Canyons

P. D. Cacek, Author
P. D. Cacek, Author Tor Books $23.95 (304p) ISBN 978-0-312-87383-7
Mass Market Paperbound - 304 pages - 978-0-8125-4534-0
Ebook - 304 pages - 978-1-4668-2070-8
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Following her well-received first novel, Night Prayers (1998), an edgy riff on the urban vampire theme, Cacek makes an even sharper stab at another of horror's hackneyed staples, the werewolf. When a Good Samaritan shape-shifter saves aspiring journalist Cat Moselle from sure death during a bus hijacking, that act ignites a flammable chain of events in downtown Denver. Cat writes for Quest, a shameless supermarket tabloid, which transforms her ""Knight in Shining Fur"" into the Denver Werewolf, a headline celebrity blamed for a recent spate of bestial killings about town. In truth, Lucius Currer, Cat's supernatural savior, is a low-key lycanthrope, uncomfortable with his inescapable obligations as the alpha male of a family that resents the sudden notoriety he has brought down on them. Lucius instinctively senses something special about Cat that transcends mere physical attraction, but the couple are forced to run a gauntlet between zealous authorities, Lucius's embittered clan and a rival pack of ravenous were-folk before Cat's mystery can be revealed. Although Cacek self-consciously glosses her story with a gooey patina of beauty-and-the-beast romance, she also provides substance through her divinations of lupine predation in the fundamental relationships between men and women, parents and children, employers and employees, and journalists and news subjects. A cast of quirky characters, their witty repartee and Cacek's blend of grue and tongue-in-cheek make this one of the more engaging, if not original, werewolf yarns in recent years. (Dec. 6)
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