CBR4 #15: Ghost Road Blues by Jonathan Maberry

Thirty years ago, something evil came to the small town of Pine Deep. The evil was stymied, but not destroyed. Now, most residents of “the Most Haunted Town in America” have forgotten what happened. Some of them still remember, though. And some of them are still very, very angry.

This was a pretty good book. I liked the protagonists–ex-cop Malcolm Crow, his girlfriend Val, and young “Iron Mike” Sweeney–a lot. They were were relateable characters, with emotions and reactions I found believable. Crow in particular was very cool. Val was a strong female character, mostly independent and smart. Even the antagonistic characters–dangerous convict Karl, Mike’s abusive stepfather Vic, and (most disturbing) religious fanatic Tow-Truck Eddie–had their own motivations and points of view.

The main problem I had with this book is that it feels incomplete. I realize that it’s the first book in a trilogy, but it felt like there was a lot of set up and very little pay-off. Many things are hinted at, both from the future and the past, but almost nothing actually came to fruition. I found myself wanting at least a few answers. While I understand the author wanted to leave the audience hungry for more from the second book, I felt like he should have thrown me a bone at some point–explain a little more about what happened thirty years ago, or about the plan, or about the characters, or SOMETHING. Nothing seemed to resolve and I felt I’d been left hanging.

I plan to get the other books in this trilogy eventually because I am interested in finding out what happens to the characters. However, at this point I’m still feeling a bit annoyed with the author.

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