Autumn Bleeds into Winter by Jeff Strand is a dark, coming of age tale that is sprinkled throughout with whimsicality like blood splatter at a crime scene.
The year is 1979 in Fairbanks, Alaska. Several child abductions have occurred in the area with no hint as to who or what may be at fault. When Curtis Black’s best friend Todd is abducted, Curtis sees the whole thing and knows exactly who was behind the wheel of that car that sped off with his friend.
There is no evidence to suggest it was his neighbor Gerald Martin, and Curtis can’t prove it was him, but Curtis knows... and aims to confront him about it, afraid or not.
From the start, this book had me not wanting to put it down. Written in the first person, the inner dialogue of the main character had me laughing out loud, with lines like “𝘐 𝘮𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘵 𝘢𝘴 𝘸𝘦𝘭𝘭 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘪𝘯𝘷𝘪𝘵𝘦𝘥 𝘩𝘦𝘳 𝘵𝘰 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘎𝘦𝘦𝘬 𝘍𝘦𝘴𝘵𝘪𝘷𝘢𝘭 𝘰𝘧𝘕𝘦𝘳𝘥𝘺 𝘋𝘰𝘳𝘬𝘴.” The way Curtis rationalized his ideas and the crazy scenarios he played out in his mind was more than entertaining.
On the darker side of things, the interrogation like back and forth between Curtis and Gerald was startlingly wild, and I found myself shocked with my mouth agape more than once. Good thing I was reading this in the privacy of my own home, or I may have been thought a bit loony 😆.
Let’s not forget those cliffhanger chapter endings! They had my heart racing, and I found myself frantically flipping the pages, hungry for more. The length of the chapters was not too short nor too drawn out, perfect for keeping the mood and the readers’ attention.
One last note...If you enjoy a bit of nostalgia, those readers who grew up in the 80s will be sent back in time to retro Halloween costumes, rotary phones, and the awkwardness of adolescence. This was a near-perfect coming of age telling in my opinion.
I give Autumn Bleeds into Winter an enthusiastic ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Curtis Black is a young man that witnessed something horrifying in Fairbanks, Alaska. His best friend's abduction. Curtis saw it all go down but unfortunately, the police cannot find evidence that supports what he saw. After trying to cope with what he assumes is the death of his friend, Curtis pays a visit to the kidnapper. This did not go well. Now, Curtis needs to find a way to avenge his friend and get this psychopath behind bars before he snatches up another kid and murders them too. This will not be easy but there is too much at risk to fail.
I FINALLY took the plunge and indulged my TBR with something by Jeff Strand. I have wanted to read his work for what seems like forever but just didn’t make it happen. AUTUMN BLEEDS INTO WINTER is a fun and quirky read that I enjoyed. I have always heard that Strand has a way of adding a funny twist to some horrific scenes and although this book was far from horrific, it is dark and thrilling. The narrative is just so entertaining and kept me deeply rooted in the story. Honestly, I could listen to Curtis Black and Gerald Martin duke it out in an endless barrage of witty interrogation style confrontations forever.
AUTUMN BLEEDS INTO WINTER is an edgy, coming-of-age thrill ride through the vengeful psyche of a stubborn teenager. Jeff Strand will have you laughing the whole time. I recommend this book for anyone needing to get out of their horror comfort zone and read something a little more punchy and edgy. This book is a definite slump buster.
Autumn Bleeds Into Winter by Jeff Strand