Nostalgia City is a theme park, styled as a small town from the 1970s. Everything, from cars to restaurants, is designed to recreate that decade. Lyle Deming is an ex-cop driving a cab in the park. Circumstance throws him together with the park’s new PR director, Kate Sorenson, a six-foot-two-inch former basketball player. This unlikely duo is pressed into service behind the scenes by park owner Max Maxwell when people start dying.
Someone wants the park to fail. So far, the PR machine has successfully postponed the consequences of bad press, but for how long? Will high strung Lyle and his beautiful impromptu partner be able to untangle the conspiracy of greed behind the murders?
On one level, Mark S. Bacon’s Death in Nostalgia City is solid entertainment, but the story runs deeper than that. The function of nostalgia—re-framing stressful times through a sepia lens—serves as the novel’s clever subtext. Should conflicts of the past be reconciled, or simply glossed over with a comfortable, sanitized version of what never really was?
The novel’s protagonists are nice people, important for a genre that asks readers to sustain a riddle. You won’t mind spending time with Lyle and Kate. Better still, there isn’t an ounce of fat in this novel. Bacon’s prose is clean, crisp and lightning fast. The plot moves like a theme park ride. Death in Nostalgia City is a spectacular read (five stars out of five).