Little Town Blues | Critical Book Review

In Little Town Blues by David Gonthier Jr., Fryebury Falls may seem like your typical small town, but lurking beneath the facade of everyday life lies an unsettling mystery that will haunt your thoughts long after you’ve turned the last page.

Quirky Characters in the Shadows

Gonthier paints a vivid picture of Fryebury Falls, a place teeming with peculiar inhabitants facing their own share of human trials and tribulations. Divorce, bereavement, self-discovery, parenthood – it’s all part of life in this seemingly ordinary town. Yet, there’s an eerie undercurrent, a darkness so pervasive that some locals believe it to be the devil’s work. Gonthier’s debut novel introduces us to this world, where evil runs deep, and the devil’s presence is a chilling possibility.

Officer Cleary’s Unconventional Approach

Set in the fictional town just outside of Boston during a peculiar few months in 1984, the story revolves around Officer Cleary, the newest addition to Fryebury Falls’ police force. His unconventional methods raise suspicions among the townsfolk, who can’t help but feel that something is amiss. Police Chief Mike Melanson, however, is too preoccupied with his own troubles to rein Cleary in. From his theatrically inclined wife, Miss Julie, to his alcoholic best friend, George Pearson, the citizens of Fryebury Falls have their hands full. And let’s not forget the malevolent spirits that haunt their every waking moment.

Eccentric Characters Steal the Show

Gonthier’s writing shines through the eccentric cast of characters populating Little Town Blues. Each character boasts a unique set of quirks and complex issues, drawing readers deeply into their lives. Miss Julie, with her condescending attitude and melodramatic tendencies, provides both irritation and amusement in equal measure. Her belief that she’s too big for the small town adds an extra layer of entertainment.

Jack Cleary: A Terrifying Enigma

On the opposite end of the spectrum is Jack Cleary, whose malevolence disrupts the town’s delicate balance. His arrival, along with his brain-damaged son and loyal dog, marks a turning point in Fryebury Falls. Locked away in their home, they are haunted by the aggressive ghost of Jack’s ex-wife, who also happens to be his cousin. Whether it’s guilt or the darker side of his nature that fuels his turmoil, Gonthier masterfully crafts Jack Cleary as a character that keeps readers guessing, their anxiety growing with every appearance.

Horror Elements Lurking in the Shadows

Although not purely a horror story, Little Town Blues certainly incorporates elements of horror that ebb and flow throughout the narrative. Ghostly apparitions visit Moira, the protagonist, providing unsettling visions of her deceased twin sister. Adam, the chief’s son, regularly encounters his late grandfather, while George Pearson is plagued by the spirits of his wife and daughter. It’s not their mere presence, but the ominous messages they convey that add a chilling dimension to the book. A sense of impending doom looms over the characters, intertwining with the story’s light-hearted moments, creating an eerie atmosphere that keeps readers on edge.

A Multifaceted Tale

In Little Town Blues, Gonthier skillfully weaves a captivating mystery, a bone-chilling horror story, and an engaging crime novel, all infused with a dramatic flair. While it may not fit neatly into one genre, the book’s ability to evoke a range of emotions and keep readers engrossed is undeniable. I thoroughly enjoyed every minute spent within the enigmatic confines of Fryebury Falls.

Modern Book Details:

PublisherGenrePrint LengthISBN
Atmosphere PressMystery, Thriller & Suspense / Small Town368 pages978-1639885152

In Little Town Blues by David Gonthier Jr., Fryebury Falls may seem like your typical small town, but lurking beneath the facade of everyday life lies an unsettling mystery that will haunt your thoughts long after you’ve turned the last page. Quirky Characters in the Shadows Gonthier paints a vivid picture of Fryebury Falls, a…