"Ravenous" is a fabulous spin on the classic werewolf tale, reminiscent of Stephen King's vampire epic, "Salem's Lot". Garton builds strong characters; making them likable, endearing, and realistic. Sexually graphic but well written, Garton brings the werewolf myth solidly into the 21st century.
Sheriff Arlin Hurely suffers from problems common to every small town sheriff: unreported domestic abuse, busy-body old ladies, and intrusive local reporters. However, though his department has struggled for several months to capture a serial rapist in their midst, the Californian town of Big Rock is a safe place to live.
That changes when one of Hurely's deputies is killed by a strange animal - partially eaten - while chasing a corpse that unbelievably awakens and flees a hospital morgue in the night. Things quickly spiral out of control, as the incidents of deaths and rape quickly escalates. While the body count piles higher, experts can only determine the animal responsible for the killing is "an unidentifiable species of wolf". When a scarred stranger arrives in Big Rock, claiming they're infested by werewolves, Hurely must put aside his disbelief if he's to save his town and those he loves.
Garton does an excellent job of painting a real town full of real people, falling to an uncontrollable epidemic they're powerless against. Posing the werewolf curse as a sexually transmitted disease works well, though it does offer some sexually graphic moments. Garton's also not afraid to leave readers dangling on the edge at the end, which only wets appetites for the novel's upcoming sequel.