SDR Book of the Week: Little Wolves

little-wolves-cover2Little Wolves, by Thomas Maltman. Soho Press, 335 pp. $25

Some books just catch you off guard by way of a choke hold. And I mean this in the best possible way.

They’re gritty, they’re harsh, they exhibit a level of reality not known by many. Often, they take your breath away.

That was Thomas Maltman’s Little Wolves for me. From the very beginning, when young Seth Fallon is walking around in the middle of the summer sporting a trenchcoat and a sawed-off shotgun, I was hooked. Although, with a beginning like that, who isn’t?

Little Wolves is a mystery, from beginning to end. Not your traditional mystery, the whodunit type. We know exactly who killed the sheriff. What we don’t know, which is often the question asked about the most terrifying and captivating of mysteries, is why.

That is the question, however, that permeates every part of this story. Why did Seth Fallon shoot the sheriff? Why did Clara Warren really move to Lone Mountain, Minnesota? Why did Grizz Fallon let Seth “keep” the baby coyotes in the first place, the “little wolves” he loved so dear?

I imagine that few will finish Little Wolves with that sense of satisfaction that often comes with leaving a story, the certainty that all will be well. But it is often the books the leave us more troubled at the end than at the beginning that are the most worth their time in reading, the best answers to the question why.

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About katepadilla

I write for the Spencer Daily Reporter in Spencer, Iowa. I keep blogs lifebythebooks, Save Me, San Francisco, and Beauty and Beast Buy a House. I'm also hard at work writing a short story collection inspired by the music of Train.

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