Thursday, September 23, 2021

Moon Lake by Joe R. Lansdale

Danny Russell was just a boy when his father drove their car off a bridge. Danny survived but the car and his father were never recovered. 

Years later, a massive drought has left the lake almost bare and Danny's father's car has finally been found. But no one expected to find a second body in the trunk. 

As a journalist and writer, Danny is uniquely positioned to find out what might have been going on with his father. But his investigation into his own past becomes a much wider investigation that many want to keep closed. 

I love Joe Lansdale! His work runs the gamut of genre fiction—from humorous crime fiction to noir, sci fi, and horror—but you can always count on his books to be great. 

Moon Lake is no exception! And he calls this one East Texas Gothic, if you want to get specific. It's a wonderfully appropriate and I would welcome much more of it (by Lansdale or otherwise) in my TBR :)

Set in 1978 East Texas , Moon Lake is a story about the end of an era and a town that is determined not to change with the passing of time!

When Danny's mother disappeared, everyone assumed she ran off leaving her son and husband behind. And Danny's father never recovered. On the brink of losing it all, he packed his car and, with his son by his side, drove into the water that long ago flooded the town he and his wife grew up in. 

Danny is saved by a father and daughter who are fishing at the time. And without much in the way of options, that man takes Danny into his home until his aunt shows up to claim him some time later. That the family is black doesn't matter one bit to Danny. 

And it still doesn't matter to him when he returns to Moon Lake to find the girl he once called friend is now a deputy with the sheriff's department. 

But this is a time when even their friendship would be an issue for some. (And her position on the local force is already tenuous.) All that's to say that when Danny starts poking around in something the locals don't want dug up, he doesn't get much by way of help or support! In fact, the locals make it pretty clear that they want Danny gone, yesterday!

But Danny is stubborn. And determined. In part because he desperately wants to prove that his father couldn't have had anything to do with the body in his trunk. 

Lansdale often explores issues of race, found family, and friendship in his work and all of those things appear in this latest. It is definitely one of my favorite reads of the year. I also really hope that Danny will be a returning character for Lansdale as he'd make an excellent basis for more books. 

Moon Lake is perfect for anyone who loves weird cross-genre reads!

Order a copy from your favorite indie via Bookshop!

1 comment:

Tammy Sparks said...

I have a NetGalley copy of this but I'm so behind! Your review has made me want to go back and pick it up😁