An enjoyable murder mystery involving a fairground (and a fair dash of fate), Joyland is a coming of age story with a supernatural twist.

You wouldn’t expect Stephen King to sit down and write a story about a 21-year old virgin carnie operator “finding himself”, right? Well this is kind of the gist of ‘Joyland’, where Dev Jones walks in a broken-hearted boy and leaves covered in blood, but undoubtedly a man.

Between manning the rides and wearing a hound costume, Jonesey has a new obsession – finding out who killed the girl on the haunted house ride four years ago – and why her ghost is still hanging around.

It’s a well constructed plotline with a fair few interesting guesses along the way as to which carnie might be a secret serial killer, but by all accounts this was tame for the likes of King. It reads rather like a movie script is unfolding in your mind, and he craftily ties up all the loose ends – leaving none (or very little) intrigue at all.

It’s enjoyable and a very easy read, but I wouldn’t compare it to his best work.

Note to readers: I’m sorry for being extremely lax with my reviews. In fact, I reached 52 books total read in 2015. I will be catching up with my writing in the coming weeks to make up for the silence!

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