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by Kelley Armstrong
Viking Penguin, September 2001
342 pages
ISBN: 0670894710

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

There are only 35 werewolves in the world. 32 were born that way, 3 were BITTEN and made. One of those three is the only female werewolf. Elena Michaels lives in Toronto with her human architect boyfriend, Philip, but once a week, in the dead of the night, she leaves their bed, drives to the ravine, shape shifts and runs wild. Elena has not told Philip she is a werewolf (how would one do that?) but she loves being part of a family and being accepted by his mother and sister.

She had been trained on proper werewolf behavior by Jeremy, the leader of the pack living on a compound in upstate New York. The 7 members of the pack continually try to keep the "mutts" (non pack werewolves) from making their existence known to humankind. However, Jeremy calls Elena to come back to the compound. Something is happening and they need her help.

When she gets to the estate, she learns that there are rumors of a "large dog" running loose in the area and killing people. She reluctantly stays to help. Apparently, what is happening is several mutts have been making new werewolves, who have no controls on their appetite, and the pack must stop this unacceptable behavior.

Elena's first love, Clay, is a pack member. She doesn't want to be at the compound because she still has feelings for him, but she owes her life to Jeremy, the pack alpha, and this loyalty must outweigh her aversion to Clay. The mutts kill two of the pack members, including the only one Elena has kept in contact with since she left to live as a human in Toronto. The remaining 5 have to find and deal with the mutts in order to protect the status quo. If you are a fan of supernatural romantic suspense, this first novel is for you. I'd rather stick with Laurell K. Hamilton and Lee Killough's versions of the werewolf legends.

Reviewed by Barbara Franchi, June 2003

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