Ex-wives and werewolves don't mix well

Night Broken - Patricia Briggs

Skillfully written and enjoyable, this novel starts almost as an anecdote. Our old friend Mercy, a shape-shifting coyote, is happily settled into her marriage with Adam, the local werewolf Alpha, and his pack has almost accepted her. Everything seems fine, until Adam’s ex-wife Christy calls and asks for help. Her new boyfriend is stalking her. Of course, she would have to stay with Adam in his house – for extra protection. It was her house too, before she left.

While the pack tries to find the stalker, Mercy tries not to be jealous and petty, but she isn’t succeeding. Christy is beautiful, ruthlessly manipulative, and plays the role of a weak victim to perfection. Plus she is a terrific cook and she takes over Mercy’s kitchen. The pack buys Christy’s act and feels sorry for her, but Mercy sees through Christy’s schemes. Or does she?

When the stalker finally appears, Mercy’s jealousy must take the back seat to her need to protect the pack. The stalker is more than human and much more powerful than a werewolf. Whatever animosity Mercy feels for Christy, a bigger problem rears its head: the stalker now targets the entire pack.

The action is as fast and compelling as a werewolf on a hunt, not allowing a reader even a minute respite. A little bit of humor doesn’t hurt either – I mean, can you imagine your spouse’s ex living in the same house with you, causing all sorts of mayhem – but one thing upset me about this book. It’s #8 in the series, and the familiar personages are all static: Mercy and Adam and Jesse and the rest of the pack. They have stopped developing somewhere in the vicinity of book #4. The only interesting characters are new ones, and they are both baddies: Christy and the creature who is stalking her.

Christy is a narcissistic bitch with a silver tongue, pretending to be a lamb. She is in love with herself and always finds a reason to blame those around her, especially Mercy. We all know such women…unfortunately. And the other one, the stalker – well, that would be spoiling if I talked about him much. Let’s just say he belongs on Canary Islands and it’s not a good idea for him to leave his birthplace. He becomes unhinged.

As always, Ms. Briggs’ new novel was an engrossing read, and I look forward for more.