*I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.*
Title: There Are Wolves Here Too
Author: Niall Howell
Publisher: Newest Press
Publication Date: September 1, 2022
It’s 1997, and Robin and his two best friends, Steph and Dylan, are ready to dive into their first summer as teenagers. But when Catherine, a classmate’s younger sister, disappears, Robin finds his carefree life of mall arcades, soccer, and slasher movies swapped out for one of paranoia, guilt, and confusion. While parents form search parties and police chase vaporous leads, Robin becomes convinced that there is a darker element at play, one that he might have accidentally set loose. All the while, he is trying to figure out his changing relationships, growing closer to Steph as his friendship with Dylan is increasingly marred by mercurial moods and secrets.
A missing child, a small town, a stream of endless questions. Howell’s There Are Wolves Here Too is an intense and gripping story of a small community in the throws of tragedy. Told from the perspective of 13-year-old Robin, we see his friendships and his relationships to those closest to him under a close lens as the mystery of his classmate’s younger sister unfolds. In the immediate aftermath of the loss, parents are keeping their children close and well-supervised and all the summer fun that the kids anticipated is reigned in. Suddenly, the ravine nearby that was a staple place in town seems dark, threatening, and danger lurks behind every tree.
Howell is an incredible storyteller with characters who, though young, drive this story forward with intensity. Through the eyes of someone who is just beginning to brush the adult world around him, the story draws into relief the confusing complexity of adulthood and its many facets. At once bridging the innocence of childhood in a small town with big feelings of loss, shifting relationships, and burgeoning sexuality, the author contrasts the realities of what it means to come of age with a nail-biting and twisting plot. Protagonist, Robin, is navigating his ever-changing relationships as their world is flipped upside down. His is a perspective you’ll love.
I hope you’ll enjoy this book as much as I did. Another great Canadian find with this one!