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Werewolf Cop by Andrew Klavan

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Review of: Werewolf Cop
Andrew Klavan

Reviewed by:
On March 28, 2015
Last modified:March 28, 2015


Klavan's latest novel is both entertaining and thought provoking. It's the story Zach Adams, dubbed "The Supercop" by the press, after saving a child from a ruthless psychopath. But this cop, is no ordinary superhero - he's a werewolf!

Werewolf Cop Andrew Klavan’s latest novel is both entertaining and thought provoking. It’s the story of Zach Adams, dubbed “The Supercop” by the press, after saving a child from a ruthless psychopath.  A chance photograph of Adams holstering his weapon like a cowboy hero of yore strikes a chord with the public and catapults cowboy Zach and his partner Broadway Joe to brief celebrity status.

Unfortunately for Adams, happily married, but coming off the unavoidable high which comes from instant celebrity, and missing the adrenaline of the chase, a beautiful nutcase is able to lure him into an extramarital shtup, which he almost instantly regrets.

Klavan’s portrayal of Adams guilt and regret is a cautionary tale in and of itself, but serves as the initial representation of the book’s overall theme. Although not quoted directly, one can relate to the words of the apostle Paul.

For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.  Romans 7:19

At his core, Adams is man who believes in God, but seeks to keep him at arm’s length.   But even this wary belief might be enough.

Adams doesn’t start out as a werewolf, but is chosen to bear the curse by a mysterious old woman who asks:

“Do you believe?”

Zach blinked, confused — … In werewolves?” he  said.

Her anxious monkey face went lopsided with a world-weary grin.  “In God, I meant.”

“Oh in God … Yeah, sure”

Then later, when explaining the purpose of the silver bullets, in gun she hands him:

Silver is the metal that conducts the best.  Head. Electricity. But not just that.  More.  More mysterious things too.  It is not the bullets that will do the death-work, you see.  It is your “Yeah, sure”.  That. The silver conducts that as well.

And the struggle between the good and the not-so-good parts of Adams’s nature begins.

The world in which Werewolf Cop takes place is one on the verge of apocalypse.  Europe is disintegrating, the people are rioting and governments are falling right and left.   The old woman has an explanation for this too.

She said, “If you believe in God, the evidence of Him is all around you.  But if you do not believe, no evidence can ever be enough.   Here we do not believe.”

Here in Germany, you mean?”


“We see the violence now, the riots, the burning, and we think, “Ach, it is destroying us,” Gretchen Dankle continued.  “But no, this is not the case.  It is not the violence.  It is the peace, the too-much peace that came before.  We were already destroyed  –inside, you know–before the rioting began.  You see, where there is not spirit, there is only flesh.  Where there is only flesh, there is nothing but pleasure and pain.  Where there is nothing but pleasure and pain, who would choose pain? Who would choose conflict? Who would not choose peace?

“Well, peace … peace is always a good thing,” said Zach because he thought he ought to say something, even though he hadn’t the slightest clue what they were talking about. ….

“Peace would be wonderful, the most wonderful thing,” she said, “if only there were not God.. Then there would be no good or evil, nothing to fight over.  But there is, you see.  there is good and there is evil.  And if you will not fight for the good, if you will not suffer for the good, if you will not fight for the good, if you will not accept pain even unto the pain of your own damnation for the good, then there is only evil. …”

And this is the underlying theme of the whole book, the struggle between good and evil, whether it be the struggles within ourselves, or those against principalities and powers.  It is the former that gives us strength to do the latter.  Once again, it occurred to this reviewer that this was another unspoken biblical reference:

Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. Romans 1:28

Ultimately, Zach Adams has to overcome his own inclinations and realizes the truth of the old lady’s words when reflecting on the choices of another character in the book.

… And he believed in nothing, nothing that was worth dying for anyway.  Why should he not then live?  It was as Grace had said.  In his hour of darkness, when doing what was was wrong made perfect sense, he had nothing to keep him from corruption.

Because it’s difficult to write a review of a suspenseful novel like Werewolf Cop without spoiling it for someone who has not read it, (and this is too good a book to spoil), this reviewer will only offer one more observation about the story, in anticipation of one potential criticism —  Deus ex machina.  Certain of the events in the book initially seemed too pat, too convenient.  But, after reading the book from start to finish, it becomes obvious that this is the point.  There is a symmetry in the universe that makes the implausible plausible.  That very symmetry is a big part of this story.  God plays a subtle role in Klavan’s story, while the Devil takes an obvious and overt one, but God is there nonetheless – right there in the machinery.



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