book review, horror

Croata by Owl Goingback

When mutilated corpses start turning up around the quiet town of Logan, Missouri, locals suspect a bear. Sheriff Skip Harding knows better. He’s one of the few survivors of the monster that is slaughtering the inhabitants, but how can he stop a creature that’s more darkness than flesh? Fortunately, Cherokee game warden Jay Little Hawk and his adopted father, Lakota medicine man George Strong Eagle, are there to help.

There was lots I liked about this book. Jay Little Hawk was a great character, and I enjoyed all his scenes. I wish he’d been in the book more. He should have been the main character.

I also loved George Strong Eagle, and all the scenes with the medicine men were great.

The monster of the book, the Croata, had a wonderful introduction. It’s scary and ominous, but after the first chapter I didn’t find it as chilling as it should have been. I would have liked to know more about its history and why it did one of the things it did under ground, because I thought it was an interesting idea that wasn’t developed.

The writing is fast paced and easy to read. It pulls you along. I liked the level of forensic detail regarding the police securing the murder scenes, and the autopsies of the bodies.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t warm to any of the other characters. I was particularly disappointed there were only four female characters in the book (five if you include grandma’s ghost), and they were all personality-less puppets. It’s not necessary to have female characters in order to make a book good, but women are part of life and it seemed unrealistic in this scenario that they weren’t part of the story. Even worse, the female characters that did appear – a victim’s catatonic widow, the sheriff’s prop wife, a police dispatcher without any lines, an unseen dead grandmother, and an attractive flight attendant who appears as a temporary object of lust for one of the characters – are unrealistic, devoid of personality and add nothing to the story.

Despite these shortcomings, I enjoyed the Native American lore and the paranormal aspects to the novel and I would read another book by this author.

I award Croata

6 thoughts on “Croata by Owl Goingback”

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