Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd.
Publication Date: 6th Jan 2015
Li’l Ron Sawyer is twelve years old. He has just moved back to his father’s home town with him after his parents have split up. He likes nothing more than riding his bike while listening to Metallica on his MP3. When his MP3 player flies from his belt over Abram’s Bridge, he fears the worst. After climbing down to the creek to search for it, he comes across Sweet Kate. He quickly realises she is a ghost and gets away even quicker. Curiosity gets the better of him and he goes back to meet her. It becomes clear to him that Kate was murdered and he sets about trying to find out by who, and why.
First thing I have read by Glenn Rolfe and from what I can gather his first book. If that’s the case then I’m impressed. It’s a supernatural mystery / thriller. A short one at that. It’s a plot that has been done before – boy meets girl ghost and sets out to uncover her killer – but it’s done well with a fair amount of tension throughout.
The characters in this are well done for a short story. They aren’t lacking in any way and you do feel as if you know them very well in a short time. Li’l Ron is a twelve year old with a smart head on his shoulders and probably more street savvy than most. He has had a hard life so far and seems used to dealing with things by himself. His father loves the beer and has more conversations with him drunk than sober. His grandmother isn’t any more attentive and he doesn’t have any friends to speak of. The only other boy he mentions is Heath, the rich, smart kid that he doesn’t really like but who would play a bigger part in his life than he thought.
The story follows Ron on his search for the truth so that he can free Kate from her prison down by the bridge. He tries to discover things by himself but draws a blank until she gives him a first name of the boy who killed her. That’s when his world falls apart and the search for the truth and answers gets a little bit hectic.
The rest of the story follows many paths that to be honest I didn’t see coming. I thought I had it sussed early on as to who the killer was and at one part went “Ha haaaa!!” in a triumphant manor only to be shot down a page or 2 later. When you do find out who the killer is, the roller coaster ride begins. This is the part I really enjoyed. It’s a good old fashioned chase to the finish with about six different people all heading to the same point for different reasons that don’t know the others will be there. The result of this is explosive when they all eventually meet.
I couldn’t help but feel very sad in the closing stages of this book. Only for the story, not for the writing. Glenn Rolfe has proved to me in this short that he is not scared to turn things around in a way you would least expect him to. He isn’t scared to throw something in your face that may shock you and definitely have you thinking “I never saw that coming”.
All in all I really liked this story. I would probably have liked a bit more of the scary stuff but it turned into a really good thrilling race to the finish and the tension was excellent. It was real edge of the seat stuff for me towards the end. I’ll definitely pick up more by Mr Rolfe. I think he has a lot of potential.
My rating has changed a few times but I’m comfortable now with a 3.5 rounded up to 4.
★★★★ Close to perfect but just lacked that little something.
★★★ Creepy but no jump out of my seat moments.
You can buy Abram's Bridge here:
When Lil Ron meets Sweet Kate under Abram’s Bridge he is mesmerized. And when he realizes this beautiful girl is a ghost, it frightens him, but also draws him to her. Curiosity and a drive to make things right lead Lil Ron into a tangle of small-town secrets involving his own father and other members of this otherwise quiet community. Bit by bit, he will uncover the truth about Sweet Kate, a story of heartbreak, violence…and fear.
Glenn Rolfe is an author, singer, songwriter and all around fun loving guy from the haunted woods of New England. He has studied Creative Writing at Southern New Hampshire University, and continues his education in the world of horror by devouring the novels of Stephen King and Richard Laymon. He and his wife, Meghan, have three children, Ruby, Ramona, and Axl. He is grateful to be loved despite his weirdness.
His novellas, ABRAM'S BRIDGE and BOOM TOWN, will be published by Samhain Publishing in 2015, followed later in the year by his novel, BLOOD and RAIN.
Pick up a copy of his debut novel, THE HAUNTED HALLS, available now from James Ward Kirk Publishing, or a copy of his short story collection, SLUSH.
You can see more of Glenn at his website.
Glenn's author page is here.