© 2020 by Chris Soul. 

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'The X Files' meets 'Stranger Things', this is the comparison which really compelled me to read Dashe Robert's fabulous 'The Bigwoof Conspiracy'. But it is so much more than this. The first adventure of Lucy in Sticky Pines is a fantastically prickly, energetically sugary romp of weirdness - with a huge sense of neon-flavoured fun and shadowy spookiness. I enjoyed it immensely!

There are a lot of strange goings-on in Sticky Pines and Lucy Sladen is determined to find out and bring the truth to light. When she goes looking for UFOs she discovers more than she thought possible: an enormous, hairy creature. Bigfoot? No. Bigwoof more like. But will anyone believe Lucy? And if the truth is revealed will the people of Sticky Pines even want to know?

Straight-off I'm going to heap oozles of praise on Robert's superb writing of dialogue and inner voice. Quite simply, the dialogue between Lucy and her friend Milo, as well as others, is possibly the best and most quirky I've read in this genre. The turns of phrase and the colloquialisms are hilarious, and light up the narrative like neon sweet nuggets. You can open any page and discover something like: 'Holy. Flippin'. Crudballs' and 'Clamsauce' and 'Flip this fracking dillweed'. There is such a sense of playfulness with the language but also with the story itself.

 

Lucy is a wonderful creation and her reactions to peculiar events are expertly realized. On top of this, Roberts has created a setting eerily reminiscent of many places in horrors, but with extra layers of intrigue and juiciness and... clowns. Not everything is as it seems - promising a series to explore more and dig deeper into all the weirdness. Flippin' crudballs I can't wait to read the next book set in Sticky Pines. Indubitably.

If you want spooks and weirdness, fun and hilarity, then look no further than Dashe Robert's delectable 'Bigwoof Conspiracy'. Thanks to Nosy Crow for my copy to review.

https://www.waterstones.com/book/sticky-pines-the-bigwoof-conspiracy/9781788006866