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Edward Falco: Wolf Point

 

Crescent Blues Book Views Unbridled Books (Hardcover), ISBN 1-932961-08-9

Book: edward falco, wolf point
Alone with his thoughts Tom Walker drives from his home in Virginia toward the solitude of Thousand Islands in upper New York. He unemotionally reflects on his strength as a man blessed with the ability to start businesses and see them through to ultimate success. But he obsesses on a past filled with failure in his personal relationships. On a whim and with total disregard of the possible circumstances, he stops to pick up two young hitchhikers.

The beautiful young female hitchhiker, Jenny Cross, takes the seat beside Walker, and almost immediately a subtle cat and mouse seduction ritual begins to unfold. Lester, Jenny's closed-mouth and menacing partner, takes his place in the seat behind Walker. Eventually Walker agrees to take the couple all the way to his planned destination. In due course, he learns of a drug deal gone terribly wrong in which Lester absconded with money from the dealer, who now searches for them with murder in mind. With this scenario in place, Walker, Cross, Lester and the reader intuitively realize that a moment of confrontation and violence inevitably waits down the road. From this simple setup, Falco weaves his tale of suspense and delves into the psyche of the participants.

After arrival at a secluded cabin in Wolf Point, the relationships among the three travelers ebb and flow as more details of their lives are shared. Jenny approaches life from the perspective of one running from years of physical and sexual abuse. Lester's involvement with hard drugs shapes his behavior. The story of Walker's life gradually unfolds through a series of introspective flashbacks. The details include a failed marriage, an unwarranted conviction on a charge of possession of child pornography and a clandestine affair with an older woman professor while a college student.

Inevitably, the increasingly intimate liaison between Walker and Jenny causes a rift with Lester. Walker braces himself for the final confrontation. Adding to the uncertainty of his situation, however, is the knowledge that substantial details of stories told to him in confidence by each of the hitchhikers don't match. Nagging doubts cause him to wonder which of the two tells the truth and if either can be trusted when the showdown occurs.

Falco constructs an interesting storyline designed to keep the reader on edge. For the most part, he succeeds; however, about half way through the book I began to find the frequent introspective sojourns into the past a bit too intrusive for my taste. As the pace of the narrative slowed, so did my somewhat fickle attention span. Nevertheless, Wolf Point provides an option for readers seeking something a little off the beaten path.

Clint Hunter

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