This is a crime novel – a wildlife crime novel – and the story skips along at a fair pace and made me want to keep turning the pages and discover what happened next. It’s not exactly a whodunnit, but more of a willtheygetdunforit.
Alan Stewart is a prolific author on wildlife crime. As an ex wildlife crime officer he knows his stuff and from his 2007 book, Wildlife Detective, through Killing by Proxy (reviewed here) and others he has arrived at his first novel. It may be that writing fiction gives Alan even more ability to tell the truth than does non-fiction. One certainly feels, as one reads, that this event and that event, and this phrase and that phrase, must be based on reality – but who knows?
The author clearly knows his stuff about wildlife crime, police investigations and court procedures so this is a very well-informed insight into those worlds but it is also a gripping tale.
Does the story have a happy ending? I must admit that, for once, I turned to the last few pages to find out. And then I read the book from the beginning. It’s a very good read from a practised writer. Recommended.
And the cover? I quite like it – I’d give it 7/10.
Calls from the Wild by Alan Stewart is published by Thirsty Books.