Axel and his wife, Janis live in the outskirts of Crooked Tree. Janis, a member of the Ottawa tribe, starts acting strangely around the same time that bears start killing people. The Ottawas, who have often considered the bears to be almost cousins, believe that something sinister is at work. As the killings increase, new evidence comes to light. Not only have these people been killed by bears, but they have also had their tongues cut out by a knife. The only thing that could possibly be causing these attacks is an impossibility.
I don't even know where to begin with this one. I got about 25% of the way through it and was almost ready to hurl it through a closed window. I was disappointed to immediately discover the culprit was bears. I was hoping for some build up and some suspense, but nope... it's bears. I mean, it gets more complicated, but it's mostly bears. The writing was the big turnoff for me. Wilson changes perspectives like he changes his mind. Constantly. At first he would separate the different perspectives with a return, but then I think he just gave up on that. There is one part where two canoeists are going down a river, a man is out fishing, and the bears are on the prowl. You know the bears are going to attack, but you don't know if they will attack the fisherman or the canoeists. So it keeps switching perspective between the three parties. This is what it looks like, I wrote this to give you a good example without copying two pages from the book:
Canoeists are traveling and enjoying the totally innocent and sunny day. Look at all the pretty trees and flowers. The river is moving swiftly, what a wonderful adventure.
The bears know there is danger, but they ignore it. They see their prey ahead of them and it looks dumb. Should be an easy kill.
Karl wanted to go fishing. So he did. He got his tent set up and got all his gear ready for fishing the next day. It was thrilling. Definitely worth writing paragraphs about.
The bears move a little closer and remain unseen. The prey is really dumb to not see or hear us. Karl curled up in his sleeping bag but couldn't fall asleep. I wonder what those strange scratches on the tree by the car meant. The canoeists passed out after a day of sunshine and daisies. We're making good progress. Should be a relaxing week. The bears moved closer, the prey had stopped moving. The wind picked up. Karl felt the wind pick up. The canoeists felt the wind pick up. The bears felt the wind pick up. Nobody suspected anything. The prey is dumb.
The problem is that whenever you see the quick narration shift like this, you know someone is going to die. The suspense up to that point is pretty decent, and then the narration shifts. As soon as that happens, I lose all concept of suspense. I kinda just yell about authors and predictable writing. You can ask TC about this. I will just randomly start yelling about books and authors when they do stuff like this.
There is one section in this book that talks about prehistoric bears. I have no idea what it's purpose is for the story. Useless words.
The characters are not lovable. You aren't really rooting for them. It's a disengaged sort of story because of it.
There are some books that are so terribly written that I can't even read them. The story may be amazing, but I can't get past the truly terrible writing. This is not one of those books. I got past the bad writing, and there were a few really good moments in this book. The action and history were pretty decent. The writing was predictable, the ending was incorrect, and the scariest part of the book was not as strong as it could have been. All that being said, I read the whole thing. It was an easy read. I am glad I made it to the end, but this book could have been so much better. I could easily excuse this book as a "first book" (the first book this author has published), and would potentially read something else by him.