I thoroughly enjoyed this off-beat novel set in Aro Valley, a sleepy bohemian neighbourhood close to the Wellington CBD. It was weird and strange with an unusual cast of oddball characters. We have Campbell Walker, cult leader, Steve the psychologist and a voluptuous wellness centre healer. Plus of course, protagonist Danyl (named after the author). He is also a writer and not really the hero type, actually more of the anti-hero type and thrust into his adventures a little against his will. In some of the book he is not even wearing pants. He seems to have a shortage of clothing full stop.
The plot had so many twists and turns that right up to the end you couldn’t really say where it was all going to end up. There is an ancient legend, a shadowy cult, a trail of riddles and sinister goings on. Rooms are wrecked. So is a garden. Satanists slink around; a man in a photo has his face scratched out; a white van and a dark tower feature. Rather a lot of enigmatic objects are uncovered and opened.
Very entertaining, this book had me laughing out loud often enough that my son is now reading it. Oh, and when this book ends and you are left thinking, 'what the hell', cue the sequel, Mysterious mysteries of the Aro Valley.
Author: Danyl McLauchlan
Anita S reads widely and eclectically, but most often random non-fiction fact books, good general and teen fiction (often dystopian future types), fantasy and sci-fi if they cover a new angle on something, kids books and... actually she'll take a look at most stuff. Books are great! She also loves art and illustration.