Friday, October 2, 2015

Thugs vs werewolves

Wolf Hunt 2

By Jeff Strand

Publisher: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.

Pub. Date: December 17, 2014

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Let's cut to the wolf chase. I was really happy to begin reading Jeff Strand's Wolf Hunt 2, the sequel guessed it. The main reason is because I got to spend more time with George and Lou. George and Lou are the main characters in Wolf Hunt and Wolf Hunt 2. They are thugs for hire who admit to being not exactly good role models but they have scruples. They are perfectly happy breaking knuckles but draw the line at indiscriminate killing and especially harming children. Yeah I know. You've seen this cliche before. Yet it works here mainly because we accept that George and Lou are part of the fantasy as much as we know werewolves are a fantasy. Why it works is because, as thuggish as they are, they always remain goofy and endearing. They are also the perfect literary example of a bromance. I think of them as the Tucker and Dale of organized crime. Or maybe the Hap and Leonard of supernatural crime noir. Whatever you call them, they are a riot and what makes both Wolf Hunt novels so much fun.

So. When we last left our anti-heroes, they were hiding out from the mob in Costa Rica. They are soon discovered and brought back to the main crime boss who wants them to either die or do compensation for messing up the job in the first book. He still wants to get bit by a werewolf to have their powers. He has found another one, a 14 year old girl who doesn't even know she has lycanthropic tendencies. George and Lou are not happy with child abduction yet must go along with it if they want to live.

Of course things are never easy for George and Lou. Crime boss betrayals, werewolf avengers, and a cute but smart-ass teenager all make their lives more complicated. There is a lot of buddy dialogue, action scenes, and some pretty disturbing images for what is mainly a fun but dark comedy. Yet the author again deliver just what he wants to deliver, a rollicking good time. Strand is one of the funniest writers in the horror and thriller genres yet he knows how to both scare and up the tension. I liked Wolf Hunt 2 more than the first one. The stakes are higher and there is more complexity and character interaction in the plot. Yet it is George and Lou that pulls it together. There is also a nice twist in the werewolf legend that puts this high up in the ranks of werewolf sagas. It's has to do with how and when they change. Actually, there was only one thing I hated about the story but I cant tell you what that is.. I think the author knows. If you like dark horror comedies with likable but unlikely heroes, then you should read this.

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