The Dark Farewell
Historical (1920s) Mystery, Paranormal
It's the Roaring Twenties. Skirts are short, crime is rampant, and booze is in short supply. Prohibition has hit Little Egypt where newspaper man David Flynn has come to do a follow-up story on the Herrin Massacre. But the massacre isn't the only news in town. Spiritualist Medium Julian Devereux claims to speak to the dead--and he charges a pretty penny for it.
Flynn knows a phoney when he sees one, and he's convinced Devereux is as fake as a cigar store Indian. And he's absolutely right. But when Julian begins to see bloodstained visions of a serial killer, the only person he can turn to for help is the cynical Mr. Flynn.
WHAT THEY'RE SAYING
I spent the majority of the book engrossed in the story, the characters and the time period. I highly recommend The Dark Farewell, with a grade of 'Excellent', to those readers who like historical books and who want to read a slightly chilling story of love, loss and murder.
Jenre for Well Read Reviews
The Dark Farewell is a comfortably unpretentious story which invites the reader to step in, sit down, and relax and enjoy. As an avid fan of historical fiction of almost any era, I of course jumped at the opportunity to read this novella set in 1922; but any reader will find it an exciting read, one which confirms Josh Lanyon's well-deserved excellent reputation. In a sentence or two, readers find themselves observers and witnesses within the story, as Mr. Lanyon's fast pacing and excellent character delineation draw us right in.
Josh Lanyon has a good eye for human details, and deftly sketches his individuals for the reader's delight. The Dark Farewell is well worth frequent re-readings, for its heartwarming gay romance, for its historical detail, for its unique plotting and character delineation. Although this is the first book by Mr. Lanyon that I've had the pleasure to read, now that we've been introduced -- as reader and novelist, I'm certain that The Dark Farewell will be only the beginning. Josh Lanyon is a writer to pay attention to each time he is published.
The story unfolded at a languid pace. Details were laid out with pain-staking precision and with provocative imagery. To recognize after the fact that my feelings about the two of them changed was a pleasant surprise and adds to my admiration of the subtlety of Mr. Lanyon's writing style.
Taz for Blackraven's Reviews
I also must give Mr. Lanyon kudos for showing the depth of emotion between David and Julian. It was more powerful to me because it was so subtle. Even with the subtlety I could still tell how deeply they both cared about each other. Several fans of his had informed me that they didnít think I would like Mr. Lanyon's work because it was more focused on the mystery instead of the romance. They felt this way because I complained of the lack of romantic build up in one of his contemporaries and they felt his stories focused more on the mystery than the romantic relationship. Umm, they were wrong. I totally bought into David and Julianís relationship and saw genuine caring and love between the two. I highly recommend.
Lynette for CK2s Kwips and Kritiques
Josh Lanyon can take us anywhere and leave us with a sense of reality and satisfaction. This time he takes us into the times of prohibition, a time when loving another man was fraught with danger and peril. The plot was well thought out and kept you guessing until the very end. Julian was a unique individual and just what Flynn needed to shake him out of his shoes. Another memorable tale from the pen of Josh Lanyon, The Dark Farewell will grab you and keep you reading until the neat and exciting conclusion.
Elise Lyn for SensualReads.com
As always, Josh Lanyon's characters are the strength of his stories and Julian appealed to me because not only was he physically ill and thus vulnerable to his grandfather, a scoundrel and crook who used him for his own purposes, but he showed unexpected strength and courage at times and had no difficulty pursuing David when his attentions seemed to be unwelcome. The Dark Farewell is a very enjoyable tale and whether or not youíre a fan of this author it will keep you on the edge of your seat as more women are murdered and the clues seem to lead nowhere. Spiritualism is a new area for Lanyon so fans will have something different to explore as David struggles with his skepticism about fakery and his emerging belief that Julian could be the real deal. Definitely recommended!
Wave for Reviews by Jessewave
Clandestine love affairs mix with murder and spirits -- both of the otherworld and the alcoholic kind ñ in the fast-moving The Dark Farewell. Josh Lanyon sweeps readers away to Prohibition-era Illinois where a cynical reporter meets his match in a disarmingly sensual spirit medium. Flynn may be a hard-nosed reporter but he's forthright, honest, and protective which makes him an appealing hero. Julian, as Flynn finds out, is impossible to resist. He may look young and vulnerable, but he's not a pushover. He broke my heart a couple of times, but I won't give away spoilers to say why. I loved him and Flynn together and wanting to see them find their way to happily ever after kept me reading almost until dawn.
Shayna for Joyfully Reviewed
It would be entirely wrong to try and tag a label on this book. It is a standalone, but it is to published in The Mysterious anthology (along with Laura Baumbach and Alex Beecroft) and that's a good way to label it, if labelling is necessary: mysterious. That being said, with it not exactly being a romance and it not being exactly a paranormal -- it IS a great whodunnit, with a great cast of characters all of whom could be the guilty party.
Erastes for Speak its Name
Agatha Christie meets film noir in this elegant novel by popular author Josh Lanyon. The threads Mr. Lanyon weaves are amusing and wrenching by turns. Another thread, one that is fairly well developed, is the idea of homosexuality as a mental illness connected to other physical illnesses. This was my favorite part of the story, because it was so well researched and presented -- I'd no idea about the "scientific diagnosis" rampant in the 20s! One thing Mr. Lanyon does spectacularly well, though, is misdirect the reader. Three times I was sure I knew who the killer was, and three times I was wrong. When the final big reveal came, I was completely surprised. Over all, The Dark Farewell is a sophisticated, classy read that I enjoyed.
Two Lips Reviews
The story starts well and caught my attention from the get go. It has good 'period feel' and detail without detailing too much. It feels real and natural instead of contrived and being a way to show off all your research. There's a mix of interesting people in it with bits and pieces of their characters, pasts and backstories shown at a realistic rate and rhythm -- no info dumping about people or events. And they kept my interest throughout the story which is always good.
Dear Author Reviews
The Dark Farewell
March 2010, Samhain Publishing
Also appeared in
September 2010, MLR Press