I recently read I’m Not There by Rob Gittins and really enjoyed it, so when Hobeck Books announced another of his novels was coming out, I was excited to read it.
This is set in a town called Devil’s Bridge in mid-Wales, which has a scary legend attached to it about how the name came to be.
The chapters of this story are narrated from various points of view – Bex (The Wannabe), Nia (The Mum) and Al (the Dad) initially, later joined by Joel (The Husband), Kate (The Newbie), Megan (The Headteacher), D.I. McCarthy (The Cop) and Devil’s Bridge itself.
Ethan James is Nia and Al’s teenage son (15). Nia and Al have split up, Al is now with Kate. Tanya is Ethan’s English teacher, her husband is Joel, who is Al’s boss. There’s also Bex Hughes – Ethan’s old friend from primary school, who fancies him. So there’s a lot going on, but you soon get into it all. I don’t want to tell you anything more about the plot, because you’ll enjoy it more as a reader if you go into it not knowing any more than the blurb.
This novel has a bit of everything – there’s the background of a supernatural, spooky legend. There’s the family drama – separated parents dealing with a teenage son. Then there’s the crime aspect too.
It’s a page turner! The chapters are often short, ending on a mini-cliffhanger which makes you want to keep reading. I read 100 pages in a day and would have kept reading if I hadn’t needed to go to bed. It’s a really intriguing storyline too, which has you thinking and rethinking, trying to work out who’s lying and who’s telling the truth, trying to decide what is going to happen. I found my loyalty shifting between various characters throughout and the first person narration really helps that, because you see inside their heads and read their thoughts. It’s a very clever novel in many ways.
I was very impressed by I’m Not There and this one was equally good, so I’ll definitely be on the lookout for more of Rob Gittins’s books to read in the future.
Devil’s Bridge, Mid Wales
A thousand years ago, the devil built the town a bridge.
But there was a price – he would return at different times and in different guises and each time there’d be the direst consequences for those living in its shadow.
To most in the town, it’s just a colourful local legend; a flight of fancy. Dark deeds have happened in Devil’s Bridge from time to time, but dark deeds can happen anywhere – and there’s no such thing as the devil anyway.
A community in conflict
But then a massive scandal, involving a schoolboy and his English teacher, hits the town. It drags to the surface an equally toxic scandal from years before.
And soon, even the most die-hard of sceptics begin to wonder if a devil-like figure is walking in their midst…