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Riverside Blues

by Erik Tomblin

(Earthling Publications, paperback, 112 pages, $14.)

Review by Gary Couzens

cover scanGordon is a man in his seventies, still living near where his beloved wife disappeared without trace, fifty years earlier. Deciding to set his house in order, he begins to clear up the special place he and his wife had by the river, and he makes a discovery...

Once you get past the slightly contrived opening (why has Gordon waited fifty years to clear up the woodlands around his house?), Riverside Blues is a long, atmospheric dark fantasy novella. As the story is not all told from Gordon's viewpoint, we know in advance of him what really happened all those years ago, which adds tension to what is really a fairly leisurely-paced story. But it's a good one, with Tomblin leading us up to a surprising ending with some assurance. Riverside Blues may amble a little too much for its own good, but there's enough there to make you look forward to what Tomblin -- a new name on me, I confess -- will do next.

Riverside Blues has an introduction by James Newman and cover artwork by Jackie Berkley. It is available in two states: a run of 300 numbered paperbacks, signed by the author, and fifteen lettered slipcased handmade hardcovers, signed by both Tomblin and Newman. The latter is sold out at the time of writing.


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