BLACK LOTUS KISS by Jason Ridler


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A pulpy trip through the highs of 1970s Southern California finds a private eye searching for a mystical flower with magical properties.

Since losing both a friend and a mentor in double-crossing Edgar Vance, James Brimstone has resigned himself to being a one-man operation. “No case too weird” is written right on his card, and his cases are indeed among the weirdest. His current mission is to find the assailant who wreaked havoc on the veteran’s hall where James had gone to visit his old friend Cactus Hayes. Wounded, maybe mortally, Cactus makes James swear to find out who’s behind the attack. James is determined to get to the bottom of things before Cactus dies, because if there’s one thing worse than failing in a promise, it’s failing in a promise to a dead man. James’ quest brings him up against the top of the food chain, from the bigwigs at Caruthers & Caruthers Pharmaceuticals to a young Venice Beach crowd to a climactic professional wrestling match. All the while, he chases the one clue left at the scene: a leaf of a Black Lotus more common in ancient Babylonia than 1970s California. James’ knowledge of the occult, the ancient, and everything in between means that he knows that the Black Lotus is dangerous and could endow anyone who takes it with special if unpredictable powers. Luckily, James has some powers of his own, ranging from super strength to super powers of seduction, though the one woman he’s never been able to tame is his ex Dr. Isabella Caylao, who may know the secret he most needs to succeed.

A bizarre trek through the supernatural (begun in Hex-Rated, 2017) that’s at best wildly inventive and at worst misogynistic and incoherent.

Pub Date: Aug. 14th, 2018
ISBN: 978-1-59780-935-1
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: Night Shade
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15th, 2018


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