I’ve mentioned before that I like a book with a distinctive style. Well, Ed Lynskey’s new novel LAKE CHARLES has that in spades, and that’s a good thing.
LAKE CHARLES is set in eastern Tennessee in 1979 and is the story of two young men who are best friends and brothers-in-law, Brendan Fishback (the narrator) and Cobb Kuzawa, who go out bass fishing on the lake of the title and run into much more trouble than they ever imagined they would. Brendan’s twin sister and Cobb’s estranged wife Edna is with them, riding her jet ski on the lake, when she mysteriously disappears. Brendan and Cobb start searching for her, and their search leads them into danger.
Oh, and did I mention that when the book begins, Brendan already has a murder charge hanging over his head because he woke up in a very Gold Medal-esque situation: in a sleazy motel with a beautiful but dead girl who happens to be the daughter of the richest and most powerful man in the area? Yeah, he has that to deal with, too.
From that beginning, the book races off on several days of near-nonstop action involving kidnapping, drug dealers, crooked cops, Federal agents, shoot-outs, murder by crossbow, and assorted other mayhem, all of it told in Lynskey’s off-beat but very effective style. You may think you have everything figured out in this book, but I guarantee some of the plot twists will take you by surprise. They surprised me, anyway.
I guess LAKE CHARLES falls into the hardboiled redneck genre, but I prefer to think of it as a fine crime novel that you shouldn’t miss. You can pre-order it on Amazon now. Highly recommended.
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