WOLF TIME by Joe Gores

WOLF TIME

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KIRKUS REVIEW

More hard-nosed thriller entertainment from the veteran author of the DKA mystery series (Dead Skip, etc.) and four other novels (Come Morning, 1986, etc.); here, a man stalks his would-be assassin against the whirlwind backdrop of a presidential campaign. Engineer-turned-pro-hunter, and impotent since his wife's death in a hit-and-run five years back, Hollis Fletcher, 56, is a magnetic and unusual hero; he's also a peaceful, solitary man without a clue as to why--as happens in the novel's abruptly violent opening--someone should shoot him and leave him for dead in the Minnesota woods. A man's man--much flashback here to boyhood macho training at the hands of an ancient Indian--Fletcher's not one to forgive or forget; after crawling on broken legs 1000 yards to his cabin, then mending in a local hospital, he proceeds to track down the gunman with the help of his daughter, Nicole--who's married to David Ross, top speechwriter for her old lover and Fletcher's old pal Gary Westergard, Minnesota governor and dark-horse candidate for president. As Fletcher scours the state for clues, Nicole learns the troth: ambitious hubbie David shot Fletcher, hoping to curry favor with Westergard after ""the guy's"" remark that only Fletcher can deny him the presidency. Anguished, Nicole decides to shield her husband from Fletcher's wrath and joins him on the campaign trail; but Fletcher soon fingers David anyway and, aided by an Indian woman who reawakens his sexuality, comes gunning--leading to a rain of bloodshed, a revelation of youthful scandal implicating now President-elect Westergard, and a viscerally satisfying but inconclusive ending that props the door wide open for a sequel. Fitfully suspenseful, and featuring Gores' usual strong dialogue and visual detail; but ruled throughout by morally bombastic and atavistic clich‚s--the corrupt politician, the noble Indian, the honorable hunter, etc--that undercut realism and reveal this as nothing more--or less--than a fancied-up man's action comic.

Pub Date: April 13th, 1989
Publisher: Putnam