12 February 2011

Review of Dorris Bridge

Dorris Bridge by Clive Riddle
Official Website
Description: You've heard of urban legends? Come take a trip to the 1970 s in Dorris Bridge, and discover a host of rural legends encircling this isolated small high desert Northeastern California town. A series of tragic hit-and-runs and a thirty-year-old cold case disappearance plague a police chief caught in small town politics, while his son winds his way through his senior year of high school, dedicated to pranks, partying and pursuing the new girl in town. Chief of Police Randall Burgess and son Kyle must also traverse a relationship strained by a decade-old family tragedy. Randall and Kyle, who don t exactly see the world through the same lens, both get caught up in escalating series of events as these rural legends and mysteries unfold during the year, and eventually become intertwined. Unexplained intensely bright lights and sounds that appear every few generations; a renegade band of Basque nomads in the desert; a polygamist cult; a haunted abandoned mansion on a hill; - these all find their way into outer reaches of Dorris Bridge. Within these confines you ll also find a Paiute reservation; a Japanese internee who disappears at the end of World War II; the state of Jefferson; 19th century Ghostdancers; a suicidal disc jockey who can t get enough of Alvin and the Chipmunks; an over-abundance of saloons; and the student body of Paiute High School. Who is behind the hit-and-run tragedies? What happened to Mitsou Nakamura? What is the meaning of the Lights from the sky? What secrets lie in the mansion on the hill? Book a ticket to Dorris Bridge, circa 1975-1976, and come see for yourself

Review: I was really excited going into Dorris Bridge. My small NY borough has really no urban legends. Unless you count that, 'if you go to the house down by the beach, you'll see a little girl in the window', nothing really goes on. So you can see my excitement when I go home and saw this book laying on my coffee table. That, and I received it from the author, which is pretty exhilarating itself.

Dorris Bridge tells the tale of Police Chief Randall Burgess. He and his wife and son, Kyle, live in the small California town of Dorris Bridge. Kyle is a senior at the local high school, and he hangs out and pulls pranks with his friends Rick and Brad. When Rick and Brad see the Lights the night before school starts, they think it's just a drunk hallucination. But other citizens of the town, including Tornado and others, start seeing them also. Coincidentally, whenever the Lights appear, someone who is hanging out on Demon Ridge gets hit by a car. Most of the book is spent trying to find out who is causing these hit-and-run cases, and also, some ghost cases that Randall tries solving from years ago.

The book is very descriptive. There is so much in this book, it's crazy. However, I really loved Riddle's writing skills. And I think that was a main reason why I was so into the book, and kept on reading. All his words just flowed together and it made the book better. The book itself was alright. There was just a lot going on at once, and wayy to many backstories for even my liking. In between each chapter, there was a backstory, and it involved all the characters of the book. I liked how everyone was intertwined. That was pretty cool.

When the hit-and-run case came to a close, and Randall discovered who it was, that was kinda dull. The guy who did it was very well known in town, and then he had a backstory for doing it. I thought his excuse for doing it was very dumb, because he wanted to protect someone, and he didn't know he was doing it, even though 2 people died. Really? The urban legends part was cool, though. I liked how Riddle described what was going on when the Lights struck the characters. Of course, I loved the epilogue. I like when books do a 'Ten years later' sort of thing.

I had a love/hate relationship with Randall and Kyle. As a father and son duo, you would expect them to be fighting crime together, side by side. But Randall has a lot of resentment for his son. A family accident years earlier has Randall blaming Kyle for a death that he couldn't have controlled. You can see Kyle trying to talk to his father, and I think they really bonded over the last hit-and-run case that occurred.

Overall, Dorris Bridge is good for readers who like mystery, family, and some sci-fi thrown in.
"Rick caught a strange flash of lightening out of the corner of his eye. He then remembered there were no clouds out. He slammed the brakes, skidding through the gravel and came to a stop at the side of the road. He jumped out, fixing his gaze upon the Ridge to the north. "Whoa," he exclaimed.
The entire plateau just above the cliffs was well lit, as if floodlights had been turned on. An intense bluish white light was pulsating, but not to a regular rhythm. The light show was restricted to an area that seemed no larger than a football field. 
Rick looked above, searching the sky for the source, but found none. He turned around, to see if anyone else was witnessing the display. No light was coming from the Thompson ranch. Rick felt quite alone."
-pg 379, Dorris Bridge by Clive Riddle

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