Fantasy Mystery Romance Comics Non-Fiction

The Wolf at Bay

Friday, June 14, 2019

The Wolf at Bay (2018) Charlie Adhara

After solving the serial killer case four months previous, Cooper and Park have become partners at the BSI–and partners in the other sense as well, but neither of them is capable of talking about how they feel about each other.

“That depends on just because what. Just because you love him?”

Cooper coughed. “Oh, well. Let’s not get crazy. What are my other options?”

She snorted. “Like that, is it? You sound like my second husband, Gary. He couldn’t handle looking like he cared either. A man like that gives daisies. Dead by the end of the work week. Don’t be a daisy man, friend.”

“I thought you said you’ve been married for thirty-two years.” “And I was. Just not to the same man or for consecutive sentences.”

The problem is that although they solved the case, many at the BSI believe Cooper might have gotten away with murder–regardless of the fact that the BSI officially cleared him of wrong-doing.

Either they didn’t believe he hadn’t been involved with his ex-partner’s crimes or they thought he should be punished for not figuring it out sooner. Cooper didn’t blame them. He just wondered if Park felt the same way.

And Cooper blames himself for not realizing what was going on earlier.

Cooper was injured in a werewolf attack, and those injuries remain with him, and I like that the repercussions of that injury have become an integral part of his life.

Ever since then Park had been hyper-vigilant that Cooper was getting enough nutrition. He often cooked him little omelets in the morning before Cooper woke, had started researching supplements and vitamins he thought Cooper should take, and packed snacks for him on cases as if he was a child.

First, that’s adorable. Second, I like that Cooper’s medical issues don’t magically disappear.

In this book, Cooper and Park have solved the case they were working on, and are heading back to DC when Cooper is reminded that he was supposed to go home for his brother’s engagement party–and he hasn’t been home since before he was injured.

This trip home reminds Cooper not just of the problems he has with his family (like the fact he’s never come out to them) but that his mother’s death still looms over the family, even though she died when Cooper was a child.

(W)hite walls kept immaculate except for the small patch of butter yellow in the back room that his mother had painted to test out the color but never had time to finish and Ed had never painted over.

Cooper has a lot of bitterness towards his father.

“What’s wrong with calling?” Park said. “Besides, you’d probably get along better if he knew what you did. Or some version of it, anyway.”

“If he can’t be proud of every part of me, he doesn’t get to know the rest,” Cooper hissed. “I’m not some kind of fucking pick’n’mix bag.”

“They didn’t even know you were in the hospital.” Park’s voice was raised now, his eyes dilating and possibly glowing gold, though through the haze of Cooper’s frustration with his father, everything seemed brighter. “You almost died, Cooper.”

“Yeah, and? You think if he’d seen me tubed up in some hospital that would fix us?

What I particularly liked about this story was that we slowly learn just why Cooper’s family life was so difficult (besides the fact that his dad became a single father of two pre-teen boys) and that what Cooper felt was not necessarily how things were.

I also appreciated that Cooper was full of self-doubt.

“I’m sorry,” Cooper blurted. His heart was beating hard, but fuck it, what were they here for if not this?

Park looked at him. He had that same odd look on his face he’d had when they first got to Jagger Valley that looked so much like nerves, but a little hopeful, too. “For what?”

“Everything. Well, for earlier, and for being, you know, me.” Cooper laughed awkwardly.

“What the hell, Dayton,” Park said, sounding angry. “That’s a horrible thing to say.”

And that Park calls him on it.

The mystery was again quite good, and I actually enjoyed seeing Cooper and Park work out their issues–because they both had issues, and seeing Cooper learn Park’s was revealing about the both of them.

I am enjoying this series.

Publisher: Carina Press
Rating: 8/10


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