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Lawmen, libido and . . . lizards??
on 18 July 2005
Theophilus Crowe is a Constable. That's not quite a real lawman. He's not certain what it means, nor are the residents of Pine Cove. In this hidden town on a remote shore facing the Pacific Ocean, Pine Cove's Constable has little to do beyond maintaining the peaceful setting and worrying about his cannabis crop. His musings are rudely interrupted by a suicide. The death brings forth minions of the County Sheriff while evokes a spectre of faulty practice to the town's resident psychiatrist. Another spectre resides in the memories of Molly Michon, former skin-flick Warrior Princess of the Outland who bears a scar that demolished her career. Still getting jollies when she flourishes her sword, she's a formidable friend.
Molly finds a friend - "Steve" [no relation]. Steve's problem requires lengthy explanation - reaching, in fact, deep into prehistoric time. Steve is a shape-shifting, pheromone-emitting oceanic resident who's hungry. And horny. Piqued by a waft of radioactive leakage, Steve wends his way to Pine Cove in search of meals and mating. His ability to disguise himself keeps his mass invisible, but his musk attracts susceptible humans in droves. Molly becomes his mentor and protector, but there are other circumstances interfering with her ability to mother-hen a monster that devours people in a gulp. What exactly, is County Sheriff Burton up to? And what do a psychiatrist and a biologist have to talk about?
Moore's ability to create characters and circumstances is worthy of much applause. It's difficult to identify a "real" person among this assemblage. Yet, none of them is contrived nor severely exaggerated. Even Skinner, a rambunctious Labrador, proves a valid depiction. Psychiatrist Valerie Riordan struggles to keep professionalism, personality and pharmacists in some kind of balance. The intrusion of the monster lizard [?? - we're not certain of its actual shape] nearly tips the balance. Moore, by limiting each vignette to a manageable length, keeps the character development and episodes alive and closely present as you page through the book. It's not something you want to read in bits and pieces - the continuity demands rather close attention. A fine book for a holiday or long air flight, Moore's work rewards the reader for their time and attention.
[stephen a. haines - Ottawa, Canada]