Wm Morrow/Harper Collins, $26.99, 277 pages, ISBN 978-0-06-221691-5
Falling from grace, for whatever reason, has been an enduring theme throughout human history and all of world literature. Whether it’s from individual malfeasance, political upheaval or personal relationships gone bad, we humans seem endlessly fascinated when the high and mighty ‘take their licks’ and ‘get theirs.’
Sometimes the Wolf, by up-and-coming author Urban Waite, is a study of one man’s fall from grace and his son, who is trying to understand his father . . . who was once an elected county Sheriff . . . and is now a just-released felon who has served ten years in the Washington State Penitentiary. The felon on parole is names Patrick Drake. He’s the ex-sheriff who took to running drugs across the Canadian border in order to pay for his wife’s chemotherapy and cancer treatments. Then, two men are killed, the DEA gets involved and Patrick goes to prison. There, as an ex-lawman, he has to buy protection in order to stay alive . . . which he does with promises of payment from hidden drug monies once he’s released. As the story begins he’s out, living with his son Bobby—whose a grown man and a deputy sheriff—marriage is in trouble because of the emotional baggage his father’s crime and incarceration has brought to their family and small town. As Patrick tries to readjust to life on the outside, threats from his old life start resurfacing and this time, no one is spared.
The author’s prose is terse, direct and to the point, driving the narrative with a relentlessness that all crime fiction lovers will find irresistible. Like the novels of Elmore Leonard, the action never stops until the last page. That’s where you’ll be wishing for more from this exciting author.