For a while now, Thomp D. James has tried to convince me to read Andrew Klavan’s works without success. It’s simply more fun to listen to him perform in The Revolting Truth or On the Culture than to read his heavy, dark novels. Werewolf Cop happens to be the first novel of his I’ve read to completion, perhaps because Mr. Klavan (along with some help from my friend) convinced me that this would be a fun and over the top buddy cop novel. This subterfuge only lasts the first part of the novel, but one is hooked and can’t put the book down after that point.
The pulp fiction elements smack one right in the face from the onset: the pairing of a white knight Texas lawman and a smart aleck NYPD detective, the first murder having been committed with long swords, the villains being former KGB and SS officers, werewolves, and the name of the villain, Dominic Abend. (Those of you with a small dose of Latin and smaller dose of German will realize this name means “Lord Night”–Lat. dominus and Ger. Abend.) However, the more the Texan hero, Zach Adams, researches a witness’s statement about Abend looking for “Stumpf’s Baselard” and the more tragic the story waxes on his single betrayal of his marriage, the more serious the tale becomes. It is not the style of a pulp fiction to look soberly upon evil and then to tie it into the modern world.
At the time when the events of the novel happen, riots between radical Islamists, Fascists, Socialists and government forces are breaking out across Europe. Adams is forced to visit a professor in Germany named Gretchen Dankl in order to pursue the villain. Dankl reveals that Dominic Abend is behind the unraveling of European order, and that he intends to do the same to America. The symptoms of disorder are the loss of religion and the loss of higher values worth dying for.
Also, Klavan loves reminding us, as he did in The Uncanny, that Satanists are evil and perverse. Considering that Satanist places of worship are popping up in America, it seems that people have forgotten who the mastermind behind all the evil committed in the world is: Satan. Whether they be Satanists, Communists, Fascists, ISIS, or another member of the Culture of Death, they are all Satan’s fools. And Satan means for nothing less than for every man, woman, and child to burn everlastingly in hell. The cosmic battle between good and evil in Werewolf Cop goes beyond cheap melodrama.
The thing which further underscores the battle between good and evil are the many references to the Wisdom of Solomon and other books of Wisdom literature. Adams tends to think of his wife as a “Proverbs 31” woman. In Adams’ most important conversation with the villain, Dominic Abend finds the white knight, Zach Adams, offensive to him. What else does that remind one of than the wicked speaking in the second chapter of the Wisdom of Solomon:
12 Let us lay traps for the upright man, since he annoys us and opposes our way of life, reproaches us for our sins against the Law, and accuses us of sins against our upbringing.
13 He claims to have knowledge of God, and calls himself a child of the Lord.
14 We see him as a reproof to our way of thinking, the very sight of him weighs our spirits down;
15 for his kind of life is not like other people’s, and his ways are quite different.
16 In his opinion we are counterfeit; he avoids our ways as he would filth; he proclaims the final end of the upright as blessed and boasts of having God for his father.
17 Let us see if what he says is true, and test him to see what sort of end he will have.
The upright man in the above passage especially refers to Christ, but all who follow Christ become like Him, and evil men oppose them in the same way as they did the Master: “It is enough for the disciple that he be as his teacher, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more them of his household!” (Matt. 10:25) It is very interesting to read a popular work of fiction which is so based in the Christian worldview, especially one influenced by the Wisdom of Solomon–a work only accepted as canonical by Catholic and Orthodox Christians.
Praising Werewolf Cop as the most powerful werewolf novel in print seems no exaggeration. It’s fun and exciting, but not afraid to talk about the most terrifying evils in the world.