Abram’s Bridge, the Samhain Horror debut from Glenn Rolfe, is an entertaining, tightly written ghost story that reads like a classic ghost tale with modern sensibilities. The story flows from an innocent, even sweet, ghost story, to a story of father and sons, and finally one of small towns and the secrets they can harbor. Rolfe’s economy of words serves the story well, keeping it moving forward a fast clip. The characters are human and realistic and I found myself invested in their situations.
There are a few instances where the characters’ voices drop out of the dialogue, but it’s not enough to interfere with the flow of the story or make it less enjoyable. The occasions when the dialogue reads like someone wrote it rather than a character said it don’t affect the character’s arcs. Even in this short work, the main characters (five by my count) all evolve from beginning to end. Rolfe’s previous work, the novel The Haunted Halls, is very entertaining and worth reading, especially if you dig a more brutal sort of ghost story.
Abram’s Bridge marks significant growth as a writer, with its tighter story, sharper characterization and consistent pacing through to the explosive climax. I really enjoyed Abram’s Bridge and will continue reading Glenn Rolfe’s work going forward.
Pick this one up for an evening’s read, especially if the idea of a traditional yet modern and character driven ghost story appeals to you.