In Shannon's searing 10th novel to feature Jack Liffey (after 2007's The Dark Streets), Jack and his pregnant teenage daughter, Maeve, run into trouble in Bakersfield, Calif., after stopping there for the night on their way home to Los Angeles. When a sleepless Maeve leaves their motel for a walk, she's falsely arrested for dope possession and jailed for a short time with Toxie, a rebellious teen with whom she discovers she shares a passion for Jane Eyre. Worried about Toxie, Maeve later returns from L.A. to Bakersfield, where Dennis Kohlmeyer, the paranoid pastor of the 10,000-member Olive Grove Evangelical Church, has incited his flock to hysteria against "devil worshippers." Scenes of book burning, exorcism, wholesale jailings and worse may strike some as exaggerated, but Shannon cites actual examples of Bakersfield's long history of racial and social prejudice throughout. The plot-driven action builds to an either/or ending on which readers are invited to vote on the author's Web site. (Apr.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
The Devils of Bakersfield (Jack Liffey Series #10)by John Shannon
The seemingly sleepy oil town of Bakersfield has a long and grim history of hostility towards outsiders, be it the “Okies” during the Depression, African-Americans, or labor organizes. When Jack Liffey and his daughter Maeve end up in Bakersfield as a respite from their life in Los Angeles, they find that the town has cast its paranoid fears on a group
The seemingly sleepy oil town of Bakersfield has a long and grim history of hostility towards outsiders, be it the “Okies” during the Depression, African-Americans, or labor organizes. When Jack Liffey and his daughter Maeve end up in Bakersfield as a respite from their life in Los Angeles, they find that the town has cast its paranoid fears on a group of rebellious teenaged girls alleged to be Satanists. As hysteria mounts, there is a mammoth book burning and a police raid on all people they deem unsympathetic to their evangelical cause. In the chaos, Maeve disappears and Jack is racing against the clock to find her and save the girls from the town’s “exorcism.”
Meet the Author
John Shannon is one of America’s leading writers of neo-noir. His Jack Liffey series of novels is one of the most critically praised mystery series in the genre and includes Terminal Island, Dangerous Games, The Dark Streets, The Devils of Bakersfield, and Palos Verdes Blue. Shannon lives in Los Angeles.
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