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This review is from: Lone Wolf (Mass Market Paperback)
Linwood Barclay's third book featuring feature writer Zack Walker is unlike the first two in some ways. In Bad Move and Bad Guys the trouble that Zack unwittingly finds himself in is closer to home: his wife and children are threatened directly, and to an extent matters are exacerbated by Zack's tendency to worry over much about safety issues. In Lone Wolf Zack hightails it up to his father's fishing lodge upon hearing that a man has been mauled by a bear on his father's property. Once arrived, Zack finds himself compelled to stay for a few days and take care of his father's business. But that's all the time Zack needs to land in the customary hot water--though this time around Zack's tendency to worry excessively doesn't really come into play: the small town is riven by a controversy involving the participation of a gay and lesbian coalition in an upcoming parade; the Barney Fife-ish local sheriff is not up to the task of investigating a murder; and a family of Timothy McVeigh-worshipping wackos is renting a house from Zack's father. There are personal issues to deal with as well: this book may not be centered on Zack's wife and kids, but it is concerned with family. Happily, private eye Lawrence Jones, whom we first met in Bad Guys, sweeps into town in his shiny blue Jaguar to help Zack sort things out.
While different from Barclay's previous Zack Walker books, Lone Wolf is as compulsively readable as they are. It was interesting to see Zack's family history rounded out some: we learn here, for example, that Zack's tendency to act like a jerk when concerned about his family's welfare is an inherited trait. (Though it is hard to believe that his father's misbehavior mirrored his son's, or vice versa, quite so precisely.) Still, I'll be happy to see Zack back on his home turf again.
-- Debra Hamel