When I first picked up this book, the title made me think of werewolves, and I spent a few chapters waiting for the wolves to appear. But as I got into it, I realized that this was in fact a tale of mystery and murder, and a very fine psychological thriller as well. Persephone thinks of herself as Roy's trophy wife. He as good as worships her, yet she must tread carefully, for he has an explosive temper. She dare not show even her dog too much attention or Roy will get rid of him, although he has never raised a hand to her. Yet. So when she meets a criminal profiler named Ned McKick at a policeman's birthday party, and he suggests that some unfound corpses have been buried in the woods near her property, as soon as Roy is out of the house the very next day she goes cadaver diving and finds two of them -- victims of a serial killer still on the loose. Soon she is in the thick of it and suspicions rise that her husband Roy's evil twin brother may not be as dead as the family says he is. And what is the strange hold policeman Jarod has over her husband? Everything Roy does is geared to winning Jarod's approval, as if for some eerie father surrogate whose intentions are unknown. The characters in this book are as bright as crystal and as sharp as shattered glass. Aallyn not only can describe them to a neo-noun, she can make them speak true to those characters--quite a talent. Her development of her husband's mother and the husband himself are dead-on. So The Woman Into Wolf title refers not to a mythological beast, to a woman who must change from acted-upon to acting, who must turn predator instead of prey, in order to hunt the killer in their midst. It is based on several true events, and spun together excellently. Alysse Aallyn began writing under her true name of Melissa Clark, but had to change it when it clashed too closely with that of a cookbook writer already in print. Her first crime novel, Find Courtney, won praise from critics everywhere. Now she is hoping readers will remember the style and accept her as her pseudonym; and she has turned out a novel every bit as worthy as her first one. Armchair Interviews says: This is a sizzler of a murder mystery, and if you have been looking for this writer, here she is... a fine psychological thriller. C. L. Rossman, Armchair Interviews E-Zine --ArmchairInterviews.com
About the Author
Alysse Aallyn is a reclusive poet who has been honored by the Folger Shakespeare Library. She has been obsessed by questions of good and evil ever since her childhood on a French colonial estate in Morocco. She was able to use the Moorish castle and its walled, bat-haunted garden in her first contemporary crime novel, Find Courtney, where it became the Florida estate of drug runner Bret Armorault. My childhood is a continuing source of rich narrative horror, she says. After dinner, as a treat, we were sometimes allowed to watch the bombing in the Algerian war for independence. It was just as good as fireworks. Men with machine guns routinely searched our van on the way to the beach and children of any age were sexual targets. I often endured stone-throwing on my way to school. A bloodstain remained outside our gates, reputedly from a hapless child waylaid by the candyseller who stood to catch the children coming home from school. We gave shelter to a glamorous young Nazi, as beautiful as an angel, who poisoned all my cats. They were feral but my favorite, Christopher, came into my house for the first time to crawl under my bed and die. I was still a kid when I wrote my first novel, Devlyn, basing it on an incident in the life of Shelley's friend, Thomas Love Peacock. It was a historical romance so I used a pseudonym. But after I published Find Courtney I discovered there are quite a few Melissa Clarks out there. It was like Peter Pan coming home and finding out his bed is taken! So I have become Alysse Aallyn for good. A crime writer should be comfortable with impersonations. I live outside Hartford with my husband, investigative law journalist Thomas Scheffey, and we summer at his 250 year old family house in the Berkshires. We have two grown children. I write full-time; it's like building a house of cards in your head and I find I need to be alone at least four hours a day. I am at work on a new novel whose characters infuse both wake and sleep.