Rick Buda, |
(Twilight Times, 2004)
Who would want to spend a small fortune to live in a housing development called WolfPointe? Personally, that doesn't sound like the kind of place I would want to raise a family. Apparently, a good number of people don't share my concerns, as Delevan Enterprises is making money hand over fist from the sale of property that the Delevan family has owned for decades. Naturally, whatever wolves once roamed the area are now gone (despite an occasional sighting of a lone wolf deep in the surrounding forest), but that doesn't mean bad things don't happen there in the dark of night -- or even the crack of dawn. Just ask construction worker Earl Sugg -- oh, wait, he's dead. Extremely dead. "He done blowed up real good" dead.
His death was ruled an accident, though -- to the satisfaction of everyone, that is, but Officer Mac MacKurghdy, whose unanswered questions about the tragedy are stymied early and often by his superiors.
When dead animals begin turning up in the same area, some horribly mutilated and some seemingly poisoned, Mac digs in even harder about the mysterious goings-on in this burgeoning real estate community. He even calls in a local veterinarian to get an expert opinion as to what might have killed the animals. The toxicology reports give Mac his first inkling of the real danger Wolfpointe represents. Silent toxicity in the swamp can't explain all of the deaths, however. A large German shepherd, for example, is found to have been attacked on one side of a tall fence and then thrown over the fence after the fact. Only something or somebody large and cruel could have done that -- something like a creature rumored to haunt the local swamps since the days that Native Americans called that land home. Its name: Wendigo.
Mac's a good cop; in fact, his dedication to his job helped break up his first marriage. It bothers him a great deal when his superiors order him to sign off on the Earl Sugg case before all evidence has been analyzed. Things get much worse, though, when those same superiors grow tired of his delays and openly question his competence. The righteous anger this fuels within his soul only makes him more determined to get to the bottom of the big mystery -- badge or no badge. It's obvious that there is a conspiracy afoot extending from the rich and powerful Delevan family to at least city hall and the police department, with those at the top willing to kill to protect their dirty secret.
Throw the possibility of a recidivistic creature stalking the woods into the mix, and you have quite a tale of mystery, greed, corruption and murder going on here -- and author Rick Buda ties everything together quite satisfactorily in the end, making Wolfpointe a pretty solid, suspenseful, action-packed novel.
by Daniel Jolley