Reviews of dark fiction (Under Construction)

Moon Lake by Joe Lansdale

” ‘The moon is up. The water is high. Dark souls walk the earth and cry.’ “-Jerzy Fitzgerald.

“My name is Daniel Russell. I dream of dark water.” So begins MOON LAKE. This is the story of Daniel Russell, a young white boy with no living parents, rescued from a lake by a mermaid. Sent to live with the Candle family until his only living relative could be located-those days with the Candles ended up being some of the best of his life. But back in the late 1960’s, a white boy couldn’t live with a black family for long and soon enough he was reunited with his white aunt. Years later, though, returning to town due to his aunt’s death, Danny decides to stick around. He’s now a journalist and there is a mystery in New Long Lincoln, one that still bothers Danny to this day. This time, he’s going to get an answer, come hell or high water. Will Danny solve his mystery? What does it have to do with the moon and the dark water? You’ll have to read this to find out!

I just love Joe Lansdale’s use of language and I have since the first time I ever read his work. He makes me laugh and he’s also made me cry. At one point, in a boat in a storm:

“The water pushed at us like a thug wanting our lunch money.”

Another time, when he finally met his aunt:

“Way she looked at me, I might as well have been a small pox blister.”

Just simple words and phrases, but put together, in the way that only Joe R. Lansdale, Champion Mojo Storyteller, can do.

He writes in all genres, and as I once heard Brian Keene say on his now defunct podcast, Joe R. Lansdale is a genre unto himself. He writes westerns, mysteries and bat-shit crazy horror like the Drive-In novels. He writes suspense and he writes buddy novels, (Hap and Leonard.) There’s nothing he can’t write.

In this narrative we have a crime story, evil in a small town, a cult-like group of city councilors and a lake full of sunken cars. How can you not be enticed? I enjoyed the hell of out this book and I think you would too!

Highly recommended!

Thanks to Mullholland Books and NetGalley for the e-ARC in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it!

Moon Lake Book Cover Moon Lake
Joe R. Lansdale
Mystery, Crime, Southern Fiction, East Texas Gothic
Mulholland Books
06/22/21
E-Arc
352
NetGalley

From an Edgar award-winning author comes the gripping and unexpected tale of a lost town and the dark secrets that lie beneath the glittering waters of an East Texas lake.

Daniel Russell was only thirteen years old when his father tried to kill them both by driving their car into Moon Lake. Miraculously surviving the crash—and growing into adulthood—Daniel returns to the site of this traumatic incident in the hopes of recovering his father's car and bones. As he attempts to finally put to rest the memories that have plagued him for years, he discovers something even more shocking among the wreckage that has ties to a twisted web of dark deeds, old grudges, and strange murders.

As Daniel diligently follows where the mysterious trail of vengeance leads, he unveils the heroic revelation at its core.

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