In this impressive werewolf novel with a detective story twist, first-time British author Whitfield imagines a contemporary world whose majority are people who "fur up" at full moon; the scorned minority called barebacks by their wolven, "lycanthropic" peers are permanently clad in their human skin. Whitfield's bareback protagonist, Lola Galley, is a lawyer with DORLA (Department for the Ongoing Regulation of Lycanthropic Activity), an unpopular organization necessary to maintaining order in a civilized world. Lola's full-moon duties include "dogcatching," or chasing down stray "lunes," lycos in vicious, canine form. When a bareback friend loses a hand to the snapping jaws of a lune and then turns up shot dead a few days later it's Lola's job to defend the mauler who becomes a murder suspect. In the process of her investigation, Lola must face her own biases as a minority and unearth the secret behind the divide in her society. A nuanced exploration of prejudice, this deftly written, absorbing debut deserves a crossover literary and fantasy readership. (Sept.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Whitfield lives in London and has a varied life as a publisher, web editor, and masseuse. Her terrific first novel introduces readers to a fantastic world much like our own, except that a majority of the population are lunes, or lycanthropes, who "fur up" during a full moon. The one percent who remain human, "barebacks," are treated as second-class citizens. When a bareback is attacked by a lune and later murdered, Lola Galley, a bareback lawyer for a department that regulates the activities of lycanthropes, seeks justice for her friend. Her quest sends readers on an emotional, social, and historical journey through the trials of discrimination and prejudice. Tackling a major social issue, this thought-provoking novel is recommended for readers who enjoy intelligent, literate fantasy. [Warner Bros. Pictures has obtained the film rights. Ed.] April Davis, Librarian, Chantilly, VA Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.