Award-winning author and “Champion Mojo Storyteller” Joe R. Lansdale (Hap & Leonard, Bubba Ho Tep) and his daughter, author / country singer Kasey Lansdale, have joined forces to bring you a short story collection showcasing the new dynamic duo of supernatural sleuthing, Dana Roberts and her sidekick Jana!
Terror is Our Business gathers together all of Dana’s and Jana’s previous cases in a single volume, and features an all-new adventure, “The Case of the Ragman’s Anguish,” written exclusively for this collection.
Join Dana and Jana as they investigate—and battle—angry jinns, malevolent shadows, ancient travelers, and soul-sucking shapeshifters. With two tough, resourceful women on the case, the specters from “the other side” won’t know what hit them!
Terror Is Our Business focuses on a supernatural investigator named Dana who prefers to be called a supernormal investigator because all her cases are just things we have yet to understand. You get reminded of this a lot which did get on my nerves a little. In the intro from Joe Lansdale he does mention that each of the stories (or cases if you will) are meant to be read once per day or once per week, so maybe the book is written based on the thinking we forgot? Either way, it got a little repetitive for me and I think they could have left it out after the first time.
Anyway, most of the cases are told as Dana speaking to a “men’s” club – think cigars, drinking, and food but with a couple of women members – but the last 2 are with her new assistant Jana (created by Kasey), and the story before those is all Jana and her first experience with the “supernormal.” I did love the comic relief Jana provided as Dana can be a bit stiff as a character. However, and I’m sure this will be an unpopular opinion, I actually tended to prefer the club stories because you got case details only, plus they were straight and to the point as opposed to reading about all of Jana’s thoughts and actions.
The cases were full of creepiness, weirdness, and sometimes a bit of gore, but I didn’t get that horror vibe that I was expecting. There are definitely some intense scenes, but I wasn’t scared in a way I usually am with full blown horror. I think this is a good book for people that don’t normally read the genre but kind of want to get their feet wet so to speak.
I loved that both Kasey and her father were involved in the writing of this book – the family that writes horror together stays together? I really didn’t want it to end because I was having so much fun reading it. I really hope there is more Jana and Dana (or at least Dana) in the near future.
Final Thought: While the book was a bit repetitive at times and I didn’t feel like this was really horror, I still seriously enjoyed Terror Is Our Business. This is the first time I’ve read anything from Joe R. Lansdale and I hear it is very different from his usual work. I might go back and read some of his books, but I just really love the idea of a paranormal investigator who is a seriously strong female character. All I know is I want more Dana pronto, and I’m going to be very sad if I don’t see this character again.
Terror Is Our Business in 3-ish words: Page-Turner, Spine-Tingling, Mysterious
Thank you so much to Lauren with Smith Publicity for providing me with a free review copy of this book. All opinions are my own.