Categories
Book Reviews Horror

AUTUMN BLEEDS INTO WINTER by Jeff Strand

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Jeff is going to be so famous.
He is already well known, but I mean ooper-duper famous. Watch and see.
I also predict that AUTUMN BLEEDS INTO WINTER is going to be made into a movie. It’s going to be the kind of movie that has you yelling at the screen, cursing at the characters, and pacing the floor. I did all three while reading the book! The author picks you up, and sets you down right in the story, and I couldn’t tear myself away until the very end.

Curtis has had a pretty normal life up till now, normal enough for any fourteen year old in 1979. He knows that kids are missing – being snatched up by an unknown psychopath, because nothing like that really happens to you, right? Especially in Fairbanks, where the darkest it gets this time of year would remind you of early evening anywhere else. Bad things happen in the dark… Don’t they?

Everything changes in the span of a bad yo’ mama joke.

You remember being fourteen… (if you don’t, you will! It all came rushing back while reading this!), sleepovers, junk food, bad jokes, farts, all of it happening with your best friend by your side… Jeff paints the awkwardness of adolescence so perfectly that I’d find myself cringing I’m remembrance of my teenage years. I’m hoping this one example can convey everything I’m trying to explain… The boys are sleeping over at Curtis’s house, and they get into an argument. For one reason or another, Todd gets way more pissed than usual and he’s just done. Eff this, I’m going home. Been there, both sides. Remember, it’s 1979, you don’t wake the ‘rents for these things. Just after Todd leaves, Curtis decides he needs to follow him. Not because he wants to apologize, or to make sure Todd makes it home OK. No. He’s going after him so he can scare the shit out of him before he makes it home! It’s not being childish. It’s not being mean. It’s being fourteen, with your best friend.
Before he gets the chance to scare him, Curtis sees a car pull up and someone start talking to Todd. His mind races as he watches his best friend willingly get into a strangers car at 1:am, and drive away. While he’s trying to think of any reason that this isn’t what he knows in his heart that it is, Curtis realizes something very important… he knows who is driving that car!

That’s just the beginning of the story. Just wait until you see how tough it is for a fourteen year old to get any adult to take him seriously, and how many wrong turns he makes while trying to find the answers about what happened to his best friend. I know, I usually don’t give details like that. But A: we already know what’s happening from reading the synopsis, and B: I had to try to explain how Jeff is able to make you ride shotgun through everything that happens, experiencing everything as it happens. It’s a draining experience, so much happens and this story went places I never expected.
You’ve got to read this – highest of recommendations here.

P, L & N 💋

sg

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