“Simple reviews from a simple reader…”
Zakk reviews “Abram’s Bridge” by Glenn Rolfe. 85 pages published by Samhain Horror (Samhain Publications)
Overall score: 4/5
“You see this gorgeous day. The sun, brilliant and warm; the creek, chirping with life and rushing along, carefree. The air even tastes sweeter, like it’s filled with the promise of something even better to come, but then you step into reality, into the truth. It’s cold. The cold is still there, waiting. It’s like a natural illusion, ya know?”
There is a darkness in this town, and it’s buried beneath Abram’s Bridge.
Lil’ Ron and his dad have just moved back into his Grandmother’s house after his mother stepped out of the family with another man. It’s a fragile transition as Ron’s dad is hibernating in alcohol and his grandma is on edge.
A spilt MP3 player during a bike ride over a rickety wood planked bridge, Abram’s Bridge, leads 12 year old Lil’ Ron into a chance encounter with Katherine (Sweet Kate), a kind spirit tied to the old bridge. Why is Kate trapped here, what unfinished business does she have? The prospect of answers lead Ron directly into the crosshairs of a mystery shrouded over this small Maine town.
But small towns have big secrets with roots that run deep, and small town folk will go to great lengths to protect these secrets.
“When I was alive, I used to come here, to this bridge. I liked to listen to the water run. I always imagined what that would be like. To be free and on the run. Always going somewhere.”
In “Abram’s Bridge”, Glenn Rolfe gives us, his readers, a solid, tense and borderline heart breaking tale. With a dash of paranormal ghost story, a pinch of small town mystery and a second helping of suspense, Mr. Rolfe’s delivers a winner for his first release through Samhain Horror Publishing, a go-to publishing company for horror.
Glenn has a knack for writing entertaining and likable (and fun to dislike) characters. And the dramatis personae in “Abram’s Bridge” is no exception. There’s a lot of grey area for this cast to play around in, flowing in and out of the murk, as you the reader try to get a feel for what’s going on.
I dug our main character, Lil’ Ron, quite a bit, as I am a big fan of the “terror through the eyes of children/ youths” brand of storytelling. And the dynamic with his alcoholic father and grandmother was pretty spot-on, authentic and quite relatable. I saw a lot of myself in Ron as a lot of his family dysfunction mirrors my own youth. I felt connected to him and concerned for his well being.
And it’s not the only strong dynamic in the book. All of the characters here are connected by a highly taut thread, just one pull is all it takes to start the fray. And once the fray starts the lines begin to snap.
My only drawback with the book is that Ron doesn’t really get a chance to place the pieces together after putting in the leg work looking for connections before the culprit stands up. I would have liked to see Ron get that victory. Anyways, it’s a mild gripe. At the end of the day “Abram’s Bridge” delivers a top notch coming-of-age yarn, heart felt from page one and culminating in a tense and powerful climax.
Let me go on record as saying that I am a fan of Glenn Rolfe. Everything that I have read of his has been nothing short of a good time and “Abram’s Bridge” follows suit. He’s going to have quite a career and I’m fully invested and ready to follow along with the ride, excited for everything he has coming down the pipeline.
“You ain’t never talked to me before, you got that? Don’t go tellin’ nobody nothin’. And you make sure you mind your own fuckin’ business round here. Next time, I’ll put that cherry right in your goddamn lyin’ eye.”
Zakk is a big dumb animal!