Those Across the River by Christopher Buehlman

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Those Across the River

By: Christopher Buehlman

Published by: Ace Hardcover
Released On: 2011-09-06

ISBN: 0441020674
Pages: 368
Genre: horror / suspense / paranormal

Author’s Website:

Author’s Social:   Twitter  |  Facebook

Format of Review Copy: paperback
Source:  won

Recommendable for people who enjoy:
Suspense/mystery with a “light horror” twist

Synopsis (from Amazon):
Failed academic Frank Nichols and his wife, Eudora, have arrived in the sleepy Georgia town of Whitbrow, where Frank hopes to write a history of his family’s old estate-the Savoyard Plantation- and the horrors that occurred there. At first, the quaint, rural ways of their new neighbors seem to be everything they wanted. But there is an unspoken dread that the townsfolk have lived with for generations. A presence that demands sacrifice. It comes from the shadowy woods across the river, where the ruins of Savoyard still stand. Where a longstanding debt of blood has never been forgotten. A debt that has been waiting patiently for Frank Nichols’s homecoming…


My Thoughts:

I actually read this around Halloween of last year and forgot to put the review up on my blog, so my memory of it may be a little foggy.     I’ve been flipping back through it to get a refresher, so this review is based loosely off of memory and mostly off of notes I wrote myself and smaller reviews I had posted as placeholders until I wrote this.

Those Across the River started out slow for me.  I was afraid I was going to hate the characters too, since we’re introduced to the main couple – who are basically run out of town over being caught in an affair.  Not my kind of people.  Made it hard for me to like them.   Once they got away from the city and out into the family estate down in the bottoms of Georgia, they grew on me.

I’m struggling trying to decide what to tell you about the story.  I hate to be the one dropping the “spoilers”. 

Ok, so this man inherits an estate when his aunt passes – and it is delivered to him along with a warning to sell it immediately.   Of course, being what it is – and their current circumstance, he and his lady friend “flee” (as I said – they’d been busted having an affair) to the estate in hopes of making it their home.  This family estate is nestled in the quaint little village of Whitbrow.  The way the town is described – I expect you could turn any corner and find good ole Ned Beatty doing his “squeal like a pig” from Deliverance.  For you younger folks – I’m saying it was a very hillbilly, back woods, community just south of nowhere and east of howthef*didIgethere. 

Once Frank and Eudora (thats the man and his woman) get settled in, and think they are going to like it down in Whitbrow – they realize something is not quite right and most of the town is probably bat-shit crazy.  A sacrificial ceremony might make one think that.  I’d hope.  LOL

At this point, I am no longer comfortable telling you what happens – because it will spoil the book.  I will just say, I thought something was happening and though I was kind of right…I was SO wrong.   

I’ve read a lot of horror/thriller/paranormal stuff, so its pretty hard to surprise or “eek” me out.  I want to say, any book that can give goosebumps – is a well written book.  At the point where we are reading and finding out WHAT it is, exactly, across the river… that entire sequence had my arms covered in goosebumples.  I thought it was well written, and totally had me squinched down in my bed with the covers pulled up tight and ALL of the lights on. haha.

In Conclusion:

This book was very creepy.  It did start out slow, to let you get to know the characters a little before all the weird stuff starts happening.  Stick with it, it does pick up.   I read it in a day and was completely hooked and creeped out by page 100, according to my reading updates.  

Great read, would recommend to all my horror loving friends. =)

Mom Notes:

I actually read this last year and can’t remember if there was anything major.  I do remember some violent scenes, with blood etc.  Probably best kept to those ages 13-14+

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