cover image Lake Charles

Lake Charles

Ed Lynskey. Wildside (, $12.99 trade paper (192p) ISBN 978-1-4344-3046-5

At the start of Lynskey's dark, casually violent tale set in 1979 rural Tennessee, Brendan Fishback is out on bail while awaiting trial for the murder of a casual pickup, Ashleigh Sizemore. Brendan is driving to Lake Charles with twin sister Edna and his brother-in-law and best friend, Cobb Kuzawa, who have "yet to exchange a civil word" since they separated on July 4. When Edna disappears at the lake, Brendan winds up getting entangled with local pot farmers, federal agents, and Ashleigh's rich, vengeful father. Cobb's father, a crusty Korean War vet, plays a key role with his take-no-prisoners attitude in a wild scramble to find Edna and the "big bug" behind the pot farms. Brendan's unusual dreams, in which Ashleigh taunts him to find her real killer, provide another spur to action. Lynskey (Troglodytes) vividly renders backwoods Tennessee, a land where life is hard, and death, sometimes hard sometimes easy, is frequent, and you do whatever is necessary to survive. (June)