Abram's Bridge

Abram's Bridge - Glenn Rolfe
Rolfe Review #2

With thanks to Glenn Rolfe who provided his debut novel and novella in exchange for an honest review of each, this is the second of those reviews. You can find the other here.

It's a rarity for me to read two works by an author back-to-back, but it may be something I endeavour to do more often after reading Glenn Rolfe's The Haunted Halls and then Abram's Bridge. Telling the story of a local boy who befriends a young ghost beneath the titular bridge, and his subsequent investigation into her murder, Rolfe's second published singular tale represents a major improvement in his prose. Despite the relatively sparse number of pages here, Rolfe takes his time to build more of the world in which his narrative takes place, allowing the reader to connect with the main protagonist and the secondary characters that circle him. The setting in which the events take place is is also rendered in sufficient detail, so that despite the fantastical nature of the story, things feel grounded enough to be real.

This is also quite the departure in tone from The Haunted Halls, with Abram's Bridge lacking the carnage of its predecessor, instead allowing its central mystery and the characters involved in it to hold the reader's interest. This certainly worked for me, despite this one probably being less up my alley than Rolfe's preceding work.

For me, just a couple of things held Abram's Bridge back from being excellent. The first was how readily the main character accepted he was talking with a ghost. I remember what it was like to be 12; I also remember the two or three incidents that put me on the road to being so interested in horror. And my reaction to those incidents was nowhere near as calm or easy-going as Lil Ron's here. Secondly, the central mystery was a little straight-forward, with there being very little doubt as to who had done the murdering all those years before ...

Regardless of these issues, Abram's Bridge remains a quality novella and one worthy of a read. Here's hoping Rolfe continues to develop as a writer at the same exponential rate, because if so, his next novel, Boom Town, ought to be spectacular.

4 Small Town Mysteries Unearthed for Abram's Bridge.
Source: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1165416789?book_show_action=false