Sunday, November 9, 2014

Review: Sometimes the Wolf by Urban Waite

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 835 KB
  • Print Length: 293 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0062216910
  • Publisher: William Morrow (Oct. 21 2014)
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers CA
  • Language: English

Book Description

Set in the Pacific Northwest, a spellbinding story of family, violence, and unintended consequences that showcases the searing prose, soulful characters, and vivid sense of place of an acclaimed writer in the tradition of Cormac McCarthy, Dennis Lehane, and Elmore Leonard.

Sheriff Patrick Drake tried to lead an upstanding life and maintain some financial stability until his wife passed away. He did okay for a while, singlehandedly raising his family in a small mountain town. Then he was hit with money troubles, fell in with some unsavory men, and ended up convicted of one of the biggest crimes in local history.

Twelve years later Patrick is on parole under the watchful eye of his son Bobby, who just happens to be a deputy sheriff in his father’s old department. Bobby hasn’t had it easy, either. He’s carried the weight of his father’s guilt, forsaking his own dreams, and put off the knowledge that his own marriage could be stronger and more hopeful. Yet no matter how much distance he’s tried to put between himself, his father, his grandfather, and the past, small town minds can have very long memories.
But trouble isn’t done with the Drakes—and a terrifying threat boils up from Patrick’s old life. And this time, no one will be spared. . . .

Other Reviews

“Riveting… An engrossing, adventure-packed ride.” (Publishers Weekly)

“A tremendous novel by a rising powerhouse of a writer. Waite tells tense, thrilling stories with thoughtfulness and emotional clarity, and his prose is simply astonishing. Anyone who is late to the party couldn’t ask for a better entry point than this hybrid of crime drama and father-son story.” (Michael Koryta, New York Times bestselling author of Those Who Wish Me Dead on Sometimes the Wolf)

“It’s a rare thing to balance a thriller plot on characters with such stooped shoulders, but Waite manages the feat with surprising dexterity. Another emotionally rich novel from a very special writer.” (Booklist (starred review))

“A brisk plot, well-developed characters, thoughtful reflections on the ebb and flow of family ties, and - most of all - Waite’s eloquent language describing his setting’s untamed beauty.” (Seattle Times)

“A father-and-son relationship, perhaps broken beyond repair, fuels Urban Waite’s engrossing novel that skillfully exposes the complicated emotions that can stymie a once close family while also working as a superb action-adventure tale.” (Associated Press)

“Waite . . . encourages you . . . to find out what happens while simultaneously forcing you to slow and admire the language. . . . Waite throws us into a rush of suspense and danger that tests the limits of the bond between father and son.” (James Scott, author of The Kept on Sometimes the Wolf)

“Waite keeps raising his own standards with each new novel and surpassing them with his next. . . . A beauteous and frightening joy to read from beginning to end. . . . It is violent and unsettling in spots, quiet and heartbreaking in others… Waite is a marvel.” (

About the Author

 Urban Waite is the author of The Terror of Living, named one of Esquire's Ten Best Books of the year. His latest book is The Carrion Birds, an Indie Next Pick and the recipient of starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Booklist. His short fiction has appeared in the Best of the West anthology, the Southern Review, and other journals. He has degrees from the University of Washington, Western Washington University, and Emerson College. He lives in Seattle with his wife.

My Review

Urban Waite's The Terror of Living was an intriguing, mesmerizing novel. And Sometimes the Wolf, Waite's third novel, continues and expands upon the tale begun there. The Pacific Northwest is filled with incredible beauty and Waite captures it perfectly. He also captures the period of time where smuggling BC Bud (marijuana) into Washington state was a huge business. (Now that Washington has legalized recreational marijuana that clandestine trade may be dissipating...or not...time will tell).

Deputy Sheriff Bobby Drake's father, former Sheriff Patrick Drake, was incarcerated for events surrounding the smuggling of marijuana into the US. Sometimes the Wolf opens with Patrick's release from prison. It is a tense time for his son Bobby who is now employed in his old department in the small mountain town of Silver Lake. The Northern Cascades of Washington state is a wild and glorious area. And as you descend the mountains to the east, the desert like Okanogan Valley opens to you. It is in these two areas that the story is set. Such conflicting terrains but both so tantalizing. Just like this story.

I was on the edge of my seat throughout this book. It was fast moving and filled with twists. Who to trust? Who is telling the truth? From the DEA agent who has been staying close the last twelve years, to Patrick's family and his former prison mates...everyone seems to have a stake in Patrick's release. Where is the missing $200,000...and is it really $200,000? Can Patrick live in Silver Lake after everything that has transpired.

Sometimes the Wolf is a riveting tale! What a great title. It fits perfectly. You don't have to have read The Terror of Living to enjoy Sometimes the Wolf but if you have not read it yet you should. Urban Waite is a great author. If you enjoy mysteries and thrillers and you enjoy a well written book, then Sometimes the Wolf is for you!

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