Wednesday, August 28, 2013

In the Company of Wolves

In the Company of Wolves: Thinning the Herd by James Michael Larranaga
Create Space, 9/1/13
eBook, 350 pages
ISBN13:  9781478320418
Quin Lighthorn was released from a mental institution in order to help the FBI with an undercover operation—or so he thought. As part of Lighthorn’s undercover job, he becomes an intern at Safe Haven, a firm that pays out a portion of a life insurance plan to a terminally ill person so long as that person makes the firm the insurance policy’s beneficiary. Within minutes of his first day on the job, Lighthorn witnesses a murder. From there, the plot begins to unravel.

My Thoughts:

In the Company of Wolves: Thinning the Herd is the first book in a new series by James Michael Larranaga. Quin Lighthorn begins his job as an intern at Safe Haven, a firm that specializes in viatical settlements - buying life insurance policies from terminal policy holders for a reduced amount. What the firm doesn't know is that Quin is an undercover bounty hunter for the FBI - or is he? Quin has left a mental health facility to take on this undercover assignment.

Since Quin claimed to previously work for the forestry department tracking wolves, each chapter is organized as a time and day, and opens with a fact or reference to wolves and their behavior. In the novel Quin's co-workers at Safe Haven are all compared to wolves and wolf packs in the hierarchy and behaviors they exhibit too.

Let me just say right up front that Quin is an unreliable narrator but you aren't going to know that immediately. Now, I can roll with that, but the number of twists and turns and additional information that suddenly popped up frustrated me. I was intrigued with the additional information the first few times it happened. I can accept an unreliable narrator and changing perspectives of the plot as more information is revealed, however, at a certain point the number of new revelations became slightly ridiculous.

And let me go on record to say that Quin's therapist violated all sorts of HIPPA regulations. The college and professor violated FERPA laws. Any professional can't just spout off and tell anyone everything they want to know about their patients or students just because they ask or because they made up a good story. 

Setting those misgivings aside, Larranaga's novel held my attention right to the end and I followed along as it twisted and convulsed right up to the "to be continued" ending. Take heed of this fact if it's going to bother you that all the questions aren't answered.

This is a hard one to rate. It started out strong, dwindled perilously low, and slowly redeemed itself to rise again. I'm going to Recommend In the Company of Wolves: Thinning the Herd, maybe even highly because I am still interested in reading what happens next.

Disclosure: My Kindle advanced reading copy was courtesy of the author via Netgalley for review purposes.

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