Review – Across The East River Bridge – Kate McMurray
I have to admit to begin with that I was nervous of reading this book, even while I was excited to get my grubby little hands on it. I’ve spoken to the author a few times, and have gotten into one or two heated debates with her (as well as agreed with her on as many occasions), but also heard plenty about the book along the way, without really realising how good it was going to be.
I know very little about America, other than in a general sense, so I was afraid I wasn’t going to get it; but I did. It’s not a confusing novel for someone unfamiliar with the setting, in fact, it’s the opposite – the setting is woven well into the story, almost in the way it would be in a fantasy novel.
The whole feel of the story, from the ghostly presences of the two men the main characters are affected by to the way they start out antagonising each other reminds me of a classic Gothic romance, though without the requisite greatly unfortunate ending. It’s nearly a modern re-imagining of a stereotypical Gothic novel, with a lighter centre (though no less gripping for it).
The characters were engaging, and the mystery that formed the basis of the plot was interesting to watch unfold, with satisfying glimpses into history dotted along the way that were a bit like uncovering buried treasure. All in all, it was an entertaining read with perhaps a little more substance to the plot than you might normally find, and strong enough characters, setting and writing to hold up to the increased complexity. I can honestly say I just enjoyed reading it, in a simple sort of way that makes me perfectly happy.
Final Verdict: 4.5 stars