Reviews > Published on March 16th, 2015

Bookshots: ‘Werewolf Cop’ By Andrew Klavan

Bookshots: Pumping new life into the corpse of the book review


Werewolf Cop

Who Wrote It?

Award-winning, best-selling novelist and journalist, Andrew Klavan.

Because of the reputation Klavan brings to table, I decided I would try to ignore the shitty title and the straight to home video vibe...I'm glad I did.

Plot in a Box:

Zach Adams is a member of Task Force Zero, an elite group of police detectives put together by the federal government to solve crimes that are too big and complex for local law enforcement and the FBI to take on. But mostly they’ve been assigned to take down Keyser Soze-esque European crime lord, Dominic Abend. After a brutal massacre leads Zach and his partner to Germany in pursuit of Abend, Zach is attacked and transformed into Werewolf Cop!

Invent a New Title For This Book:

Hunter’s Moon, Blood Rites, Crimes Of The Curse … Fuck, just about anything but Werewolf Cop.

Read This If You Liked:

Red Moon By Benjamin Percy, any of the Joe Ledger Novels By Jonathan Maberry.

Meet the Book’s Lead:

Zach “Cowboy” Adams, super detective extraordinaire, member of the federally created, elite law enforcement squad, Task Force Zero, and the Werewolf Cop of the title.

Said Lead Would Be Portrayed In a Movie By:

Brad Pitt in his prime.

Setting: Would You Want to Live There?

The novel takes place all over the world, so yes to some, no to others.

What Was Your Favorite Sentence?

So much disassembled humanity lay strewn from one end of the fourth-floor railroad flat to the other that even the veteran detectives surveyed the puddled gore with chalk-white faces. Even the men and one woman of the Crime Scene Unit refrained from making the kind of ironical remarks they had learned from watching TV cop shows. They went about their business in near silence, literally counting heads to determine just how many souls had been dispatched into the mystery.

The Verdict:

When I decided to review Werewolf Cop, two things popped to mind: The novel was either going to be a complete fucking disaster, or it was going to be genius. Personally, I was edging towards the former, because let’s face it, the title evokes kind of a B-movie feel, and not a B-movie like Re-Animator, or The Evil Dead. We’re talking B-movies such as the lesser works of Joe Lara, like Sunset Heat and Live Wire 2: Human Timebomb.

However, I had hope for Werewolf Cop because of one thing: Andrew Klavan.

In case you don’t know who Klavan is, he’s best known for his novels True Crime and Don’t Say A Word, both of which were adapted into two pretty entertaining films. And he’s also written some raw, gritty thrillers such as Damnation Street and If We Survive. He has a story in The Best American Noir Of The Century, and he has tackled supernatural elements in a solid chunk of his output, most of it with pretty chilling results. So because of the reputation Klavan brings to table, I decided I would try to ignore the shitty title and the straight to home video vibe.

And to be honest, I’m glad I did, because Werewolf Cop is a great read. It’s a slickly written, character driven crime/horror hybrid thriller that pushes all the right buttons when it comes to racketing up tension, and actually manages to produce some genuine scares. Now don’t get me wrong, there are still tons of B-movie elements hanging around—more than a few of the supporting characters are essentially nothing more than cultural cop stereotypes, or flat-out cardboard cut outs—but Klavan’s storytelling abilities mange to put a new shine on a lot of those overused elements.

But what’s most striking about Werewolf Cop is the overall flow of the story. This is literally a read-in-one sitting thriller with very little fluff to dampen the action and character development. I’ll even go so far as to say that Werewolf Cop is one of Klavan’s strongest novels in years, and easily one of his best. But, the unfortunate thing is that because of its laughable title, I think a lot of readers are going to pass Werewolf Cop by, which is a shame, because if you’re a horror or crime thriller fan, you’ll be missing out on one hell of ride.

About the author

Keith Rawson is a little-known pulp writer whose short fiction, poetry, essays, reviews, and interviews have been widely published both online and in print. He is the author of the short story collection The Chaos We Know (SnubNose Press)and Co-Editor of the anthology Crime Factory: The First Shift. He lives in Southern Arizona with his wife and daughter.

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