Fantasy Mystery Romance Comics Non-Fiction

The Wolf at Bay

Saturday, February 15, 2020

The Wolf at Bay (2018) Charlie Adhara (Big Bad Wolf)

The Wolf at BayCooper Dayton and Oliver Park and working things out as partners for the BSI, but Cooper isn’t quite sure how things are working out on the personal front. Neither seems capable of talking about how the feel, and both have a lot they need to work out personally. So when Cooper ends up heading home for his brother’s engagement party, he’s surprised when Park agrees to come along.

One of the bits I adore in this book is in the first chapter, where Cooper is standing outside a flower shop, waiting for Park to show up, when an older woman stops to talk to him.

“You’ve been standing here staring at that flower shop for fifteen minutes. So is it for her birthday or anniversary, or are you making up for a fight? Because I’ve been married for thirty-two years, and believe me, there are different bouquets for different occasions.”

“I don’t know his favorite flower.” She sucked her teeth mock disapprovingly. “I’m not sure he even has one,” Cooper added defensively. “What about birthday?”

“Something that goes with the gift you got him because you better not just be walking in with some lousy flowers. So which is it?”

Cooper laughed. “What if I want to get him some flowers just because?”

She raised an eyebrow and sniffed. “Uh-huh, right. You-fucked-up-flowers it is, then.”

What kind of flowers for just because?”

“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.” She cackled.

That woman–who appears for just a few paragraphs, is a story in and of herself.

I kind of feel like if that doesn’t convince you to read this book, nothing would. But it is a very good mystery, and an excellent slow-unwrapping of just who Cooper is and just why he is how he is.

And also that although Cooper and Oliver seem unable to actually talk to each other about how they feel, their feelings come out clearly, despite themselves.

“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.”

Yes, there is murder and darkness and past trauma being dredged up, but there is also love and forgiveness and attempts at understanding.

Really, there is just a lot I love about this book.

Publisher: Carina Press
Rating: 9.5/10


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