I finished the book I was talking about on Sunday by scanning the last sixty pages or so. And even in scanning I found something else to criticize. I mentioned how an attack by the story’s werewolf happened out of the reader’s direct experience and had to be “told” to the main character. Although this resulted in a very weak experience for the reader, I thought the reason why the author probably did it this way was because they didn’t want to break point-of-view. Although the book was written in third person limited rather than first person, everything had been shown from the POV of the main character, an ex-marine turned deputy sheriff. Since the deputy wasn’t present at the attack he had to be told about it. My thinking was mistaken.
About thirty pages later a female character is attacked by the werewolf and the scene is shown from her POV, the only time in the book where POV is shifted. As an action scene, however, it actually worked a lot better and I would have far preferred that the writer shift POV when needed to keep the dramatic action up front with the reader.
In third person limited, shifting POV is not a problem as long as it is done between scenes rather than within scenes, and as long as it is clearly indicated. I hate it if I’m in a character’s head in an individual scene and am suddenly vaulted into another character in that same scene. I don’t have a problem at all if we shift POV when a new chapter begins, or even within a chapter if the scene shift is indicated by a number or an extra space. All you need to do is start with the name of the character whose head we are going to be in, and stay there consistently within the scene.