The Frenzy Way
Trade Paper, 356 pages, $15.95
Review by Sheila Merritt
Werewolves evoke terror. In The Frenzy Way, author Gregory Lamberson takes that premise one step further: The main werewolf is a terrorist. He plagues Manhattan with a series of vicious attacks; the murder victims are mutilated, munched on, and manipulated to promote fear. The hirsute harbinger of horror has a vindictive streak that extends through decades. His assaults feature taunts and signature statements: A Silence of the Lambs nod from a bona fide relative of lamb killers. Lamberson does a fine job mixing a police procedural with lycanthropes and lore.
Combining Native American culture and myths with relics from the Spanish Inquisition, the novel manages to maintain a modern urban edge. The city streets and subways are transformed to treacherous terrain; savvy New Yorkers, aware of the inherent dangers of their turf, are thrown into a maelstrom of fright. At its center is police captain Mace. He knows that whoever heads the investigation is on thin ice; careers can be broken by such a sensational case. Volatile emotions run rampant, as Mace becomes embroiled in a world of shape-shifters; both benign, and malevolent. The lone rogue wolf who is perpetrating the crimes has an agenda; he wants to destabilize the packs that quietly co-exist with humans. Educated by militant bestial brethren, the assailant decides to take matters in his own paws: “He’s a terrorist willing to die for his cause. Fear and anarchy are his allies.”
The narrative in The Frenzy Way is gutsy. Gregory Lamberson kills off some likeable and admirable characters, and incorporates much information; factual as well as fabricated. His book’s title refers to a ritual which enables humans to walk in animal form. Possessing spirited action scenes and distinctive dialogue, the novel penetrates the psyche of a terrorist; and comprehends the psychology of terror. It’s like taking a savagely wild walk – in animal form.