Review: Bitten by Dan O’Brien

Bitten by Dan O’Brien
Series: Laurent Westlake Mysteries
Release Date: September 10, 2011
Publisher:  CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Pages: 236
Source:  Publisher

A predator stalks a cold northern Minnesotan town. There is talk of wolves walking on two legs and attacking people in the deep woods. Lauren Westlake, resourceful and determined F.B.I Agent, has found a connection between the strange murders in the north and a case file almost a hundred years old. Traveling to the cold north, she begins an investigation that spirals deep into the darkness of mythology and nightmares. Filled with creatures of the night and an ancient romance, the revelation of who hunts beneath the moon is more grisly than anyone could have imagined. [Does contain violence, strong language, and adult situations]


Review: Murder, Werewolves, Urban Myths, Small towns, and FBI Agents! A perfect combination for this exciting, thrilling, gory murder mystery with bits and pieces of romance and paranormal!

I did enjoy the actual writing in the book. Author Dan O’Brien uses very descriptive writing. Many times while reading I felt I could just close my eyes and be in the scene and in the moment. It is refreshing to read a good mystery that is exciting and very descriptive. It allows me to connect with each character in the story. Warning, the scenes do tend to be a bit gory and much like a horror movie. There were many times I had to shiver after reading the graphic and colorful writing. I would not recommend this for the sensitive or squeamish type.

The back story is good. It wasn’t the normal werewolf story I normally read. In Bitten there is some back story which shed light regarding many myths concerning werewolves and urban myths. The story put a little twist on the normal werewolf story. I love the twist of what happens to a person bitten by a werewolf. I also like how the stories weaved together. You have a detective investigating mysterious murders and a werewolf that seeks someone of his kind to resurrect his own supernatural race. I did want a bit more of the back story. I expected to learn more about the supernatural and mortal realms (and the new twists) along with more history of the characters and their ancestors.

Among the gory murders and the mutilated bodies author O’Brien finds a way to tie in a bit of a romance.  The romance aspect of the book is also enjoyable with Agent Lauren Westlake. She is your no nonsense career driven FBI agent that gets “bit” by a love bug and turns into a young batty eyed girl in love. Many times in the novel she struggles with this persona because she is expected to be a tough and rough detective, but ends up all doe eyed and giddy over her guy Dominic. I think this part of the story was written well. I normally don’t like to read too many stories with a strong independent woman who suddenly falls apart when she falls in love.  The author did a good job of giving us romance book lover’s bits and pieces of romance and attraction mixed in with horror, mystery and intrigue.

There were many other strong characters in the book including Sheriff Montgomery and by the end his relationship turns endearing and almost fatherly with Lauren.  I loved the characters and their development. Sheriff Montgomery was not keen on having some FBI agent in his territory but as events unfolded he slowly starts to trust agent Westlake. This makes the story believable as most small town folks don’t want outsiders in their town! Another favorite character of mine is the transient bum. Throughout most of the book he is referred to as the vagrant or the transient and is of no use at all. Eventually with the help of Agent Westlake he opens up and ends up assisting in the investigation. Hecate was another memorable character. She plays an important role in finding who or what is killing in the small town of Locke Minnesota. Her twist is she serves as a “Guide for the Mortal Realm” and has a very unique way of helping out with the investigation.

One complaint was the story just ended and left me wanting more with Lauren and Dominic. The ending left me with the impression that Detective Westlake’s adventures will continue (with another “paranormal subject”) so I will look out for another adventure with this quirky FBI agent. I look forward to seeing what other twists Dan O’Brien can come up with for the next paranormal subject. I do recommend this book for those readers that love a good mystery with lots of gore and suspense.