Book Review by Roy E. Perry: T.R. Pearson’s “Warwolf”

Editor’s Note: Roy E. Perry, the self-described “amateur philosopher of Nolensville,” wrote book reviews for “The Tennessean” and “Nashville Banner” for thirty years. In this new review, he continues his extensive look at the work of Southern literary artist T. R. Pearson.


After writing a clunker, Red Scare (2008), T. R. Pearson returns to excellent form with Warwolf (2011). No, it’s not a werewolf horror story, but it’s a horror novel just the same—a chilling tale of blood and gore, mayhem and murder, in which a coven of homicidal maniacs terrorize a Virginia county some twenty miles west of Charlottesville.

While searching for a lost dog, Deputy Delray “Ray” Tatum discovers a body lodged high in the limbs of a black oak tree. Later, he discovers this murder is but the latest in a crime spree of “peripatetic butchery” begun many years earlier in the Western states, and with more carnage yet to come.

“Warwolf” was the name of a trebuchet, a medieval engine of war with a sling for hurling missiles. It was used in the Scottish Wars of Independence, and believed to be the largest such catapult ever made. A similar trebuchet had thrown the body from a nearby rock quarry into the black oak tree.

Desperate for clues to solve the mystery, Deputy Tatum, joined by Kate LeComte, a Special FBI Agent (herself somewhat of a loose cannon), scour the mountains and ridges, hills and hollows, of Appalachia, searching for leads to identify and apprehend the killer or killers.

As in other T. R. Pearson novels, Warwolf humorously describes the quirky inhabitants of backwoods Virginia. Tatum muses, “I was stunned by the sheer magnitude of the squalor, and this in a part of the world where living in squalor is a kind of local avocation. If it had been up to me to write the county motto, I would have made it the Latin version of ‘Aim Low.’”

Most of the local “citizens” are trifling ne’er-do-wells whose chief offenses are misdemeanors (stealing anything and everything that isn’t locked up or nailed down). As Tatum and LeComte painstakingly and persistently investigate the local familial clans, they slowly but surely whittle down the list of suspects.

In this police procedural, Tatum and LeComte, along with fellow law-enforcement officers Verle (the local sheriff), and deputies Ronnie and Doug—aided by forensics from Richmond and Quantico—eventually unravel the identities of these bizarre serial killers, who cut open their victims, take out their vital organs, and put them in jars.

A grisly read requiring readers with strong stomachs, Warwolf is a tense and gripping whodunit.

For other book reviews by Roy E. Perry, please visit:

David M. (Dave) Carew is writer/editor of “Underground Nashville” and the author of the novels “Everything Means Nothing to Me: A Novel of Underground Nashville” and “Voice from the Gutter,” both now available at and Dave is also a freelance book editor, publicist, seminar and workshop leader, journalist, and advertising / marketing / public relations writer.

Everything Means Nothing to Me: A Novel of Underground Nashville by Dave Carew—which was praised by The Tennessean as “beautiful, haunting, powerful”—is now available in an all-new paperback edition. For more information, please visit:

Do you want to help homeless people in Nashville learn culinary arts and other employment skills that provide a specific, effective path off the streets? Please visit (link below) and consider making a financial contribution. Any amount is very helpful and appreciated. Thank you.


Editor’s Note: “Underground Nashville” covers artists, authors, musicians, poets, political figures, and other compelling people and happenings not typically covered by the mainstream Nashville media. It also presents reflections and commentary from an underground/indie perspective, offering “thoughts from the shadows of a great American city.”

Dave Carew



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: