New Lou Berney Novel: Dark Ride

“When people say they want to read a really good novel, the kind you can’t put down, this is the kind of book they mean. Exceptional.” – Stephen King on November Road

If you’re looking for good books to read between now and the appearance of Running Grave, the novels of Lou Berney come highly recommended, as you can see in the video above or at Berney’s website about his two best known works, Long and Faraway Gone and November Road. Berney was my primary adviser in my MFA studies and almost all of our conversations (and my consequent papers) were about story structure; Long and Faraway Gone has the most intricate scaffolding of any book I’ve read (and mapped and enjoyed) with the exception of Troubled Blood, and, like Strike5, the structure complements and advances reader experience of the novel’s meaning. The Dante echoes in November Road will engage any serious reader of Robert Galbraith (and of Rowling’s Christmas Pig).

The good news today for his legion of fans is that Berney’s new book, Dark Ride, has been given a publication date. I have pre-ordered my hardcover and Audible copy, as well as marked 23 September on my calendar. I will be contacting him, in addition, in the hope that he will agree to be interviewed here about Dark Ride or his previous books.

Again, if you’re in need of a break from yet another read of Ink Black Heart or Aurora Leigh, please give November Road or Long and Faraway Gone a try — and let me know in the comment boxes if you’re interested in discussing either or both here at HogwartsProfessor. I expect that, if you do read either or both of those novels, you will be nearly as excited as I am about Dark Ride‘s publication.

From the book’s Amazon page:

From Lou Berney, the acclaimed, multi award-winning author of November Road and The Long and Faraway Gone, comes a Dark Ride

Sometimes the person you least expect is just the hero you need.

Twenty-one-year-old Hardy “Hardly” Reed—good-natured, easygoing, usually stoned—is drifting through life. A minimum-wage scare actor at an amusement park, he avoids unnecessary effort and unrealistic ambitions. 

Then one day he notices two children, around six or seven, sitting all alone on a bench. Hardly checks if they’re okay and sees injuries on both children. Someone is hurting these kids.

He reports the incident to Child Protective Service.

That should be the end of it. After all, Hardly’s not even good at looking out for himself so the last thing he wants to do is look out for anyone else. But he’s haunted by the two kids, his heart breaking for them.

And the more research he does the less he trusts that Child Protective Services —understaffed and overworked—will do anything about it.

That leaves…Hardly. He is probably the last person you’d ever want to count on. But those two kids have nobody else but him. Hardly has to do what’s right and help them.

For the first time in his life, Hardly decides to fight for something. This might be the one point in his entire life, he realizes, that is the entire point of his life. He will help those kids.

At first, trying to gather evidence that will force the proper authorities to intervene, Hardly is a total disaster. Gradually, with assistance from unexpected allies, he develops investigative skills and discovers he’s smarter and more capable than he ever imagined.

But Hardly also discovers that the situation is more dangerous than he ever expected. The abusive father who has been hurting these children isn’t just a lawyer—he also runs a violent drug-dealing operation. The mother claims she wants to escape with the kids—but Hardly isn’t sure he can trust her.

Faced with a different version of himself than he has ever known, Hardly refuses to give up. But his commitment to saving these kids from further harm might end up getting the kids, and Hardly himself, killed.

Speak Your Mind