The Hag Witch Of Tripp Creek: Somer Canon
Reviewed By Steve Stred
I’m late to the game discovering Somer Canon’s writing. My first go-around was her fantastic short story in ‘Midnight in the Graveyard.’ Her story ‘Join My Club’ scared the crap out of me and when Pete from Bloodshot Books asked if I’d like a review copy, I jumped on the chance.
‘The Hag Witch of Tripp Creek’ tells us the story of Suzanne Miller, a widower living in a very isolated small town. She’s been branded a witch, and rightly so, but when Dawna Temple and her husband move nearby – wanting to escape their hectic city life in Pittsburgh, Dawna doesn’t believe the rumours and soon strikes up a friendship with Suzanne.
During this friendship is where the meat and potatoes of the book happen – Suzanne opens up and shares with Dawna her past and what started the rumours about her. I really enjoyed the flashback story and it was the deepest, most fleshed out section of this shorter read.
I think what would have heightened this entire read for me, was if the beginning and ending were of similar detail. When the book begins, it feels really rushed, to the point of this feeling left out and glossed over.
When we come back from the flashback to present day again, things once again hum along. Because of this disconnect between beginning, middle and ending, it read to me like three short stories that were then attached and connected by these characters. I didn’t fully understand why some of the stuff happened at the ending with Suzanne, based on her friendship with Dawna, but to stay spoiler-free I’ll leave it at that.
I found this story had so much potential to become a gruesome, folklore based story but then for unknown reasons things would back off, as though the volume of a song was turned down from 8 to 6 instead of going up to 10.
At the end of the day, I enjoyed my time in Tripp Creek, but it just felt like I visited for a day instead of a week, and in this case I think an extended stay would have helped me enjoy it more.
The Hag Witch Of Tripp Creek
A NEW HOME
Dawna Temple let herself be moved from the familiarity of Pittsburgh to the wilds of West Virginia, all so her mentally exhausted husband, John, could heal from a breakdown. Struggling with the abrupt change of location, Dawna finds a friend in her neighbor, Suzanne Miller, known to the locals as The Hag Witch of Tripp Creek.
A NEW FRIEND
Dismissing it as hillbilly superstition, Dawna can’t believe the things she hears about her funny and empathetic friend. Suzanne has secrets—dark secrets—and eventually she reveals the truth behind the rumors that earned her the wicked nickname decades earlier.
Now in possession of the truth, Dawna has conflicting emotions about Suzanne’s past deeds, but when her husband’s well-being takes a downturn, she finds there is no one else to turn to. Will she shun her friend as others have done before? …or can she accept that an act of evil is sometimes necessary for the greater good?
Steve Stred is the author of a number of novels, novellas and collections. He has appeared in anthologies with some of Horror’s heaviest hitters.
He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada with his wife, son and their dog OJ.
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