Reviewed By Neil A White
Malice in a Very Small Town: A Wiki Danser Novel
Malice in a Very Small Town: A Wiki Danser Novel by Greg Jolley features another escapade of the eclectic Danser family: Wiki, her partner Sara, their child Seabee, and an orphaned beaver that’s found a home in their bathtub. The family moves into their new home by the lake in the small town of Dent, and next door to an oddball lady that has a fascination with foul-smelling backyard fires. Did I mention that her husband has gone missing? And some of their other neighbors aren’t a barrel of laughs either. When Wiki believes two children have disappeared, she tries to raise the alarm with the local police, but to no avail. Soon after a small private airplane crashes, rifle shots ring out in the night, and the oddball neighbor disappears into the forest. And just when all appears to be returning to normal, a final shoot-out materializes that places everyone in danger.
Greg Jolley is back with Malice in a Very Small Town, his latest quirky, suspense-filled novella. I’ve been a fan of his free-flowing, whimsical prose since reading Where’s Karen, and his latest effort follows along in that tradition. Filled with a wonderfully strange cast of characters – Jolley’s trademark – I found Malice in a Very Small Town to be a taut, off-beat thriller. However, much like his earlier novel I reviewed, I felt the ending was rushed and fell a little flat after building to a fine crescendo. There is no doubting Greg Jolley has an immense talent, and although his writing style and pacing choices may not be for every reader, I highly recommend spending some quality time with his characters.