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2022 Literary Escapes Challenge

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2022 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

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2022 Medical Examiner's Mystery Reading Challenge

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Wildlife Mystery Series Opener a Sluggish Read

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

After a face-off with an angry gunman at a Boston ceremony celebrating a controversial wetlands preservation project, wildlife biologist Alex Carter is only too happy to get away. The chance to track wolverines in the Montana wilderness is a dream come true. She's eager to study the elusive animals, working to save the dying species. Not all of the locals are thrilled with her presence, however, and they're letting her know it. Determined not to bow to their scare tactics, she stays on at the abandoned ski lodge where she lives by herself. 

When Alex's wolverine-watching cameras catch movements of a different kind of animal on film, she's puzzled. Why is a man who's clearly suffering from a severe injury roaming around in the woods looking dazed and confused? When Alex reports her findings, she's even more stunned at the authorities' dismissive response. Refusing to let it go, she soon finds herself caught in the crosshairs of a dangerous predator. Just what has Alex stumbled upon? And how far will someone go to keep the curious scientist from sticking her nose where it doesn't belong?

It's no secret that I dig immersive, atmospheric mysteries set in isolated places. From the looks of A Solitude of Wolverines, the first book in a new series by Alice Henderson, it appears to be just this sort of read. Is it? Well...I did like the setting, not just mountainous Montana but also the creepy lodge, which adds an eerie vibe to the story (always a plus in my book). I also appreciate that Henderson's passion for nature, animals, and the conservation of both really comes through in this novel. In fact, her prose (which is pretty humdrum otherwise) shines brightest when she's writing about these subjects. Unfortunately, the author has a tendency to drone on and on, adding so many unnecessary details that the plot drags under them. Add in a storyline that's contrived and convoluted, characters that are bland and unlikable, and narration that's melodramatic and wordy, and you've got yourself one sluggish novel. I persevered with A Solitude of Wolverines (which is saying something, I guess), but it ended up being, for me, an average read at best. Needless to say, I won't be continuing with the series. Bummer.


Grade:




If this were a movie, it would be rated:


for language (a half-dozen or so F-bombs, plus milder expletives), violence, blood/gore, and disturbing subject matter

To the FTC, with love: Another library fine find

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Reading

<i>Reading</i>
The Hand on the Wall by Maureen Johnson

Listening

<i>Listening</i>
The Girl Who Wrote in Silk by Kelli Estes



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