Recommended: The Scarecrow by Ronald Hugh Morrieson

A sensational book, full of crackling live wire writing, adventurous inventive vocabulary and a story stuffed full of vivid and wild characters. It’s classic noir New Zealand style, and as fantastic and great as any pulp fiction I’ve ever come across.

Eddy is a small-town youth, son of a useless drunken junk dealer and nephew to an even more worthless scoundrel, Uncle Athol. Buoyed by his best friend Les and sister Prudence, Eddy manages to scrape by in the dusty burg of Klynham. When a scary necrophiliac bow-tie wearing magician worms his way into town, he’s just another stranger in this strange little world. It’s every man for himself, and every man for the luscious young Prudence, who can’t help but attract all their attention like a walking magnetic teenage whirlpool. It’s just funny enough, and just scary enough, and just outrageous enough, to grab your attention and hold it closer and closer to the final flame.

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