cover image New Dark Ages: The X Gang

New Dark Ages: The X Gang

Warren Kinsella. Dundurn, $14.99 trade paper (320p) ISBN 978-1-4597-4215-4

Set in the late 1970s, Kinsella’s sequel to 2017’s Recipe for Hate awkwardly blends a heavy-handed alternate history political plotline with the search for a serial killer. Earl Turner, a junior congressman from Maine, has rocketed to the top of the Republican presidential field with his America for Americans theme and his racist slogan “Right is White.” The X Gang, “a group of young punk rockers who clash with those who peddle racism and hate,” are disheartened that one of their own, who performed under the stage name of Danny Hate, has become the demagogue’s right-hand man. Meanwhile, Theresa Laverty, a “stunningly beautiful lesbian FBI agent,” and NYPD cop Pete Schenk are on the trail of a murderer who has killed two people in Manhattan and one in Ottawa. All three victims attended a concert by the Hot Nasties, a Portland, Maine, punk rock quartet. The two story lines predictably intersect. Readers will struggle to suspend disbelief about a post-Watergate America embracing an over-the-top Trump caricature. (Dec.)