Sunday, September 25, 2011

Review: Possum Belly Queen by Robert O'Hanneson

  • Paperback: 234 pages
  • Publisher: Dark Oak Mysteries (July 5, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1610090187
  • ISBN-13: 978-1610090186

Product Description


The man who telephoned him implied he wants to do business with amusement ride rep Andy Zartanian, and Andy seriously needs to do some business. When they meet, it is clear within moments that the man doesn’t know Chance’s Aviator from the Log Flume. Annoyed at having his time wasted, Andy turns to go. The man hurries to explain he’s there on behalf of a wealthy Bostonian whose granddaughter was last seen with a carnie on a Virginia midway. His employer, the man says, is offering a handsome compensation package to Andy. All he has to do is track down the young woman and bring her home. Suspicious, but drawn to the financial upside, Andy signs on and starts refreshing his carnie contacts. But as Andy suspected from the get-go, it’s much more complex than simply extracting young Emily from her newfound companions. As he fights his way through the seamy backside of sparkling midways and festive crowds, Andy is reminded why his grandfather always said carnie life was the devil’s sandbox. 

About the Author


Robert O’Hanneson spent over twenty years selling amusement rides to carnivals and amusement parks worldwide. Now, he writes fulltime in California’s Central Valley. His novel, POSSUM BELLY QUEEN, is Dark Oak Mystery Contest’s 2010 winner. He co-wrote BLOODY SOIL, which was partially read on Fresno’s NPR station. His article INSIDE THE SILOS OF DOOMSDAY, was part of Military History Magazine’s issue on the Cuban Missile Crisis. His work also appeared in Fresno Magazine. As board vice president of the Yosemite Writers Conference, he planning of conferences, speaker acquisitions and generated scholarship funds for high school and college students.

My Review

Possum Belly Queen takes the reader into the world of the traveling carnival, an intriguing world that is unknown to most of us.  The writer, Robert O'Hanneson, whose debut novel is Possum Belly Queen, is very good. The story flows and it is a good story.  O'Hanneson who sold amusement park equipment for twenty years is very familiar with the world of the carny...both the good and the bad.

The story opens with  Andy Zartanian, former special ops who grew up with the carnival circuit, who is now a amusement park ride salesman being approached by a new client.  But this new client is not interested in purchasing equipment but is interested in Andy because of his combination of insider carnival knowledge and special ops training.  A wealthy Bostonian's granddaughter has apparently run off with a carny and Andy is offered a large fee to find the girl.  Reluctantly he takes it on and from then on it's a wild roller coaster ride to the finish. 

The insider view of carnival life is what makes this novel unique, but the fast paced well-written story keeps you reading!  Great debut novel!  Looking forward to more from Robert O'Hanneson.

No comments:

Post a Comment