate lifestyle by protecting the lives and property of their human neighbors.

Book: Lee Killough, Wilding nightsBut security breeds complacency on both sides of the human/were divide. A series of murders committed by a person of enormous strength and terrible ferocity points to a werewolf perpetrator. Allison must identify and bring the murderer to justice without exposing family secrets, even though the murderer may turn out to be family.

To make matters worse, Allison's newly assigned partner, Zane Kerr, quickly proves himself too intelligent and inquisitive to keep in the dark. Allison's many attempts to distract Zane with promising but ultimately futile lines of inquiry only lead him closer and closer to the heart of the mystery. Unfortunately, the mystery Zane seems fated to unravel concerns the so-called "Wilding Murders" less than it does Allison's family, who would not hesitate to kill to keep their not-quite-human skeletons buried.

Book: Lee Killough, Blood GamesFans of Killough's meticulous craftsmanship will not be disappointed. In Wilding Nights, she seamlessly inserts a fully realized supernatural race into the everyday realities of Gulf Coast life. Her characters think, talk and act the way they should, lending enormous credibility to the extraordinary elements of the story. Her characters also overtake the plot in the most surprising ways. For example, the road to romance takes a quite a different path than the one you expect, but it works perfectly.

At the same, time Killough explores tough questions of security and family. Much of Zane's persistence arises from his isolation from family and simple, human closeness. Allison's too close proximity to both could compel her to commit acts that offend her sense of honor and justice. What does it mean to live in a world where self-interest impels the monsters to become the guardians of humanity? Or is that something we should already know?

Jean Marie Ward

Click here to read Jean Marie Ward's review of Lee Killough's Blood Games.

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