Hear Him Roar

Andrew Wingfield

Since the mountain lion that kills a jogger to feed her kitten as this novel opens is female, the title refers to the narrator, Charlie Sayers. Close to retirement, disenchanted with his career as a California state biologist, suffering both an unexplained stomach ailment and an obsessively helpful live-in girlfriend, the 60-something, outdoorsy hero gets handed a chance to take another look at his life when suburban sprawl leads to an inevitable conflict with nature. The first-person narration, though occasionally uneven, is genuine; Sayers is both likeable and irritating. Locals will appreciate how Fair Oaks native Wingfield has recreated his hometown in fictional Olives, Sacto references abound, and the folly of unbridled suburban expansion is exposed. What’s not to like?