Monday 2 October 2023

Lone Wolf

Finished September 25
Lone Wolf by Linwood Barclay

This is the third book in the series featuring Zack Walker, a Toronto journalist. This book was also published under the title Bad Luck. I like this series for the humour and the Canadian setting, as well as the well-written family dynamics. 
Here, he is out at lunch with a former neighbour when he receives a disturbing phone call from his wife. One of the contributing reporters in cottage country has let her know that a body has been found, apparently killed by a bear, near the camp run by Zack's father, and his father is nowhere to be found. 
Zack immediately heads north, and finds the local police chief Orville Thorne, the local coroner, the reporter who called it in, and the people who are renting his dad's cabins at the present time. Most of these are returning guests, who've been coming up for years. While it is quickly established that his father isn't the victim, the victim's identity takes a little while to uncover, and several other issues show themselves.
One is the renters of the farmhouse on his dad's property. They have all kinds of warning signs mounted around the place dissuading casual visitors, a pair of aggressive dogs, and a radical mindset.
Another is one of his father's guests, a wealthy entrepreneur who wants to create a large luxury resort on a neighbouring property which goes against the local culture and may endanger the lake's health. 
The reader also soon learns that the local fair, which begins with a parade and is coming up on the next weekend, has been issued a threat of violence if a local LGBTQ community is allowed to participate. There is a petition, driven by one small-minded local businessman, and some threatening phone calls to the mayor, which also seem to be directed at her being married to a man who isn't white. 
Both Zack and his father are a bit overwhelmed by what they are facing and he calls on an old friend Lawrence Jones for his assistance. This assistance helps with some of the issues, others are resolved in unexpected ways, but the largest issue of the renters only gets worse until the final climax. 
A total engaging read, with lots of edge of the seat scenes. 

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