cover image Recipe for Hate

Recipe for Hate

Warren Kinsella. Dundurn, $14.99 trade paper (304p) ISBN 978-1-4597-3906-2

Adult author Kinsella (Fight the Right) sets this riveting murder mystery in Portland, Maine, in the late 1970s. After the gruesome slaying of two of their friends, teenage punk musicians called the X gang are targeted by an unknown enemy and by “anti-punk hysteria” in their community. The group is named after its enigmatic leader, X, best friend to Kurt Lank, who narrates Kinsella’s novel with a hard edge that befits its overall brutality (“For me, punk rock opened up this fucking huge range of creative possibilities—for my art, for my photography, for my music—and it did not give one shit, not one, if I was gay”). Compelled to defend their underground culture and frustrated by the police’s inability to solve the murders, the X gang begins its own investigations, uncovering a neo-Nazi religious movement seeking to destroy punks and other undesirables; simultaneously, Kurt and the others try to discern which adults they can trust. Tension starts high and stays there in this unflinching page-turner, which offers a fascinating glimpse into the early punk scene and a moving testament to the power of friendship. Ages 14–up. (Dec.)