Black River Lantern

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Eddie is a young man with a burdensome life living as a sideshow spectacle with the ability to read minds. The carnival is a dying breed of business, but his father expects Eddie to be on his game when summer arrives in the town of Kayjigville. Eddie’s Father, Papa Marivicos, is a domineering brute who is the master of ceremonies. Eddie’s gift of second sight is a spectacle to behold by the locals, but no one understands the turmoil inside Eddie’s mind and body. His gift is truly a curse. Papa views Eddie as an imbecile, but a lucrative one with his skill. Eddie had previously left the carnival, relocating down south and starting a family. However, this proved to be short-lived, and Pops moved Heaven and Earth to get Eddie back, no matter who he had to hurt.

Eddie buries his demons under a layer of Bourbon. He has a loyal group of friends who look out for him, including Abakoum, a mirthful chum who wants to ease his friend’s sadness, taking him out for a drink and a shot at companionship. On a fateful trip to a local brothel, Eddie collapses and awakens to an enchanting beauty named Lexi. He is reminded of a previous lost love, as she is also unreadable to him. Lexi and Eddie soon begin a friendship with potential.

Meanwhile, Eddie’s mental and physical health are tested as Papa plans larger shows with Eddie’s mentalist capabilities. Consequences do not come into consideration when money is concerned. Eddie is fortunate as he comes under the care and concern of Dr. Chain. The carnival coming to town has changed the current direction of the good doctor’s life, which has been stuck in a rut. Dr. Chain views Eddie as a surrogate son, his concern for him more than Papa’s.

Papa has a hold on the business in Kayjigville. However, local businesswoman Clara Guadali looks to break Papa’s stranglehold on the town. Clara longs to launch a riverboat gambling business that will grab some of Papa’s customers. She underestimates Papa at her peril, because Papa is dangerous, if not downright nefarious. As Eddie’s skills are more in demand, the rivalry between Clara and Pops reaches its apex. Can Eddie find happiness while living with his onerous skill? “The greatest show on earth” may not be solely behind the big top.

Black River Lantern is a rollicking read from Alex Grass. The story unfolds at a medium pace, but consumes the reader with each chapter. Eddie Marivicos is a supernatural wonder, yet rendered human in his daily struggles. His dual nature, marvel attraction/ordinary Joe, proves transfixing. Eddie is a sympathetic protagonist worth rooting for, while Pops is a villain worthy of unending scorn, yet equally fascinating. Black River Lantern is drama/horror/thriller operating at full speed, one hundred percent enjoyable.


Reviewed By:

Author Alex Grass
Star Count 5/5
Format Trade
Page Count 350 pages
Publisher Dickinson Publishing Group
Publish Date 2020-10-01
ISBN 0000111220201
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue November 2020
Category Horror
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