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Full Wolf Moon

Review

Full Wolf Moon

A full moon in the month of January caused the Algonquin Indians to refer to this phenomenon as a Full Wolf Moon. During this time of lunar power, it was believed that wolf packs became ravenously hungry, and their howls were heard throughout the evenings of the full moon perilously close to the Indian villages.

With FULL WOLF MOON, author Lincoln Child brings a modern retelling of the Full Wolf Moon occurrence. He has chosen to set the novel in one of the most beautiful parts of the world --- and one of my personal favorite spots on the planet --- the mysterious Adirondack Mountain region of upstate New York.

At one point in the book, a character says, “Remember what I told you about the Adirondacks --- there's history and then there's mystery.” This comment was made by a resident of the Adirondacks to Dr. Jeremy Logan, and it could not have been more accurate. Lately, more and more authors have chosen the setting of upstate New York in both mystery and thriller fiction. Where it may have seemed in recent years that the only cold-weather settings for these genres were in Nordic countries, writers opting for the stark and mysterious landscape of upstate New York have made an argument for this domestic region.

"FULL WOLF MOON proves again that mysterious phenomena with a supernatural or otherworldly edge are fully in Child's wheelhouse, and the result this time around is an intense and chilling read."

Logan refers to himself as an "enigmalogist," who focuses on strange occurrences that seem to have no explanation. His cases have found him in Egyptian tombs and ancient locked rooms as well as the bottom of the ocean. Nothing will prepare him for his latest investigation into the brutal murder of a few backpackers in the Adirondacks. Their bodies were brutally torn apart in what can only be assumed to have been a wild animal attack.

However, some of the local residents believe it was something not necessarily of this world that is to blame --- a creature that feeds on the full moon and morphs into a rabid form more than capable of bloody murder. Sound familiar to anyone yet?

Logan did not consider himself an outdoors type, and spending time in a cabin deep within the Adirondacks takes him out of his element. He rents out a cabin at Cloudwater, an “artist's colony.” He seeks out an old school friend who is now a park ranger in this territory, Randall Jessup, whose expertise and knowledge of the region he will need to assist him with the investigation.

The 46 peaks of the Adirondack Mountain range are a must for climbers and hikers, so having some of them brutally killed will not do much for tourism. Logan is unsettled by the forest around his temporary home and cannot get over the feeling that the guilty party behind these murders may be both man and supernatural being all in one. There is no need to specifically label this as lycanthropy, but astute readers and fans of the horror genre will surely know that is the direction in which the story is going.

Immediate suspicion is thrown on a secretive and reviled clan who has lived in the woods for decades known simply as the Blakeneys. The people of the small town called Pike Hollow are quick to point a finger at them. Logan and Jessup are not so easily convinced as they continue to look for other answers before another victim turns up. There is a reference to the term “tainted blood,” and Logan needs to figure out what the locals mean by it.

A number of characters and potential suspects become part of the investigation, but no one stands out as the guilty party. Things take a deadly turn when Jessup becomes a victim while trying to help a potential victim who was trapped in a car trying to fend off something rabid attempting to get in. This witness was quite hysterical but clearly described the killer as being part man and part wolf. While going through Jessup's journal, Logan makes a chilling discovery. He finds notes on a scientist who was investigating behavior under the moonlight as well as bizarre transformational effects.

Lincoln Child's Jeremy Logan novels just get better and better, and this latest installment really knocks it out of the park. I have read everything by Child and his frequent writing partner, Douglas Preston, and find that their solo work makes it easy to identify who is driving the plotlines in their co-authored novels. FULL WOLF MOON proves again that mysterious phenomena with a supernatural or otherworldly edge are fully in Child's wheelhouse, and the result this time around is an intense and chilling read.

Reviewed by Ray Palen on May 19, 2017

Full Wolf Moon
by Lincoln Child

  • Publication Date: May 16, 2017
  • Genres: Fiction, Suspense, Thriller
  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday
  • ISBN-10: 0385531427
  • ISBN-13: 9780385531429