Imagine a world with Dracula, the Wolfman and other “monsters” being real and living down the street. That is the world Monster Town by Bruce Golden is set it.
Monsters are not evil; they are just freaks of nature. Once sideshow performers they now work in Hollywood as movie stars. Nobody wants to live by monsters, so they have their own city outside of LA called Monster Town.
This story kicks off with the missing teenage son of Dracula. Dirk Slade, an ex-cop turned private investigator is hired to find the boy. Slade gets sidetracked when a friend of his is found dead soon after giving him a cryptic message.
Local police think the friend was killed in a mugging gone wrong. But Slade feels his friend was killed as part of some conspiracy or coverup. As he juggles the two cases, he finds himself and others around him falling into harm’s way.
The story is fun and exciting. Set in a 1950s era, it has a classic hardboiled detective noir feel. But it mixes in a little bit of Sci-Fi by having classic monsters, with powers.
Bruce Golden writes some crisp dialogue. It never becomes cliche yet it has some era-specific slang terms.
As the book wraps up the various plot lines, all have satisfying endings. Given the world building done for this book, I hope there are plans to more Dirk Slade books. This has the making of an interesting series.