Werewolves tear up Denver in what looks like the first of a series, by Bram Stoker–winner Cacek (Night Prayers, not reviewed).
Lucius, a.k.a. Luke, lives in a Denver high-rise, works as a bartender, distances himself from his hoity-toity werewolf Family, and keeps his love affairs with humans brief and undemanding. But a rival pack, whose members come down from the Rockies to feed on derelicts in the city, wants to take over the Family’s territory. C.K. (Cat) Moselle, a cub reporter with supermarket tabloid Quest, has just had her first byline on “I Was Bigfoot’s Love-slave,” a story about a 15-year-old impregnated by Bigfoot. Boarding a late-night bus, Cat sees a big hairy guy get on. When a drug addict holds up the passengers, then puts a gun to Cat’s head, the hairy guy turns wolf and bites out the addict’s neck, then jumps from the bus and disappears. The reporter finds a bloody wolf-paw print on her newspaper. Her editor at first doesn’t believe Cat, insisting her savior must have worn a rubber dog mask and a rubber-glove paw, but he allows her to write the big story anyway. When the paw print is about to be photographed, it changes into a bloody human handprint. So the photographer fakes a paw-print, and Quest runs a before-and-after shape-change photo featuring both paw and hand on the cover. The rival werepack, however, contains someone who works very close to Cat on Quest. Then our heroine, who hasn’t had sex in four months, falls in with Luke, and subsequent developments provide pregnant possibilities for future volumes.
Brisk, if not high-styled, and the constant flow of bizarre headlines (“A Quest Exclusive: Love and the Proper Werewolf”) lends a light heart to a dark fable.