Book Review – Dust Devils

dust devils

I love weird westerns, and I wish there were more out there like this one. Janz is a great writer. His characters are sympathetic and his action scenes are tight and exciting. In my opinion, the prolonged action scenes in the first half of the novel pay tribute and stand proudly next to those of Joe Lansdale in his Jebediah Mercer series.

I don’t want to give away too much of the plot. But the idea is this: a traveling theater troupe consisting of vampires moves from town to town, putting on risque performances and then leaving behind them the aftermath of a blood storm. They took Cody’s wife. Lulled her into their ensemble by playing on her restlessness, and then left her dead on the side of the road. Now Cody, flawed and running from a life’s worth of regret, follows after them, looking to take revenge.

These vampires are the good old-fashioned kind. Ugly and terrifying. This book is not for those who may be uncomfortable with extremely violent death sequences.

If I had one complaint it would be that the story might have been stronger if it had been tied up by the end of part two. It felt to me like it reached its climax here. It brings the action down as it transitions to part 3 and then builds it back up again for another climax. Part three brings the story full circle, but I thought if the story threads tied off in part 3 had somehow been covered at the end of part two, without the change of setting, the story would have been tighter and more satisfying.

I’m a fan of Jonathan Janz, and recommend his novel, The Sorrows, if you like more of a straightforward horror tale. You can find the rest of his books here.

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