“Wolf Moon” is a 1993 novel by Ed Gorman. It’s my first Gorman novel, but it won’t be the last.
The story starts out as many Westerns do. A young man makes a mistake and winds up serving almost a decade in a territorial prison, all the while his hatred growing for the man he holds responsible for putting him behind bars and for killing his two brothers.
When the wronged young man, Chase, is finally released from prison, he first heads out to find his girl, which he does, along with a huge surprise. At almost the same time, he finds the man, Reeves, who wronged him. The conflict for Chase is trying to hold his new family together and honor his wife’s request/demand that he leave the past in the past, while at the same time, honoring the memory of his brothers. Throw in trying to stop a bank robbery and a vicious boss in his new job in law enforcement, and you have a pretty good story brewing.
Gorman also brings wolves into the story (you might have guessed from the title) in ways I haven’t seen before. I also like the fact he tells part of the story (including the opening chapter) through the eyes of wolves, something I haven’t seen before — except in my Brock Clemons books, where I always have a couple of chapters from Wolf’s perspective.
The ending of the book seems like it would be fairly predictable, but it’s not. It’s a rare Western where the last few pages surprise you, but Gorman’s “Wolf Moon” does. There are some tough and brutal scenes throughout the book, which can be a little hard to read, and animal lovers (which I count myself among), will struggle with much of the book. But Gorman is a crisp, clear writer and moves the story along quickly, so overall, it’s well worth reading.