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Lake Charles    by Ed Lynskey order for
Lake Charles
by Ed Lynskey
Order:  USA  Can
Wildside, 2011 (2011)
Softcover, e-Book

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* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Ed Lynskey's Lake Charles, which takes place in backwoods Tennessee, is considered a modern noir classic. Brendan Fishbeck's twin sister Edna and her jet ski disappear while they are on a fishing trip on Lake Charles.

While looking for her, Brendan and Edna's estranged husband Cobb discover acres of thriving marijuana plants. Brendan has been released from jail on bail for the alleged murder of a spoiled young woman. He claims innocence. But because of this, he doesn't want to be involved in anything even slightly illegal.

Of course, things turn from bad to worse. Bodies seem to be dropping all over the place. The CIA and FBI become involved. Or were they involved before the first page of this story?

I am of mixed emotions about Lake Charles. Good plot. Interesting characters, but I found Mr. Kuzawa's character kind of off the wall. But then, I have not spent any time in Tennessee to meet any of the people who populate the backwoods of that state.

The location was more than aptly described. Easy to picture the backwoods. The dénouement, that I'm sure was intended to be a complete surprise, wasn't. Had that one nailed. I also felt that there wasn't the urgency I would have expected brought to tracking down Brendan's missing twin sister. That said, I still enjoyed the book with those few exceptions.

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