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Book Review: Crystal Creek by William Malmborg


Bill Goldman isn't having a great life right now as he checks into the Crystal Creek Motel.

While he's published a book (the sales were low and publishers aren't interested) on the paranormal, he still looks to writing as his passion. He's trying to get a website up and running, but is unhappy with his "real" job as an agent in a call center. On the overnight shift.

And he's just found out that his wife, Alice, has been having an affair with her ex-boyfriend.

Bill hopes that his luck is going to change when he gets a tip from Annie Morgan, who claims to have actual footage of an attack by Bigfoot. The attack purportedly is of Annie's "sister" Margaret Jones, but the footage has disappeared from the Internet.

It's Bill's goal to meet up with Annie and local reporter, Cheryl Gaffney, however, Annie never checks into the motel and Cheryl tells Bill that she really doesn't have any information that she can share with him.

She tells him that she's given him all of the information that she has and the one mysterious question Bill has is how did Cheryl get Margaret's cell phone?

Cheryl takes him to the police station since it's evidence and while Cheryl can't get any information from the cop on duty, she eventually calls the chief of police.

The next morning, Cheryl goes to the motel and tells Bill that she knows who dropped the phone off at her office and they take a trip into the mountains to talk to Marlon Gibbs. A recluse who turned in the phone.

Back in Chicago, Alice debates about hopping a plane to Crystal Creek, realizing that Bill knows about the affair and she wants to put some space between her and her ex. She decides to go so that they can talk.

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At Marlon's house, the two hear a scream and gunshots and when they go further into the woods, they find Marlon's mangled body and with no cell reception on the mountain, Cheryl takes Bill on a three hour trek to her house where they call the police.

Alice heads to Washington and in the interim, Bill, Cheryl and the chief of police go back to the cabin in the woods.

As Bill waits in the car, he glimpses a hairy figure go into the woods and soon hears screams and gunshots. He hurriedly follows the commotion and sees the chief of police on the ground and Cheryl being dragged away by Bigfoot.

Alice finally arrives at the motel in the middle of the night and tries to talk to Bill, but he tells her that he has to think about forgiving her. She does tell him that she's missed being a partner with him in his investigations.

It's about this time that you get the gist of the book because things start to get wacky from here.

Although the mystery to Crystal Creek is easy to figure out at this point there are things that really don't make sense, but Malmborg does a good job at telling this twisted tale.

It has almost everything you can imagine in it (and even though its easy to figure out) yet it does come off as a little shocking when everything is confirmed.

The good thing about the book is he doesn't spend too much time describing the characters, so you have free range as to what they look like in your mind, along with what Crystal Creek looks like as the town slowly dies.

At times it does become a page turner and does live up to being a thriller.

The only problem here is it's a dated book (2016) with what was going on at the time it was written.

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