Book Review: Moon Lake by Joe R. Lansdale | More2Read
 

Moon Lake by Joe R. Lansdale


 


 

About Moon Lake

Edgar award-winning author Joe Lansdale returns with a standalone novel following the gripping and unexpected tale of the lost town and dark secret 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.



 

Review

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

“..moonlit memories of the dark depths, the taillights of the Buick going down, down, down.”

And with this Daniel Russell with no mother or father and with an aunt somewhere found some early joy in youth staying with the Candles family ones he expressed as:“The Candles are wonderful people. Better than my family ever was.”
His Christmas present from them contained of one particular set of items, the first John Carter of Mars books ones he says:The three books bent me happily out of shape for the next few days.”
These John Carter books are something from truth of the authors life and books he held dear to becoming an author and great to read this little insert from an authors real life.

The lake, sawmill, junkyard, and the black cemetery, elements in this small town mystery that may be of significance.

He advanced on in age and moved and lived with his aunt, became a reporter writing articles for a daily newspaper and went on to write and publish a novel.
His real journey of becoming and challenges ahead in the tale with the research and writing of a nonfiction book.
This book would uncover secrets and hope to decipher his chaos of the past in the east Texas town in Moon Lake, that time weighty with lose and tragedy part of far bigger set of demons, ghosts, crimes and memories forgotten but never dead to be uncovered that others just won’t want to be.

Life and death in the balance with great writing, underdogs, believable characters, social issues with vivid lucid potency and at the same time having you cracking a smile on a dull day or a serious set of facts before you on the page.
Indeed a ‘Gothic gumbo’ awaits.
A Russian doll tale one inside another.

His similes and metaphors cracking a smile, just love to read like these :

..watched him float around that bag, light as an angel’s ghost, slamming it with his fists.

It was like someone had jacked up Elvis and driven John Wayne up his ass.

Floods were as common as buttholes.

It’s like when you invite the family dog onto the couch for just one time, and then it becomes its home.

“Shit, let’s go to the office. It’s cold as a witch’s tit in here,”

..his words as cryptic as Sanskrit to a squirrel.

..it’s about time I let loose the badger in the angel cake.

..studying me like a cut of meat at a butcher shop.

..looked about as threatening as concrete yard gnomes.

 

Excerpts

“My name is Daniel Russell. I dream of dark water.
My first memory of Moon Lake was as a youngster, on a dark night in October of 1968 with a nearly full moon seeming to float on the surface of the water. I remember its glow and the way the shadows of the trees on the sides of the lake reached out for it like chocolate fingers groping for a silver platter.
Me and my dad were parked on a long, narrow bridge that went over the lake. The bridge was made of rusty metal and cables and rotting wood, not to mention a few lost dreams, for the town beneath the water had been flooded and the great lake was supposed to be the new town’s savior. People were expected to come from miles around to picnic on its shores and fish its depths.”

“He jerked the wheel to the right, and the great big Buick, five payments owed, smashed through the rotting railing and sailed out into space like a rocket ship.”

“I went to a grocery store and bought a few simple things—bananas, apples, a few Baby Ruth candy bars, and a carton of milk. I filled up the car with gas. I found a newsstand and bought the local paper and some magazines. I picked out a paperback and bought that too. It looked better than the one I was reading. It had an alien on the cover.”

.”.kissed me on the cheek with lips soft as cotton and warm as a wool blanket. I couldn’t have been more surprised if I had discovered I had acquired the ability to lay painted eggs and pee lemonade.”

“Assumptions instead of facts can make an ass out of everyone.” “Some things are so obvious, it’s not about where there’s smoke, there’s fire—it’s where there’s fire, there’s fire.” 

 


 

About the author

Lansdale has received the Edgar Award, eight Bram Stoker Awards, the Horror Writers Association Lifetime Achievement Award, the British Fantasy Award, the Grinzani Cavour Prize for Literature, the Herodotus Historical Fiction Award, the Inkpot Award for Contributions to Science Fiction and Fantasy, and many others.

A major motion picture based on Lansdale’s crime thriller Cold in July was released in May 2014, starring Michael C. Hall (Dexter), Sam Shepard (Black Hawk Down), and Don Johnson (Miami Vice). His novella Bubba Hotep was adapted to film by Don Coscarelli, starring Bruce Campbell and Ossie Davis. His story “Incident On and Off a Mountain Road” was adapted to film for Showtime’s “Masters of Horror.” He is currently co-producing a TV series, “Hap and Leonard” for the Sundance Channel and films including The Bottoms, based on his Edgar Award-winning novel, with Bill Paxton and Brad Wyman, and The Drive-In, with Greg Nicotero.

Lansdale is the founder of the martial arts system Shen Chuan: Martial Science and its affiliate, Shen Chuan Family System. He is a member of both the United States and International Martial Arts Halls of Fame. He lives in Nacogdoches, Texas with his wife, dog, and two cats.

 

 

 

 



 

Reviewed by Lou Pendergrast on 11 June 2021