The Fear in Yesterday's Rings - George C. Chesbro (1991)

The "Mongo" series is an odd duck. The books aren't pure mysteries, but they aren't quite horror, nor thriller, nor fantasy. What they are is weird and jolly good fun. This book is the tenth in the series of fourteen, and all of the books are worth checking out.

Dr. Robert Frederickson, aka Mongo the Magnificent, is an ex-circus performer, a dwarf acrobat in fact, turned criminologist. His brother, Garth, is an ex-cop. His friends included other circus folk, Vietnam vets, secret government agents and assorted misfits and outcasts. They find themselves opposing US and foreign black-ops groups, con-men using the trappings of Satanism, and international cartels of various types of bad guys.

The Fear in Yesterday's Rings takes Mongo back to his roots in a small traveling circus. He's out to help out an old friend, the former owner, by buying it back for him to run. Coincidentally, there have been a number of lurid "werewolf" murders in the area. But Mongo has no interest in that. At first.

Of course, no one believes that he's just out looking to buy a circus, and there is something odd about the circus ...

The book builds tension nicely, and the climax is more thriller than mystery, but good thriller. Chesbro writes well, and his characters are engaging and Mongo himself is a delightful creation. The whole series is recommended.

Overall Grade: B

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