The X Gang face off with Earl Turner, a presidential candidate straight out of their nightmares.
It is a dangerous, divisive time in America. A far-right political candidate is seeking the presidency and stirring up hatred against minorities. The X Gang, meanwhile, have lost one of their friends to that presidential candidate — and are encountering manifestations of hate practically everywhere they go.
With his band, the Hot Nasties, about to embark on its first North American tour, and several recent murders in the punk
scene linked to its gigs, Kurt Blank and the rest of the X Gang have some difficult decisions to make.
New Dark Ages is about surviving in a nasty, brutish, and short-sighted time — and whether one should just go along or fight back.
Set in the late 1970s, Kinsella's sequel to 2017's Recipe for Hate awkwardly blends a heavy-handed alternate history political plotline with the search for a serial killer. Earl Turner, a junior congressman from Maine, has rocketed to the top of the Republican presidential field with his America for Americans theme and his racist slogan "Right is White." The X Gang, "a group of young punk rockers who clash with those who peddle racism and hate," are disheartened that one of their own, who performed under the stage name of Danny Hate, has become the demagogue's right-hand man. Meanwhile, Theresa Laverty, a "stunningly beautiful lesbian FBI agent," and NYPD cop Pete Schenk are on the trail of a murderer who has killed two people in Manhattan and one in Ottawa. All three victims attended a concert by the Hot Nasties, a Portland, Maine, punk rock quartet. The two story lines predictably intersect. Readers will struggle to suspend disbelief about a post-Watergate America embracing an over-the-top Trump caricature.