If you like crossover fiction straddling mystery and horror, look no further than R.S. Guthrie's Clan of MacAuley series. Black Beast far exceeded my expectations for pure good writing, likable characters and a great story.
This Denver Detective, Bobbie Mac, between his Celtic ancestry, his eight years in the U.S. Marine Corps, and his years on the Denver police force, certainly carries with him sufficient history upon which to build a series of books. Those years on the Denver force have left their mark. When two young drug-dealing punks are murdered in a local park, and only parts of their bodies found, the authorities at first think a bear might have wandered into the city. Bobbie Mac is charged with getting to the bottom of the crime.
Guthrie has written the book in the first person, allowing the reader to plumb Bobbie Mac's thought processes. Since Bobbie Mac is a thoughtful dude given to armchair wisdom, the exploration of his psyche is one of the high points of the book. Scattered throughought the story are also third-person scenes, so that the reader has slightly more information than Bobbie most of the time. The author walks this line with great self-assurance.
The book progresses with alacrity to a satisfying finish. I found myself craving more story, having reached the last page. I can't give details here without spoiling. My feeling is that Guthrie is planning to fill in the gaps in future books in the series, and that's as it should be. Now I'm looking forward to reading his second book, Lost.