Trail of the Chupacabra
By Stephen Randel
Publisher: Knuckleball Press
Publication Date: May 2nd, 2013
Genre: Humor/Dark Comedy/Thriller
Avery Bartholomew Pendleton is back, and he’s just as crazy as ever. Avery is a paranoid loner obsessed with global conspiracy theories who spends most of his time crafting absurd and threatening letters to anyone who offends him. That means pretty much everyone.
Still convinced of the existence of the mythical Mexican chupacabra*, Avery enlists the assistance of the Southwest Texas Revolutionary Armed Confederate Border Operations Militia (STRAC-BOM) and their manic leader, General X-Ray, to help him invade Mexico. Accompanied by Ziggy, a burned-out hippy, and an uncommonly large iguana named Nancy, the group follows the advice of a New Orleans voodoo priestess and heads straight into the Mexican desert.
Unfortunately for the motley gang of explorers, Mexico can be a dangerous place if you cross the wrong people — specifically, the Padre, a vicious drug cartel boss, and El Barquero, a murderous gunrunner who has crossed Avery’s path before.
What unfolds is a laugh-out-loud dark comedy of insane humor, unforgettable characters, and chilling thrills.
*No chupacabras were injured in the writing of this book.
This book is a sequel to The Chupacabra. Avery is back and he’s even crazier (and still looking for a chupacabra).
The characters in this book are very, very strange. There are no completely normal characters here. And that’s what makes it so interesting. You just keep wondering what kind of ridiculous situation are they going to get themselves in next.
The letters that Avery writes to a long list of people are awesome. It’s hilarious how seriously he takes himself (he even yells “Do you know who I am?” as if he’s some celebrity). It’s especially ridiculous when he’s talking to Ziggy, who talks like this : “Like, yeah, man.” Ziggy’s use of ‘like’ actually gets really annoying at times – that’s how much he uses it. El Barquero is also back, and he’s after Padre. That plot is kinda separate from Avery’s but they do meet and the story works. I really enjoyed the humor in this book – I can’t pinpoint why exactly, but it’s different from what I’m used to.
I like this book more than the first one. It’s funnier and the writing is better. I found it a lot easier to get into this book (maybe because I got used to Avery, so it was easier to concentrate on the story).
Stephen Randel, CFA, was born in Houston, Texas. He is a graduate of Texas Christian University. Steve now lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota with his wife and their two rescue dogs.