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Moon Lake par Joe R. Lansdale

Moon Lake (édition 2021)

par Joe R. Lansdale (Auteur)

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484428,246 (3.75)1
Titre:Moon Lake
Auteurs:Joe R. Lansdale (Auteur)
Info:Mulholland Books (2021), 352 pages
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Moon Lake par Joe R. Lansdale


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Joe Lansdale is a writer of many talents. In addition to his popular Hap and Leonard series and the recent classically noir novel, MORE BETTER DEALS, he has written in the horror genre and penned stand-alone crime fiction that might fall under the category of Southern Gothic. MOON LAKE is solidly in that last tradition, though his setting, as usual, is very specifically East Texas, a part of the Lone Star State that is graced with spooky lakes, oddball eccentrics, and Jefferson Davis statues erected in an effort to rewrite history long after the south lost the civil war.

The lake itself is a reservoir that was formed by inundating the town of Long Lincoln in order to create a recreational attraction that never managed to attract tourists. New Long Lincoln was built just below the dam. As the novel opens, Danny is a boy whose mother has disappeared and who is on a dismal road trip with his destitute and despairing father. In his grief, he has decided to end it all by driving his car into the lake – taking Danny with him.

Against the odds, Danny is rescued by what he initially thinks is a mermaid, but turns out to be Ronnie, a Black girl whose family takes him in until his aunt can be tracked down. The time he spends with the Black family is full of warmth and kindness, as well as a romantic attraction to Ronnie, until his frigid aunt sends for him.

Ten years later, his aunt is dead and Danny has published his first novel. Working as a reporter for a failing newspaper, he learns that the car his father drove into the lake has been found--along with the skeleton of a woman hidden in the trunk. Though the police presume it's his mother, Danny isn't convinced. Ronnie, now a police officer in New Long Lincoln, helps him uncover the truth, which includes uncovering a ritualistic conspiracy, finding more bodies in car trunks, and a desperate chase through bootlegger tunnels that riddle this hill above the lake.

As readers have come to expect from Lansdale, MOON LAKE is often humorous, narrated in a tall-tale Texan drawl, exuberantly inventive, often creepy, and both fond and critical of East Texas, with its history of white supremacy and small-town corruption that, here, takes on echoes of the current popularity of bizarre "deep state" conspiracy theorizing. In Lansdale's hands, though, it's more of a shallow grave of small town greed, wrapped in bigotry among small-minded local power brokers who cling to old social hierarchies and try to keep the past hidden.

This eventful Gothic romp takes readers to some very strange places and, along the way, paints with a light touch a picture of the viciousness and venality of people who won't let go of the myth of white superiority.

Reposted from Reviewing the Evidence.
  bfister | Jul 26, 2021 |
Joe R Lansdale is my favorite living writer. He is one hell of a great story teller. The story in Moon Lake is great, the problem is Lansdale included a lot of bad similes/metaphors. You can read other reviews on the internet for examples. That's not to say all of them were bad, but when they were bad or indecipherable to what they were trying to convey, it really took me out of the story. Also, there was some continuity errors with some files (they were in an abandoned house, then they were in the trunk of his car, then they were back in the house. I'll read anything Lansdale writes, but I don't think I would ever re-read this one. ( )
  bjkelley | Jul 18, 2021 |
Lansdale expertly knows how to reel his readers in and this smooth flowing excellently paced narrative with resonant themes grips the reader until the very last page.

Daniel Russell has had an unsettled childhood into adulthood. His mother left him and his father. His father attempts to kill them both by driving into Moon Lake, a place of superstitions and controversy. Daniel, a young white boy, is rescued by a nurturing African American family until a crotchety aunt assumes custody of him, moving him away from all he knows. Now an adult, Daniel returns to his hometown hoping to find answers to the nightmares that still plague him.
At times this richly observed story is devastating as it exposes the deep secrets/betrayals of race violence and corrupt power strongholds yet is strangely exhilarating as humanity triumphs in unexpected ways.
A powerful gripping story that is an engaging blend of mystery, history and appealing wily characters that is a welcome addition to East Texas noir and southern literature.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. ( )
  bookmuse56 | Jul 12, 2021 |
“The moon is up. The water is high. Dark souls walk the earth and cry.”

“… and the American dream lay well within reach for just about anyone white and male and straight who wanted to reach for it. All others, take a number and wait.”

“The dead do better in our hearts than in the ground…”

“Law is where you buy it. That way then, that way now.”

“But evil wins out more than we like to admit. It has a stronger agenda than the rest of us.”

Another good read by Mr. Lansdale! And lots of good quotes, as you can see above! Daniel returns to the town he grew up in, to discover that the town is rotten. With the previous town at the bottom of Moon Lake, filled with cars that are filled with bodies, Daniel begins to unravel what evil has been in his hometown for a long, long time. It is a good story, with the usual Lansdale flair! I found myself lost in the adventure, and though the outcome may have been a bit too foreseeable, it was also very enjoyable! A good summer read!

"My father no longer comes to me in my dreams." ( )
  Stahl-Ricco | Jul 5, 2021 |
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