Roanoke Ridge – A Creature X Mystery: J.J. Dupois
Reviewed By Steve Stred
Thanks to Netgalley, Dundurn and the author for sending this my way. When I saw it announced I was excited, but wasn’t that confident I’d get approved, so thank you!
Why was I excited specifically you may ask? My love of Bigfoot based thrillers and horrors. Since my childhood, all things cryptozoology have caught my interest and Bigfoot most of all. Maybe it was because I grew up in British Columbia and there had been sightings a few hours from my house, or maybe it was the thrill of the idea that a massive creature could still be living in the trees had me intrigued.
The book itself is pretty straight forward. Laura has a science website. Her dad believed in Bigfoot and while she spent many summers in the Roanoke area, she herself is a sceptic. Because, as I mentioned before, she has a science website and believes in science.
A Professor who was like a grandfather to her has now been reported missing in the area, so Laura gets a call to head there and help with the search.
What I liked: as with most Bigfoot books, I liked the tension and excitement of the possibility of them discovering Bigfoot.
What I didn’t like: truthfully, a fair bit. The pace is glacial at times, offering up very minor bits but stretching them out. At the beginning, we are treated to an author’s note, which states they are a sceptic, and that should be your mindset going in. We are treated to a science lecture with detailed statistics at the start – which I get, it did play well with a potential shift in Bigfoot habitat’s – but it was put in there purely to stereotype all Bigfoot searchers as science disbelievers, climate change deniers and rednecks who like to shoot guns. While each chapter starts with a real quote from various Bigfoot researchers and newspapers, most of the characters appear to be direct parodies/caricatures of real people – we get the Loren Coleman twin opening up the Bigfoot fesitival, we get the Todd Standing hoaxer twin, there are the characters that don’t matter who are trying to be the Finding Bigfoot crew and even the Science is Awesome website felt like a take on the site I F+++ing Love Science.
The ending was rushed and frustrating and just left me fuming that more could have been added in. It felt like a Hardy Boys Lite release.
Why you should buy it: if you love Bigfoot or creature features and want a single sitting read, this could be right up your alley. Be warned though, as I mentioned – the author is a sceptic – which means this book frequently makes sure that we understand that no rational mind can believe in Bigfoot.
Does it exist? Who knows? I sure hope so. But this book doesn’t add much to that side of the argument.
When Bigfoot researcher Professor Berton Sorel goes missing in the temperate rainforest of Roanoke Ridge, Oregon, help is summoned in the form of his former star pupil, Laura Reagan, online science populist and avowed skeptic. But what begins as a simple search and rescue operation takes a drastic turn when a body is discovered — and it isn’t the professor’s.
Caught in the fallout of the suspicious death, perplexed by a sudden wave of Bigfoot sightings, and still desperately searching for Professor Sorel, Reagan reluctantly admits two things: her old mentor was right about there being secrets hidden in Roanoke Ridge, and it’s up to her to uncover them.
Steve Stred writes dark, bleak horror fiction.
Steve is the author of three novels, a number of novellas and four collections.
He is proud to work with the Ladies of Horror Fiction to facilitate the Annual LOHF Writers Grant.
Steve is also a voracious reader, reviewing everything he reads and submitting the majority of his reviews to be featured on Kendall Reviews.
Steve Stred is based in Edmonton, AB, Canada and lives with his wife, his son and their dog OJ.
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