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DanSchwent

Dantastic Book Reviews

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Edge of Dark Water - Joe R. Lansdale A teenage girl with Hollywood aspirations's body is pulled out of the Sabine River. Her friends Sue Ellen, Jinx, Terry set out to spread her ashes in Hollywood. Unfortunately, some money the deceased girl's brother stole winds up in their possession and numerous ill-tempered people are on their trail. And a murderer named Skunk has been hired to get the money back at any cost. Will Sue Ellen and her friends survive their river odyssey?

Joe Lansdale weaves a coming of age tale set in east Texas. It's a little like Huckleberry Finn, if Huckleberry Finn involved stolen money, a killer that severs hands, and an opium-addicted mother. It's a pretty gripping tale. Sue Ellen comes to grips with her parents, Terry deals with his sexuality, and Jinx deals with being black. Skunk is a pretty chilling villain and the rest of the people chasing the protagonists are cut from the usual Lansdale cloth of redneck scumbags. I didn't see the identity of May Lynn's killer coming. Overall, I was pretty pleased with it.

However, I only gave it a three because I felt like Lansdale has told the story at least twice before, both in The Bottoms and A Fine Dark Line. It was good but it felt like he was mining familiar territory.