Siobhan's Reviews > Wolf: Jack Caffery series 7

Wolf by Mo Hayder
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really liked it

Ah, Mo Hayder, how I love your Jack Caffery novels. Unfortunately, I cannot decide where this sits on my Caffery rating scale. I can say for sure that it is not my favourite Caffery read. However, at the same time, I can easily say it is not my least favourite. Those titles go to, respectively, Gone and Ritual. Rather than ranting and raving about how I cannot decide where to sit this book on my aforementioned scale – seriously, I could easily type it all out and still not reach a conclusion – I will give you all what you want: an actual review.

Without further ado, here is why I find this book to be such an odd one.

I’ll start by saying Mo Hayder always delivers with her criminal storyline. There is always more to the story than you can ever imagine. There will be twists and turns aplenty. Alas, this time, some of the aspects were slightly too predictable. We have the complex storyline you would expect from Mo Hayder – secrets relating to the past, multiple people who could be to blame for what is going on, and the potential for motives crossing over – but this time… well, this time certain aspects were far too easy to work out. Don’t get me wrong, there were some twists I overlooked but, for the most, part I managed to work things out. I knew what to expect with certain characters. I knew what explanations were coming before the characters started to pick up on why things were out of place. In many ways, it reminded me of what knocked Gone down to a four star rating despite it being my favourite book. It is almost as though she tried too hard to be unpredictable and managed to do the complete opposite.

Or maybe I have simply read far too many crime books and there are very few twists left unseen. Highly unlikely, of course, but I’m grasping at straws to save the above paragraph from sounding too critical. Honestly, there are twists. I just wanted some of them to have different outcomes, outcomes that weren’t quite so obvious from so early on.

I believe that is enough said about the twists in the storyline: in short, it is wonderful but not her best in terms of surprises.

The second issue I have is a rather paradoxical one, as it’s also something I rather enjoyed about the book. Throughout the Jack Caffery novels, we have watched Jack grow as a character. In this one, I almost feel as though Jack regressed and far too much time was spent focusing upon his inner turmoil. Jack is a wonderful character – I will never be convinced otherwise as there is so much too him – but I feel as though this story gave us too much of the old Jack. I completely understand why with all that was going on, but it felt as though it didn’t quite fit with where things were heading.

I know I have complained in the past about Flea… but I missed her in this one. I finally reached the point of fangirl in the last book only for her not to appear in this one. Imagine my dismay! I had been looking forward to the pairing only to be let down. Now a part of me questions whether I agree with the way their relationship was heading. Part of me will be happy if she never comes back whereas another part of me wants this book rewritten so she appears at some point. All in all, I’m left unsure about that aspect of the storyline due to the lack of her character in this book.

Still, back to my issue with Jack. Seeing the old him really helps us to see how he has changed. It all plays out so well. However, we spent far too much time focusing upon his side issue and not enough focus upon him solving the crime. I like Jack more when he is in his element. He needs to be making connections, getting inside the minds of the bad guys… not chasing ghosts. Perhaps we can put the ghosts to rest after this book – even if I’m not happy about his reaction to secrets coming out – but part of me feels as though Jack is going to take an entirely different route now. I just hope it does not mean we no longer get to see the Jack obsessed with chasing down the bad guys.

I guess this brings me to my final criticism. The Walking Man was such an annoying deus ex machina. He is okay having some knowledge, but I feel as though the way he just knew so much about certain aspects of Jack’s past – how he was the one with the answers – was a little bit too much. I was unhappy with how that one came to an end.

Don’t get me wrong, it is another good book. I realise I have highlighted my issues with the book and ignored the good parts, but remember I have given this one four stars. It was as wonderful as the other Jack Caffery novels. It gives us all we expect from Mo Hayder – from her interesting characters to complex storylines, from her twisted ideas to her ability to make multi-layered good and evil – so don’t be put off by the fact I always focus more upon the bad than the good when writing reviews.

Seriously, if you’ve followed Jack this far you need to read this one as there is so much personal stuff in this one. If you’re not following the Jack Caffery series and you love a good crime read, I suggest jumping on the bandwagon sooner rather than later.
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Reading Progress

February 28, 2015 – Shelved
February 28, 2015 – Shelved as: to-read
Started Reading
October 6, 2015 – Finished Reading

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