As stated in the re-reading of the preceding book, I truly liked Beat the Reaper.
So, embarking on the sequel, Wild Thing, I had high hopes of well-written escapades in the twilight world of witness protection and organized crime.
But that’s not what Bazell delivers. Not by any means.
Wild Thing is nothing short of a massive disappointment.
It’s never good if the copious endnotes turn out to be a better read than vast chunks of the main book.
Wild Thing is the proverbial difficult second novel, and the author’s pain shows. While the baseline plot is comparably plausible to that of the first volume, execution manages to suck and blow at the same time. The plotline is muddled by wildly implausible actions and characters (including a cameo appearance so outrageously bad it’s almost cause for a libel law suit).
This might be recoverable, if there was plenty of humor in the soup. But there’s none. The book reads very somberly, completely at odds with the cast and the plot.
The protagonist, a medical MacGyver whose condescending knowledge and instant adaptation to whatever happens, has been replaced with a bumbler who keeps on reeling from events.
Pacing is off. Severely off. So much off that the author has to resort to the “urchins with guns” safety. A couple of times.
The connection to Beat the Reaper is close to non-existent. Which, considering the strength of the debut novel, is quite a disadvantage.
Bonus points for cryptozoology, though.
Will seriously consider not giving inevitable part three a fighting chance, this was a major letdown.