I recently had a chance to read C.P. Bialois’ first book of this Winter Creek Trilogy titled, “The Winter Creek Beast” and it is definitely a fun ride to include in February’s fright theme we currently have going on at the Angry Scribbler. If you get a chance and enjoy shorter works filled with some fast-paced tension and thrills, you’ll do well to give it a look!
Below is my posted review and links to those reviews on both Amazon and Goodreads.-Happy Hauntings!
C.P. Bialois’ book, “The Winter Creek Beast” is a frightening romp through the wilderness minus the need to wear bug spray or fear of being decimated by a grisly rage-filled beast. Book one of a trilogy, Bialois unleashes his skill in creating an adrenaline-fueled novel that dives into the world of mystery, thrills, and suspense while setting the stage for subsequent offerings, and victims.
Set in the small town of Winter Creek, Bialois introduces us to Sheriff Jay Lightfeather, a man torn between duty to a town and the bonds of his own ancestral calling. Among the list of characters, Bialois includes the still-wet-behind-the-ears deputy Melvin along with Doc Fredericks, Jacob Bearfoot who is Jay’s damn near ancient grandfather, and a host of other characters that almost would have given readers a sense of nostalgia thinking about Mayberry, North Carolina if not for the large teeth, claws, and rising body count.
While the pace of the book moves at lightning speed, Bialois crams enough detail, information, and scares into every scene to satisfy any and all readers. Adding a hint of witchcraft, a touch of Native American magic, and a beast that had descended upon the town in search of “fresh meat”, readers from many a genre will find something to like about Bialois’ work. Although adding in a bit more information about some of the townspeople or including specific town areas within the book would have created a better visual for those of us who are more nitpicky than others, Bialois does perfectly with his offering and there is enough to keep you reading through to the final page where you will realize it wasn’t entirely necessary after all. The ending, however, does come about quickly given the pace of the book, but it is indeed one I personally did not see coming and will do right for any who dive into Bialois’ world.
Listed as a mystery, thriller, and suspense, Bialois creates all of these with a superb writing style of stick and move that resembles made for TV horror/thriller films of the late 70’s and 80’s such as “Salem’s Lot” and “Ants!” to name a few. Knowing how to pull readers in, he expertly creates the tension, ramps up the thrills, sets up the scare and then masterfully cuts away to another scene allowing his readers the benefit of not being drenched in arterial gore and innards. In most cases, some readers would disapprove of this tactic choosing to want every detail of human destruction written out, but for The Winter Creek Beast, it works flawlessly and allows the reader to mentally visualize the level of carnage they would or would not prefer to witness.
If you like shorter works of fiction with a touch of supernatural and a hint of mystery steaming away in a pot of thrills and chills, you would do well to partake in Bialois’ first book of his Winter Creek Trilogy. It reads quick and brings with it a touch of nostalgia, especially if you are a child of the late 70’s and 80’s or if you simply enjoy your scares and tension without needing a face mask and a wet mop for the gruesome bits.