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Dark Moon    by Lori Handeland order for
Dark Moon
by Lori Handeland
Order:  USA  Can
St. Martin's, 2005 (2005)
* *   Reviewed by Martina Bexte

For the last five years, Dr. Elise Hanover has been secreted away at a Montana lab trying to develop a serum that will counteract the affliction she's been born with and hates. When the moon is full, she turns into a werewolf. She didn't have a lot of say in her career choice; her mentor, Edward Mandenauer, head of the Jager Suchers (a secret organization that hunts down and destroys werewolves preying on humans) told her in no uncertain terms that the day she stops her research will be the day he sends a silver bullet into her brain.

So far, the serum has successfully suppressed her bloodlust, but Elise is unable to counteract the virus that turns her four-footed and furry. On the verge of a breakthrough, her lab is compromised. Nick Franklin, her college sweetheart and the man who first awakened her inner beast, is now an FBI agent. He rescues Elise moments before the compound is razed, but they're unable to save any of her research. Together they must discover who's behind the sabotage - and why. Could it have anything to do with the strange goings-on in Fairhaven, a small Wisconsin town where over half the population has gone missing? Elise and Nick, along with Edward and various other Jager Suchers, have only a few days to find out before the full moon rises again.

This is the third book in Handeland's popular Moon series. Smart and often amusing dialogue, brisk pacing, plenty of action and a generous helping of spookiness create just the right tone. There are also plenty of villains crawling out of the woods in various ghostly shapes and incarnations. Handeland's characterizations could be a bit stronger (her heroines are too cookie cutter for my liking and Nick's background and reason for conveniently showing up are vague), but overall Dark Moon is an engaging and enjoyable paranormal romance.

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