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Werewolf tale stands out from ‘The Pack’

By Staff | May 25, 2011

A man fired from his job discovers there’s something not quite right about his new friends in “The Pack” by Jason Starr.

Simon is fired from his ad agency job abruptly with absolutely no warning and for no real reason. At first he is angry, then he is just depressed, reduced to sending emails to his former boss begging for his job back and being told never to contact him again.

Simon spends his days now as a stay-at-home dad to his young son while his wife continues working her job to try to make ends meet. Their marriage, already strained, seems to be bordering on the breaking point as he resents her working and she resents him getting to stay home.

While at first his son mourns the loss of his nanny and isn’t used to Daddy being the one to entertain him all day, Simon and he begin adjust and try get into a routine. But as Simon looks for activities for them to do all day, little does he know what he’s getting into when they venture to a park outside of their neighborhood and meet three other stay-at-home dads.

Simon is at first thrilled to have some other men to talk to and his young son loves their kids. There’s something a little odd about the trio’s leader, Michael, though. Charlie, a divorced firefighter and Ramon, an unemployed actor, both are very nice and welcoming to Simon.

Michael is welcoming, but perhaps a bit too intense about it. But Simon still goes to a “guy’s night” at Michael’s house, where he is given special wine from Michael’s vineyard … and wakes up the next day naked in a field somewhere.

Convinced Michael drugged him, Simon is determined to stay away from the strange little group. But ever since that night, Simon’s senses seem to be heightened and he feels more energetic. At first, he and his wife are thrilled about the change in him and in their relationship, but when Simon’s boss is found murdered and Simon’s being investigated by the police, things take a darker turn. And Simon begins to see that the changes in him mean something else entirely … and that he is becoming something else entirely as well.

Could Michael and his friends be werewolves? And could Simon?

This is a different take on the paranormal and werewolf genre that is entertaining and unexpected. Simon’s everyday struggles of marriage, family and job loss are ones that are relatable and helps to put the reader off balance when the truth about Michael comes out. There is also a side plot relating to a woman that Michael is seducing and turning as well, which is also interesting and may put women off the “bad boy” persona forever as Michael treats her terribly and she keeps coming back for more due to his wolfish charisma. While it does relate to the Simon storyline and the two storylines do intersect at one point, it almost felt like it really wasn’t needed and we could have just kept the story with Simon for the most part.

For those readers tired of the same old paranormal romance or paranormal suspense storyline involving werewolves, this book is a welcome breath of fresh air and still harkens back to the Hollywood roots of the “Wolfman.” It’s some good fun.

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