It's pretty much a given at this point that I'm going to like just about anything Jeff Strand publishes. If the man can produce a romantic-comedy and not make me choke on my own vomit in response, then anything that bares his signature fusing of horror and comedy is a sure thing.
Some things, however, are more sure than others.
Wolf Hunt 2 picks up right where the original left off. George and Lou, that lovable pair of mafia enforcers who both carry the burden of a conscience, are in hiding after not delivering the goods in their first hunt for a wolf. Of course, that state of affairs does not last long, and before you can say "What are the odds of the same thing happening to the same two guys twice?", George and Lou are hunting another werewolf. Except this time, their efforts attract the attention of yet more werewolves. So in the time-honoured tradition of sequels everywhere, Strand provides more bang for your buck by upping the Wolf-to-hitman quotient.
Wolf Hunt 2 starts out strongly. When George and Lou are being strong-armed into a mission against their will, and then are on said mission, everything hums along nicely. It's only once things take a significant turn in the second half of the short novel, that events come a little off the rails. For one, the laughs largely dry up. Partly due to the subject matter, and partly due to plot developments, Wolf Hunt 2 stops being as funny, even when Strand seems to be trying for such a reaction. That said, he clearly knows he's gone into darker territory, and does scale it back a little. The other issue I had was that the antagonists in the back half of proceedings are nowhere near as strong as those who come before them. Sadly, I didn't even love to hate them; I just thought they were a little lame - especially compared to how awesome Ivan was in Wolf Hunt.
But you know what? Wolf Hunt 2 still more than pulls off being an entertaining read. George and Lou continue their sparkling repartee, especially in the early pages, insane action is perpetually just a chapter away, and Strand sets up an intriguing wider world in the final pages of the book that virtually demand a second sequel. It's mostly good stuff. It's just not quite as good as the original was, and hence my expectations were a tad underdone.
Recommended to fans of Strand and those who like werewolf tales everywhere.
3.5 Silver-Jewellery Adorned Baseball Bats (3 here; 4 on Amazon) for Wolf Hunt 2.