Cry Wolf by Tami Hoag
Pros: intriguing mystery held my interest
Cons: annoying characters who spoke a lot of French
Some very good stuff. And some very annoying stuff. That’s my quickie review of Tami Hoag’s Cry Wolf.
Our heroine, Laurel, comes back home – to the French villages of Louisiana, after facing a humiliating failure in her professional career. She just wants to reconnect with her family, and enjoy some relaxing time to herself.
But she does not get much of a chance to rest. Young girls are turning up dead along the Bayou. At the same time, Laurel finds herself involved with the local ‘bad boy’ – thinking she sees the good man underneath all the bluster.
But when you get involved with someone you barely know, bad things can happen. Is it possible that Laurel’s new love is somehow involved with the girls’ murders? Or is someone else setting up an elaborate ruse, one designed to bring harm not only to Laurel but to the rest of her family as well?
That’s the premise of Cry Wolf and I’ll admit, I was pretty well hooked. I turned those pages mighty fast to find out what was really going on. I liked Hoag’s style of bringing lots of possible suspects into the mix. Each time I was pretty sure I had it figured out, she would add a new twist and send me soaring in another direction.
Overall, a fascinating “whodunit” that definitely held my interest.
However, the book is far from perfect. It suffers from a couple of flaws. The biggest is that the characters were very hard to care about, and very hard to take seriously. Each is a one-dimensional caricature. The good girl. The bad girl. The good guy. The bad guy. The close-minded one. The evil one. You see the point – each character had no more depth than my fingernail.
And then there was the French. I’m Ok if an otherwise-English book adds a few foreign phrases here and there. Especially if you can gather most of the meaning from the context. But this book incorporates French into nearly every conversation. And even though I could make out most of it, I found it distracting and, frankly, annoying. Worst of all – it turns out there’s a glossary at the back of the book to help you out. When did I discover this fact? After I read the last page of the story, of course. Had I known all along that the glossary was hiding back there I might have used it. But I’m not in the habit of checking out the back pages of a book to see if there’s anything of interest!
So – pick up Cry Wolf if you like a good “whodunit” and don’t mind thin characters. And, if you don’t speak French, at least you’ll have my tip – turn to the back of the book!
Also by Tami Hoag