Wednesday, July 17, 2019

The Wolf Wants In by Laura McHugh

Wow, I don't think I've been on a good book streak that lasted this long in a while! When I picked this up I had my doubts, because so many thrillers try to play the "just like Gillian Flynn" card and fail to measure up 9 times out of 10. Lucky for me, THE WOLF WANTS IN is the 1 book out of 10 that reaches the bar.

Told in dual POVs, THE WOLF WANTS IN is about two women: Sadie is a middle-aged mom, divorced, whose brother Shane has just died under mysterious circumstances. His wife, Crystle, doesn't seem as upset as a loving wife should, and the local police officer refuses to investigate. Henley is a young eighteen-year-old, and the daughter of an addict who cleans the house of the richest family in town when she's sober. Henley is currently dating the son of the rich guy, and she's also the cousin of Crystle, the wife who doesn't give two snips.

The book is about how their stories intertwine as we learn about a town riddled with drug problems, secrets, and-- maybe-- murder. In addition to Shane, a local man and his daughter were both found dead in the woods, and Sadie gets more and more concerned as she finds links between all of these incidents, even as she struggles to maintain control over the shambles of her own life.

I saw some people saying that this book was pretty depressing and I will be the first to agree this is so. It's a little like J.K. Rowling's CASUAL VACANCY in the sense that it shows people at their worst and nobody is completely good. I personally like books that show realistic portrayals of the sometimes-toxic environment that small towns can breed. Humans are capable of a lot of good, but sometimes they do some pretty horrible things, too. I was impressed by the spectrum of the emotions portrayed in THE WOLF WANTS IN, and how it addresses grief, greed, and ambition.

Both POVs were well done and I liked how they began to intertwine. Around page 200, I did find myself wondering how the story would wrap up when it still seemed so unfinished, but the ending didn't disappoint me. I actually thought it ended on a note of hope: all of our endings are inevitable, but if we're lucky, we get to hold the pen as we decide how the last chapter finishes.

Thanks to the publisher for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review!

4 out of 5 stars

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