Sunday, December 5, 2021

Lake Crescent (Creature X Mysteries #2)


Lake Crescent is the second book in the Creature X adventure/mystery series by J. J. Dupuis. Released 3rd Aug 2021 by Dundurn, it's 328 pages and is available in paperback and ebook formats. 

This is a well written offbeat mystery written around a podcast group of ragtag journalists and scientists who are looking for proof (or disproof) of crypto-zoological creatures like bigfoot and giant eels and the phenomena surrounding them. They investigate local myths and culture and uncover long-buried dangerous secrets along the way.

The plotting is not at all straightforward. There are several intertwining subplots which meander along side paths adding background information and oral history of "Cressie" (a giant eel in Lake Crescent around whose presence the team's podcast centers). The characterisation is adept and well rendered and I found most of the main characters both distinct and believable. As a small-town mystery, it's full of the usual quirky, unsettling, vaguely threatening secondary characters. 

The author successfully combines murder, cryptozoology, reality TV, and investigative journalism and even manages to believably toss some lost pirate treasure into the mix. The climax and denouement were fairly heavily telegraphed throughout the book, so for most readers it won't be a race to the finish to figure out whodunnit and why, but the writing is above average and I enjoyed the ride enough to seek out the other books (one previously released, one upcoming) in the series. The author is adept at his craft.

Four stars.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

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