Everything you have heard about the crazy book is true.
Everything you have heard about the crazy book is a lie.
I could have easily ended this short review with the above statements and been one-hundred percent honest. Because Haunt is like everything and nothing you have read before. Laura Lee Bahr has created a unique beast of a debut.
On the surface it is a noir-shaded mystery which revolves around the possible wrongful death of a pretty young lady.
Deeper in, it is a story that features a flawed and heart-hurt journalist/detective/killer in his quest for the truth. If we can get all the portents aligned to discover just exactly what the hell that truth may be.
It is also the tale of a Dick. That Dick is you or me, the reader. And he/we are being haunted…maybe.
The lovely Ms. Bahr has taken those Choose Your Own Adventure books as her template and disemboweled it, turned it on its remaining ear (she tore the other off Van Gogh-style), and then set the thing on fire. When the ashes dried she used tears, sweat, and hard work to mold something ferociously original and quite bizarre.
With her adventure in seediness you can choose to drag a couch into your apartment from the curbside trash pile or give head for the clues you seek to solve the mystery. Nothing is what is appears to be, but the signs are everywhere. They’re written in neon signs and blood and jizz. They are as obvious and as fleeting as the turn of a page.
Haunt thrilled me. It also gave me a headache. High praise.
Bahr’s style is fluid and sometimes breathtaking. She drops pop cultural spatter amidst the backdrop of haunting slipstream existence.
She makes the characters strong and damaged—just how they ought to be.
She is one to keep an eye on.
Are you up for it?