Full Wolf Moon Lincoln Child, 2017.
Jeremy Logan, a professor of history at Yale, is looking forward to six uninterrupted weeks at a secluded retreat in the Adirondacks where he plans to finish work on his monograph about the Middle Ages.
But when a college friend turned forest ranger needs help investigating the savage murders of backpackers in a remote area of forest – all of which occurred during the full moon – Jeremy puts his research on the back burner and starts an off-the-record probe into the odd deaths.
Logan is an engaging character: he has appeared in his empathic enigmalogist role in several other books by Child including Deep Storm and Terminal Freeze. The trouble with Full Wolf Moon, quite frankly, is that from the title forward, we know where the story is going. There are no great surprises: we know when something is going to happen, and the basics of what is going to happen, so the only mild suspense left is in the how, why, and who.
Suspects do abound as Jeremy digs deeper into the case. Residents of tiny Pike Hollow blame the Blakelys, an extended, inbred family living in a fortified compound outside town… A paroled ax-murderer happens to live nearby in the woods… A scientist, Laura Feverbridge, and her assistants are carrying out her father’s research on the lunar effect on animals in a lab nearby… All of these folks have the potential to be lycanthropic butchers.
Full Wolf Moon is a quick read. Elements of the story are nicely realized: Child builds an eerily claustrophobic and threatening sense of the old woods. The Blakely compound raises reader’s hackles, and tying it all together is an interesting scientific take on the phenomena of werewolves. While the storyline is – uncharacteristically for Child – a little bland because of that lack of anticipation, overall, Full Wolf Moon is a solid tale.