Putnam, Mar 2003, 24.95, 304 pp.
In 1963, residents of Kickapoo County, Wisconsin are shocked when someone assassinates train engineer Frank Prager while waiting in the yards. The bullet was fired from a hillside six hundred yards away from the target. Townsfolk know that only Deputy Sheriff Pliny Pennington could hit a mark from a distance equivalent to six football fields.
Pliny has two reasons to solve the case. First he must clear his name since he is running for the position of county sheriff and no spin control short of catching the real killer will work. Second, he suspects that the murder is the calling card from a World War II enemy, Nazi officer “Wolf” Stangl. When Frank's wife Lisa, who was having an “affair” with Pliny, is killed next, the deputy has no doubts as to the culprit. However, no one else believes a former Nazi butcher is hiding in Wisconsin seeking a personal final solution that is until a revenge seeking Scotland Yard operative arrives in town.
WOLF PASS is an exciting historical police procedural that features the return of Pliny in a strong tale. Besides an engaging investigative tale, the story line provides the audience with a deep look at what the Great War cost Pliny physically and mentally. There are plenty of twists, not all needed to prime the pump, but ultimately the plot peels down to Pliny must prove his theory correct or lose more than just an election. Sub-genre readers will applaud this novel and seek Steve Thayer's previous Pliny work (see WHEAT FIELD).
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner