When I grabbed Jason Starr’s The Pack, I thought it would be a mystery thriller. I learned of Starr when he wrote a Vertigo Crime graphic novel, The Chill, and thought I would give this novel a try because I enjoyed the graphic novel. The story jacket notes that the story is about Simon Burns, an advertising executive, who loses his job for no reason. It seems like his bosses didn’t like him and he was a bit of a mope. His wife isn’t fond of him either, but in between couple’s therapy, he becomes a stay-at-home dad. The jacket also noted that he meets three dads and becomes friendly with them as their young boys play together.
This is a story about werewolves. I don’t like fantasy books. I don’t like werewolves or horror stories. But Starr’s prose rises above the usual werewolf story. The hardest part of reading this book is the sexual appetites of the wolves. It never is really explained outside of them being animals and that they are closer to their desires, so I was confused. There were only so many excited men I could deal with.
The best moments of this book were between the father and his son. I really enjoyed him trying to be a better father and to continue to watch and worry about his son when everything else is changing so much. In all of the changes and concerns of murderous rage, his family remains his focus.
The book doesn’t resolve itself and the back jacket note that Starr is working on a sequel. I’m not sure I will be back, because it isn’t exactly the kind of book I like to read. But if I am at a lull for a book, I may grab it. This was an above average book on what I consider to be a below average subject. It rose above its material with interesting characters and situations.