‘The Bridge’ is a supernatural mystery by independent author Allen Krummenacker. The cover art is also done by the author. While the art is beautiful, I personally feel the chosen color scheme for the cover art is a bit too bright.
Now, for those of you who have yet to read this title, here is your preemptive warning:
The prologue introduces us to what appears to be the antagonist of the story, a woman of supernatural origin who haunts a particular bridge. The story begins with the chase and subsequent death of another victim out of presumably countless others.
The love interest in the story, Alex, is an empath and psychic who is also spiritually sensitive. He spends a majority of the story hiding this fact, but unfortunately for him, the main character, Veronica, comes across a book about psychic phenomenon. Considering it was on display in a bookstore window, it stands to reason the title was a recent publication. It is unfortunate for the psychic in hiding because the book mentions him by name and even includes a picture of him when he was younger. I found Alex to be a much more interesting character than Veronica. I suspect that he was originally the main character and later demoted to supporting character. While this gives the story a strong female lead character in Veronica, Alex often overshadows her in complexity and importance to the plot.
Due to the strange nature of the case, I feel the story would have been better served if Veronica had been a private detective called in as a consultant to conduct off the record investigations. If Veronica had been a private detective, the random lunch breaks during an investigation, openly talking about the case with non-police personnel, and dragging her boyfriend along on police business would cease to be offences that would have been inexcusable. As a police officer, such activity would cause the case to be thrown out and a normal officer fired, despite her rank in the department and apparently being BFFs with the chief. It would make much more sense as to why she was not immediately and permanently removed from the case once her boyfriend became a suspect.
That being said, the story is good for what it is, a supernatural mystery. It was interesting to see that the big bad supernatural entity was not an angry spirit. This creature was so powerful and frightening it had to be sealed away for everyone’s safety. I blame the tribe responsible for the imprisonment and Cloudfoot family for not following up with the seal’s protection. Despite being overwhelmed with evidence showing them this abomination was dangerous, no one could be bothered to assure it remained undisturbed when someone began tampering with it, and again when the stone was raised out of the water.
I do feel that revealing to the reader that the one responsible for the mysterious deaths was the big-bad supernatural creature so early on took away from the suspense of the story. This premature knowledge overshadowed the circumstantial evidence brought forth to make Alex appear to be the guilty party. As a reader, I wanted to be carried by the suspense and worry of whether or not Alex was guilty. Since I knew he was innocent, I was able to dismiss the evidence just as easily as the police did. He was in no real danger until much later, and then it was over a misunderstanding, which was cleared up within hours and apologies were had. I feel it would have been far more thrilling to be suspicious of Alex using his psychic powers to play everyone for fools, but with enough ambiguity to leave room for doubt.
The ending did wrap up the side plot, finally having the Veronica agree to marry Alex. It also wrapped up another side plot of one of a secondary character finally coming to terms with her sexuality. It did not address a few side plots directly related to the main plot. How Cyrus was able to keep 300 years worth of disappearances a secret, especially in the more modern era? It also does not explain about how the two teenagers had drowned and found their way into the car, or the murders during investigation, especially since the police department could not possibly report the truth.
Rachelle Gauthier is StreetWraith Press’ newest reviewer. She has managed to somehow pull herself up from the dark pit of fanfic reviews, and is looking forward bringing her insightful wit to independent books.