NB This post first appeared as part of the Blog Tour for ‘Captain Clive’s Dreamworld’ via Emma at Damppebbles.
Suspected of being involved in the death of a woman, Deputy Sam Hardy is sent to take over as Deputy of Angels and Hope, a town which boasts an amusement park known as Captain Clive’s Dreamworld. From his meeting with the mayor, Hardy soon realises his new posting will be a little different to what he’s used to. With the amusement park empty of punters, a bizarrely alert night-time community and an apparent lack of interest in the fact that people are going missing, Hardy discovers he’s not going to get much help from the townsfolk. With his own recent past still haunting him, the Deputy begins to dig into the shocking secrets the town is trying to hide.
This book grabbed me from the first page with its gory crime scene and Hardy’s reaction to the murder – I got a real sense of his anguish and disgust in the job he’s doing. The first half of the book had me gripped as we followed Hardy into Angels and Hope and felt his bewilderment at what he finds there. From that point on, however, the story seemed to lose its hold. Several characters churn out similar speeches (long and tedious), and it was difficult not to skip over passages to get to the next plot point. By the end, I was happy to finish it, but having seen the denouement coming from several miles away, it left me feeling a little let down.
Having said that, Bassoff’s descriptive powers and use of language are at times quite delicious and reminded me of James Ellroy – with a bit more gore.
About Jon Bassoff
Jon Bassoff was born in 1974 in New York City and currently lives with his family in a ghost town somewhere in Colorado. His mountain gothic novel, Corrosion, has been translated in French and German and was nominated for the Grand Prix de Litterature Policiere, France’s biggest crime fiction award. Two of his novels, The Drive-Thru Crematorium and The Disassembled Man, have been adapted for the big screen with Emile Hirsch (Into the Wild; Once Upon a Time in America) attached to star in The Disassembled Man. For his day job, Bassoff teaches high school English where he is known by students and faculty alike as the deranged writer guy. He is a connoisseur of tequila, hot sauces, psychobilly music, and flea-bag motels.
Published by Eraserhead Press in paperback, audio and digital formats on 1st October 2020