CHASING GHOSTS by Glenn Rolfe (Sinister Grin Press)
Naples, Maine is a small town like any other. Except for beneath the idyllic New England beauty and folksiness, there is something sinister lurking. The Cobbs were a feeble and unsettling clan of woods people. Some died off and others just disappeared. The people of Naples are fairly certain they know the lore and they whisper it to their children to keep them in line.
Luke moves to the town with his mother. Living in the shadow of tragedy, Luke is eager to make new friends and get a somewhat normal teenage thing going. He meets up with a pair of local kids who invite him on an adventurous past time they refer to as “chasing ghosts.” They end up at the abandoned home of the Cobb family and learn the hard and bloody way that it isn’t as abandoned as they’d hoped.
There is also the matter of a punk band arriving to play a private party at a local dive. Their singer ambles into the woods and comes face to face with a horrific beast of legend and before the night is over the town will be reminded of bloodshed and loss and most of all, the Cobbs. And all the while, personal dramas play out – jealousy and tempers add unneeded distraction while folks are trying their best just to stay alive.
Glenn Rolfe has delivered a love letter to those pulpy novels that filled the racks in the 80’s. He weaves together favorite threads like small town horror and an inbred-monster family into a tough and binding rope. It’s an easy and fun read. I had one helluva time with it. (John Boden)