Blurb: Joel Baxter is infamous for solving weird and bizarre cases that others avoid. So, when he receives an email from a teenage boy Tim saying his town is cursed, he cannot turn it down.
“…I will more than likely be dead when you read this. There is nothing I can do about it. It’s the curse, and we’ve hit The Crazy Season.” Every 20 years, there are a handful of unexplained teenage deaths and it’s started again.
With the help of his straight-talking friend Melody, they set out to get to the bottom of the alleged curse. Everybody in Black Rock has secrets and nobody wants to speak.
The closer they get to truth the more Joel and Melody realise that their involvement is far from coincidental.
The Crazy Season follows Joel as, together with his best friend’s sister, Melody, attempts to pull himself back from a terrible personal tragedy and get back to his career investigating paranormal occurrences and (usually) debunking them.
He deals with two ‘cases’ in this story: the main one is an investigation into a series of teenage suicides that seem to crop up every twenty years in the town of Black Rock; the side plot, which offers a lighter, humorous juxtaposition, is that of Barry, the sci-fi fan who claims to have been abducted repeatedly by aliens.
Easily dismissing poor Barry’s obvious fabrications as loneliness, our odd couple – who are definitely not a couple – head to Black Rock to uncover the hoax there too. Unfortunately things in the coastal town are far more serious. Curse or not, teenager are dying, one after another, and the only apparent connection seems to be a rich girl’s party and the death of an old man forty years earlier. Could this really be a paranormal force at work, punishing the youth of the time for a past crime, or is there a more current explanation for events?
There are certainly plenty of secrets and mysteries in the town, along with a few very memorable characters, for example, the elderly pair running the local B’n’B who have perfected their comedy double act, or Martin, the Ali-G wannabe undercover informant ‘mans’. I was reminded of some of the better X-Files episodes – the monster-of-the-week ones that perfectly balance mystery and humour.
Joel and Melody make a great investigative duo, with some very interesting chemistry potential between them (again, similar to a familiar, flashlight-wielding pair). Yet, they have their own personalities and personal problems, which make for interesting character development as the story unfolds, and offer lots of possibilities for future sequels.
An ideal read for fans of mystery/crime stories that explore paranormal options, without pushing the reader in either direction, The Crazy Season is a great introduction to a – hopefully – long series of occult-ish suspense investigations!
I hope you don’t mind me contacting you. I don’t know how to start so I’ll just get right to it. I will more than likely be dead when you read this. There is nothing I can do about it. It’s the curse, and we’ve hit The Crazy Season.– Jim Ody, The Crazy Season
The Crazy Season is available on Amazon right now.
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