I knew nothing about the topic of this book – the Linden Murders – prior to reading the synopsis. Books dedicated to local stories often tend to be very interesting. I’m glad that Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours gave me the opportunity to read Shadow by the Bridge by Suzanne Zewan at no charge for my honest review.
About Shadow by the Bridge:
Publication Date: November 1, 2017
No Frills Buffalo
eBook & Paperback; 368 Pages
Genre: Historical Mystery
11-year-old Fritz Reynolds recalled his father telling him that man is the only creature who can find amusement in killing. Little did he realize that those words would become the theme for his teenage years growing up in the rural hamlet of Linden, New York. In this coming-of-age story, Fritz takes us back to a simpler time when neighbors gathered at the general store to listen to radio shows, drank barrel-aged cider, and worshiped at the Baptist church every Sunday. All was picturesque in his close-knit farming community until terror was unleashed on them.
You can follow the tour for Shadow by the Bridge
About the Author:
Suzanne is coordinator at Genesee Valley Educational Partnership and is an adjunct professor at Buffalo State College. She has a M.A. in English and Creative Writing and a M.S.Ed. in Career and Technical Education. Other publications include a poem in Jigsaw (2014), a short story and two poems in Jigsaw (2016), and a short story in Amaranth Review (2016).
I was intrigued by this book as I was familiar with the area where it takes place. I had no knowledge of the murders and could well imagine how the residents were terrified by them. When you live in a small community you don’t expect those kinds of crimes to occur. Ms. Zewan takes her readers through the events using a fictional character that is peripherally connected to some of the victims and a witness to one of the murders. She does change the names of everyone involved but a little time on google let’s a person figure out who is who with the characters based on real people.
The book focuses on this fictional character, Fritz who is 11 when he stumbles upon the first murder in progress. His home life and the impacts of witnesses such a horror at a young age are explored as the story progresses. Fritz has a number of issues to deal with beyond the whole murder thing; his father died recently and he is feeling the weight of being the man of the house at such a young age.
Just as things are starting to settle down the second murder happens and with this one the people in town start to look inward, concerned it’s someone they know who did the killing. It’s nerve wracking to live in close proximity to people and always wonder if one of them is a cold blooded killer.
This book held my interest from the beginning. Ms. Zewan did her research and it shows. She has written a complex book about this series of murders that still remain unsolved. Her descriptions of events are chilling. It’s not a book to read right before going to bed. It has such a feel of small town, rural life; the hard work, the lack of information due to the isolation and the times. Most people didn’t lock their doors prior to the invasion into their peaceful world but then evil arrived. That can change how you look at your home and your neighbors. It’s a very compelling read about a local series of events but telling a story that is universal.
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Tour Wide Giveaway:
During the Blog Tour we will be giving away two paperback copies of Shadow by the Bridge to one lucky winner! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below.
– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on March 31st. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to US residents only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.