Category Archives: Moon Lake

Review: Moon Lake by Joe R. Lansdale

Title: Moon Lake by Joe R. Lansdale
Publisher: Mulholland Books
Genre: Historical (60s & 70s), Mystery, Suspense
Length: 352 pages
Book Rating: B

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley


From an Edgar award-winning author comes the gripping and unexpected tale of a lost town and the dark secrets that lie beneath the glittering waters of an East Texas lake.

Daniel Russell was only thirteen years old when his father tried to kill them both by driving their car into Moon Lake. Miraculously surviving the crash—and growing into adulthood—Daniel returns to the site of this traumatic incident in the hopes of recovering his father’s car and bones. As he attempts to finally put to rest the memories that have plagued him for years, he discovers something even more shocking among the wreckage that has ties to a twisted web of dark deeds, old grudges, and strange murders.

As Daniel diligently follows where the mysterious trail of vengeance leads, he unveils the heroic revelation at its core.


Moon Lake by Joe R. Lansdale is an atmospheric Southern mystery set in West Texas during the late ‘60s and ‘70s.

Daniel Russell has been an orphan since his father drove into Moon Lake and his mother walked out on the family. Daniel was in the car with his dad but he was rescued by Veronica “Ronnie” Candles. He lived for a brief time with her family which caused a bit of an uproar since he is white and they are Black. After his mother’s sister is located, he lives with her through the rest of his teen years. Now in his mid-twenties, Daniel learns his father’s remains have been found. And intriguingly, there are also bones in the trunk of his father’s car. Daniel returns to his childhood hometown of New Long Lincoln in hopes of finding out who the bones belong to.

Daniel is surprised to discover Ronnie is now the lone Black and female police officer. Chief Dudley is in charge of the local police department and he is quite solicitous with Daniel. While Daniel accepts the bones inside the car are his father’s, he insists the bones in the trunk do not belong to his mother. She had gone missing before his dad drove them into Moon River. With Moon River dried up due to drought, Daniel and Ronnie decide to explore Moon Lake, which is also an old town that was flooded to create the lake.  They also find other cars and a rather grisly discovery.

Someone makes it obvious to Daniel that he is not welcome in Long Lincoln. He is not one to take kindly to threats or physical violence so when newspaper owner Christine Humber offers him a job, Daniel agrees to write a few pieces about the town. Deciding to look deeper into New Long Lincoln’s history, Daniel uncovers shocking corruption and a horrific legacy that stretches back through a few generations. With the help of Ronnie, his temporary landlady, a kindly tow truck operator, and the town’s loner, will Daniel unearth the truth about what has been occurring in Long Lincoln?

With slight horror elements, Moon Lake is a riveting mystery with a unique voice and clever storyline. Daniel is tenacious as he tries to find out exactly what has been going on in New Long Lincoln. The plot is intriguing and does not downplay the underlying racism in the small Texas town. , Joe R. Lansdale brings this engaging story to an adrenaline-laced conclusion.

Comments Off on Review: Moon Lake by Joe R. Lansdale

Filed under Historical, Historical (60s), Historical (70s), Joe R Lansdale, Moon Lake, Mulholland Books, Mystery, Rated B, Review, Suspense