I am familiar with the name W.D. Gagliani but had never read anything by him before. I decided to change that with his upcoming novel, “Wolf’s Blind,” and was hoping that this would be another strong werewolf story similar to a couple other Samhain Publications books that I had read recently featuring the mythical monsters.
Nick Lupo is a homicide detective but he is also much more than that. He is also a werewolf and that monstrous secret of his is thought to be known by only a handful of others who share the same blessing, or curse, as him. Nick has earned an enemy is new Mafia boss Joe Rabbioso and the gangster is out to make a name for himself by destroying Lupo. That is a task that is easier said than done but Rabbioso may just be up to the task of ending Nick’s long life.
When Lupo is injured in an explosion, he should be able to transform into his wolf shape and be instantly healed from the mortal wounds but he finds that his shapeshifting is blocked. He is trapped in human form and Rabbioso is quickly closing in for the kill. It is now up to Jessie Hawkins and Lupo’s partner, DiSanto, to track Lupo down before Rabbioso can catch up to him and finish the slaying that the explosion started. It is a race against time and Lupo’s near immortal life is the prize that hangs in the balance.
“Wolf’s Blind” is part of a series and I had not read any of the previous books so this could be a reason why I had some difficulty getting into the story. The characters just did not grab my attention and it took some work for me to get into the story. There is a lot of backstory here and the novel has flashes back to the past when the Nazis were creating an army of werewolf monsters as well as a sea voyage in which a werewolf was set loose upon the unsuspecting passengers and I have to admit that I found these glimpses of past much more compelling than the current events of the novel. This may not be an issue for someone who has followed the series from the beginning but it was a distraction for me as a new reader. The characters of the present just did not reach me as a reader and I found myself wanting to know more about their past as well as the history of the werewolves. This is definitely a series that I would like to go back and read the past books in order to catch up with this one.
There are many things to like about “Wolf’s Blind” and it is apparent that Gagliani has spent some time and effort building a world filled with werewolves and intrigue. It is equally apparent that this is a novel that needs to be read as a part of the series and not one that a first-time reader can pick up and get into. While the writing was sufficient if not great, it alone was not enough to captivate me and want me to read more. Not knowing the backstory kept me from ever becoming more than mildly interested in the story and thus I was not able to fully enjoy it. I would like to go back to the beginning of the series sometime and see if the first book can catch my attention and build interest in the series but I just never could really get into this book. I still found enough interesting in the novel to get my interest in the series but I would definitely not recommend this novel for someone who has not read the previous book. If you are a fan of the series, I would imagine that you would enjoy this one as well. If you are new to Gagliani’s work, I would suggest that you pass on this one until you have caught up with the rest of Lupo’s adventures.
I would like to thank Samhain Publishing and NetGalley for this advance review copy. “Wolf’s Blind is scheduled to be released in December.