Lake of Darkness Explores the Dark Side of WWI-Era Chicago

This episode Jason talks to Scott Kenemore, author of the new book Lake of Darkness (May 5, 2020; Skyhorse Publishing/Talos Press). The book explores an alternate history in which power, crime, and the supernatural converge during the First World War on the South Side of Chicago.

L-R: The cover of Lake of Darkness by Scott Kenemore. Image Credit: Skyhorse Publishing/Talos Press. The logo of the Castle Talk podcast and used with permission.
L-R: The cover of Lake of Darkness by Scott Kenemore. Image Credit: Skyhorse Publishing/Talos Press. The logo of the Castle Talk podcast and used with permission.

The publisher says:

A combination of detective thriller, cosmic horror, and historical fiction, LAKE OF DARKNESS takes readers deeply into Chicago's very dark history. When a series of child murders takes place, Officer Joe "Flip" Flippity is summoned by the city's mayor, the legendary Big Bill Thompson himself–during a time when Chicago's African-American police officers were treated as second-class citizens–to catch the murderer and thwart the city's reputation as a safe haven for those making the Great Migration north. While searching to catch his killer—and to discover why the most powerful men in Chicago are truly concerned about the murders of poor black refugees—Flip's bloody trail takes him through the South Side's vice districts (where anything is available for a price), across its most dangerous criminal underbellies, and into a bracing and unexpected world of supernatural horror.

The author discusses how he devised the story after working in community development in Chicago, learning about early segregation and redlining—to advocate today; it helps to know the past, he says. He talks about his process of drawing from imagination and history. The book is very much a supernatural-tinged police procedural that will appeal to readers of crime fiction.

Kenemore also talked about his process—he's one of those writers who sometimes uses an outline and other times just flies by a sense of dead reckoning. Lake of Darkness was a dead reckoning book, he says, but his latest project is an outliner—book that will take Kenemore from Chicago's shadowy past to the far reaches of space.

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Jason Henderson is the host of the Castle of Horror and Castle Talk Podcasts, the editor of the Castle of Horror Anthology series, and the author of Quest for the Nautilus: Young Captain Nemo from Macmillan Children's Books. His new horror novel, under the pseudonym Peyton Douglas, The Book Man, debuts on June 2.The_Book_Man_June_2

About Jason Henderson

Jason Henderson, author of the Young Captain Nemo (Macmillan Children's) and Alex Van Helsing (HarperTeen) series, earned his BA from University of Dallas in 1993 and his JD from Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law in Washington, D.C., in 1996. His popular podcasts “Castle Talk” and “Castle of Horror” feature interviews and discussion panels made up of best-selling writers and artists from all genres. Henderson lives in Colorado with his wife and two daughters.

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