This has been on my reading list for a while, but it was well worth the read. An old-school werewolf story, set in Northern England it starts in the year 2000, but the story soon shifts back to the 1980s. It helps to understand the setting here; Thatcherite Britain, a run-down town with high unemployment, depression, and the malaise which fell over a lot of the country at this time. The main characters in the early part of the book are children raised in working class houses, with little concept that things will get better, alcoholic and violent parents and an overworked police force. Bring into the mix the prejudices of the time and you have a rather dark background. Then a werewolf arrives….
The book is violent, this is no shifter romance, but a brutal and horrifying account, reminiscent of wolfman films and older stories. The werewolves are not nice, they kill, they eat people and they cause total mayhem. That said there is some real depth and emotion in this book, the fear of the townsfolk, the bravery of those who seek to hunt the killers and the despair of John, the main protagonist. Some of the writing is superb, with vivid descriptions, dark humour and a fast pace which keeps up all the way through.
My only complaints were the slight implausibility of part of the ending, and the cliff-hanger, although the story was concluded well enough. I will definitely read the second part of the series.
Overall a great read, with fast paced action, terrifying monsters, but a few touching scenes. Well worth it!