Review: Sideshow P.I.

It’s always nice to see two weird writers joining forces to create a single project.  Sideshow P.I. is like that.  Both authors—Nathaniel Lambert and Kevin Sweeney—have melded their prose together seamlessly, a great accomplishment even if they didn’t live in separate countries.  Sideshow P.I. is great noir bizarro, told with two voices that mix together and shift around, creating an amorphous rhythm that perfectly fits this weird world.

The setting is New Ramoth, a carnival-themed dystopia crawling with voodoo, whores, clones, corrupt corporations, and vicious gangs.  This is the place the freaks go after all the freak shows have shut down, and it’s become the real Sin City.  Any carnal desire can be sated here, or you might wind up dead in an alleyway.  It happens.  The things they do in New Ramoth would make every Vegas showman wet his pants in fear.  It’s a futuristic cesspool of garbage, rotted corpses, and acid rain.  In other words, it’s the perfect setting for a gritty noir tale.

Our detective is Eddie Gnash, who once performed in the carnivals as the dog-boy but now finds a new calling as a private investigator.  I loved Eddie.  He keeps the old-school detective archetype, hard-nosed and able to handle anything, but he’s also got a flair for sarcasm and escaping dangerous spots by the skin of his teeth.  He’s like Sam Spade mixed with Han Solo and covered in fur.  And as Eddie tries to solve the case of the dead johns, he digs into one of New Ramoth’s many corrupt little secrets.  If a city of grotesque freaks wasn’t bad enough, something worse is bubbling under the surface:  monsters.

Like Gina Ranalli said in the introduction, I hope to see more stories set in this world.  I want to see Eddie’s further adventures and catch up to his colorful supporting cast of circus freaks.   It’s a perfect blend of freakshow style, hard cyberpunk noir, and psychedelic monsters.  The ending becomes a whirlwind of extreme sex and violence done in true bizarro style.  Sideshow P.I. has built an extremely vivid and unique world in New Ramoth.  It’s a gory freakshow that’s worth the ticket price.

Get it here:


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