REVIEW: Ed Lynskey’s ‘Lake Charles’

This novel is spellbinding in its tight narrative control. As you read it you feel someone has greased the slide on a helter skelter.

From the opening, where Brendan Fishback’s sister disappears while on vacation, to the tight ending this is a highly readable brilliantly written page turner.

Ed Lynskey has an assured narrative voice that inhabits Noir and thriller writing equally.

He has believable well drawn characters and he always keeps it real with dialogue.

In that sense he is a highly skilled author who lets the characters tell the story.

Ed Lynskey’s prose has an almost lyrical quality that lifts it off the page and reminds me of Tom Waits at times

”I cadged a complimentary green matchbook with a gold bird icon from the Bell canning Jar. Later we’d use the matches to light our spliffs. My fingertips tapped the stem to the gizmo that dinged a bell. Nobody came out. Wrong signal, so I did two bell rings. No response prompted me to tap out a series of bell rings.”

This is a Noir classic.

The location of the backwoods of Tennessee evokes the dark atmoshere against which the ambiguous and dark prose ignites this story.

As Brendan begins to search for his sister he encounters police corruption.

The story deepens at this point.  The corruption goes deeper than this and involves a complexity of socio-economic and familial issues which are deeply rooted within the infrastructure of heavily engineered social mores.  To disclose more would be to reveal the plot.

This is a well structured novel which will keep you guessing until the end.  It knows exactly what it’s doing. 

Ed Lynskey also writes evocative prose

”After traversing Yellow Snake’s main street, we doubled back, and juddered down an alley behind a Lebanese restaurant, staying sharp-eyed all the way. No furtive sedans dogged us. Mr. Kuzawa liked my idea, so we moored opposite the yellow Snake Courthouse where I’d last frog marched into while tricked out in irons for my bail hearing.”

If you like street-hard crime fiction with a twist, read ‘Lake Charles’.

Lynskey links:

Ed’s website.

‘Lake Charles’ can be pre-ordered at

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