By: Brit Lunden
Publisher: Chelshire, Inc.
Publication Date: January 2018
Reviewed by: Holly Connors
Review Date: January 6, 2019
A sleepy little town in Georgia is the perfect setting for a paranormal thriller that amps up the "creepy" factor in a story with more twists and turns than an old country road.
Clay Finnes is the sheriff of Bulwark, Georgia, a small town where nothing much happens. He's got a slightly annoying deputy, Owen Bishop, who means well but just isn't the brightest light bulb in the pack. As the story opens, Clay and Owen are at the scene of an accident where an out-of-town couple got their car stuck in a big green pond of muck. The accident happened at the outskirts of town, a place where there are remnants of an old road, but nothing else. Where were they coming from and where did that pond of bad smelling water come from?
After finishing the investigation at the scene of the accident, Clay goes to interview the couple. They're staying nearby at a hunter's cabin, with the owner there to keep an eye on them, while they wait for the ambulance. The husband is motionless on the couch, and the wife isn't much better, babbling about a witch in the woods. When she spots a picture on the mantle of the hunter's dead wife and claims, "...she's the witch that took my children," the hunter is understandably upset. That's when Dayna Dalton, an annoying local reporter, shows up at the door. Fortunately, Clay is right behind her and he forces her out of the way as he goes in the house. Clay doesn't have much luck interviewing the couple who are soon hustled off to the hospital.
At the hospital, Clay runs into his wife Jenna. Unfortunately, they are separated...things fell apart shortly after their young daughter Claire went missing the previous year. Clay still loves Jenna and hopes she feels the same, but with a hot doctor making the moves on her, things don't look too promising. Meanwhile, the wife from the accident is still babbling, telling anyone who will listen that they need to find the gingerbread house, which is where her children were taken. When wolves are mentioned too, Clay has had just about enough. What is going on?
Bulwark is one of those fun stories that grabs you quickly and doesn't let go until the very end. At just 109 pages, it won't take long to read and with short chapters that keep tempting you to read just one more, you'll likely finish the book in one sitting. The story has witches, werewolves, a town with a long-hidden history, and a very determined sheriff, who not only is intent on solving the mystery but also getting his wife back. Don't think you've figured this one out as you read, and don't assume you know who is good, or bad...you'll likely be wrong, which is what makes this story so enjoyable. The only thing the book needs is a careful review by an editor as there are numerous editorial errors - not enough to ruin the story but they do get annoying. Beyond that, however, this is a very good story that will leave you quite satisfied.
Quill says: If you like your thrillers with lots of twists, plenty of "creepy," some paranormal events, and a fast-moving plot, check out Bulwark. You might just be afraid to turn off the lights after reading the last page.
For more information on Bulwark, please visit the author's website at: caroleproman.com