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Reviewed by Saifunnissa Hassam for Readers' Favorite
Mark S. Bacon's Dark Ride Deception (Nostalgia City Mysteries Book 4) is an intriguing murder mystery. Nostalgia City is an Arizona theme park that evokes the 1970s in rich detail. Lyle Deming is a former Phoenix cop and homicide detective who now works as a cab driver at the theme park. Max Maxwell, the founder and CEO of Nostalgia City, draws on Lyle's past detective experience to solve crimes at the theme park. In this case, Maxwell asks Lyle to find the theme park's missing computer genius, Tom Wyrick. Tom's highly advanced theme park technology is also missing from the computer system. Maxwell sends Lyle to Florida to investigate theme park competitors. Lyle works undercover, assuming false identities, searching for leads, and almost getting killed. Kate Sorensen is Nostalgia City's VP of public relations, a very close friend of Lyle, and has worked on criminal cases with him. A crime movie is being filmed on site in Nostalgia City. An actor starring in the movie is found dead at the bottom of a canyon. Was it suicide or murder?
I thoroughly enjoyed reading Mark S. Bacon's Dark Ride Deception for its great characters and the highly imaginative theme park setting. I liked Lyle's wry sense of humor, and his ability to draw on his past experiences as a detective as well as improvise as he searches for leads to find the missing computer genius. The dangerous situations in which Lyle finds himself at the other theme parks added great color, depth, tension, and suspense to the story. Lyle does not like roller coasters, and I loved how the story ensured that he ended up on one, like a terrifying indoor amusement dark ride! Lyle's compassionate and caring nature comes through in his interactions with others. I appreciated Kate Sorensen's character, her courage, and her determination to solve the mystery of an actor's death. The story is very well-crafted, flowing smoothly between Lyle's search for Tom Wyrick, and Kate's search for vital clues to an actor's death. The short chapters made the tension taut and the suspense unbearable. This is a terrific thriller with remarkable characters and fantastic theme park settings!