Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Carnival by William W. Johnstone

by William W. Johnstone
1989 Zebra Books

In the 50s some rich kids rape some girls and carnies get blamed.  The town sets the carnival on fire and covers it up.  The dead carnies make a deal with Satan to return for revenge.  The townfolk either turn evil or mindless, ala the Devil series.

The few who maintain their sanity try to stop the carnival's plan to have the evil townspeople kill each other.  They do this by killing the townspeople.  They didn't really think this one through.

For once, Johnstone actually sticks to his gimmick, and fully half of the story takes place in the carnival as the townsfolk alternate between Stepford Wives banality and crazed cannibalism.  An avenging revenant rises from the grave with the truck his was buried in, and then proceeds to have pages of discussion with law enforcement about what will happen if the cross an invisible barrier surrounding the carnival.  Chills!

Johnstone manages to have a little fun here without getting too bogged down in cosmic rules.  His last book of the 80s.  If you're already sick of Johnstone, now's a good time to hop off.

Available in Kindle from Amazon

Click here for a sample

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