My rating: 5 of 5 stars
In Happy Utopia Day, Joe McCarthy, J.T. Lundy has created a marvellously original political satire and comic conspiracy thriller. In the book, United States Customs Service Agent, Chris Thompson, finds his routine life turned upside down when the President and Commander in Chief pull him from his apple pie-outsourcing day job to recruit him for a secret mission, on the strength of his long-forgotten, botched CIA application essay. With his head full of potential 007-like adventures, glamorous espionage-related excitement, and martinis shaken not stirred, Chris eagerly charges headlong into a dystopian version of modern day America, with intriguing twists, underground bunkers, murky and mysterious characters, one or two strippers, and the over-arching threat of how the government plans to deal with any alleged ‘un-American activities.’
I thoroughly enjoyed reading Happy Utopia Day, Joe McCarthy. It is a smoothly written tale, rattles along at a rip-roaring pace, and contains many laugh-out-loud funny moments. It is also intelligent and thought-provoking, recreating the fears of the Cold War, and drawing unnerving parallels with more modern phenomena. Chris Thompson is a very effective and credible ‘Everyman’ hero – the ordinary Joe pushed to very extraordinary lengths – and he finds himself surrounded by a range of believable, and both scary and humorous characters. The entire novel is an impressive combination of Hitchcockian suspense, Dr Strangelove-esque insanity, and the satirical worlds of Carl Hiaassen and Christopher Brookmyre. J.T. Lundy’s book is a brilliant five-star read, and I look forward to more! Reviewed by Julia for Readers’ Favorite.