“Wolfe in Shepherd’s Clothing” by Angie Counios & David Gane
Smartly written thrillers for older teens are rare, but Canadian author duo Angie Counios and David Gane have nailed it again in Book 3 of the Shepherd and Wolfe mystery series. “Wolfe in Shepherd’s Clothing” is a finalist in the Young Adult category of High Plains Book Awards. You can take the title literally because Charlie begins the book homeless and borrows some of Tony’s clothes to wear when the Shepherd family takes him in, or you take it to mean people are often not who they say they are.
The rather gruesome opening scene sets a backstory for this novel. Its mature nature is what makes this perfect for older teen readers who have enjoyed series like Michael Vey by Richard Paul Evans or Roland Smith’s Compound series.
Some of the choices the boys make are a shave one side or other of the law and their acquaintance with policewoman Detective Gekas provides some tension. Just enough previous plot comes through to have the current interactions read true.
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The book stands on its own without the previous titles in the series. However, if you have read them, you see the friendship between the boys deepens and Charlie’s acceptance of family expectations and rules is part of his maturing. There is a touch of MacGyver in Charlie that not only helps him survive in dangerous situations but also tends to get him into those sticky spots. Tony, with a traditional family life, provides a counterpart to the daring Charlie. He also provides real “goods” such as a car, food, shelter and a “cover” when they are not where they indicated they would be.
Truly, the best part of the book is knowing that Counios and Gane will write more adventures for Charlie and Tony. Why else would the book end with a single line? – Help.
Elizabeth Waddington is a retired school district librarian who continues to read voraciously when she isn’t making art.