Nov 192021

Financial Times: Nick Mamatas’s The Second Shooter likewise revels in weirdness, delving into America’s conspiracy theory culture. Mike Karras, a down-at-heel journalist working for a small-press publisher, is carrying out research for a book about mysterious, half-glimpsed additional gunmen whom eyewitnesses claim to have seen at assassinations and mass shootings.

Karras’s investigations into the phenomenon lead him deep into the realms of rightwing radio talk-show hosts and QAnon-style paranoia. In its final third, the story takes a turn for the metaphysical, following its own dark logic to a downbeat conclusion. Along the way Mamatas offers plenty of scathing commentary on gun violence and misuse of social media, in a novel that is both smart and topical.