Southern Gods by John Hornor Jacobs

I kept on seeing people on twitter raving about this book. I have no willpower so I had to buy this book. I’m bloody glad I did.

This book is set in 1950’s Arkansas, a time and place that I had no relation to at all before I read this book. Now I feel like I should be upping sticks and moving to Gethsemane. Yes I found it that evocative. The racial and gender tensions are strong enough to make you uncomfortable but without overpowering the story.

The story starts out with Bull Ingram who is a mix between a private detective and an enforcer being asked to find an employee of a record label. Oh and to also find out anything he can about a mysterious bluesman called Ramblin’ John Hastur. What could possibly go wrong there? The name Hastur sound familiar? Been keeping up on your Cthulhu Mythos? The pace of the book doesn’t seem at all hurried, and yet the pages kept flying by at a rate of knots.

It is not often I say this but my mouth was agape reading the ending to this novel, I saw the obvious confrontation and the location fairly early on, but then boy oh boy did it end differently than I imagined. It was MUCH better than the ending I thought was going to happen.

First and foremost this is a scary book, but it is much more than just that. Vivid world building, believable characters, a love interest, and a lot of other things that are way beyond me. This book was much better than I imagined, and one of my favourite books this year.

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