Bigfoot Gone Wild!
With a title like The Easton Falls Massacre: Bigfoot’s Revenge and a cover that sports only a bloody footprint and a screaming face, I was expecting something good and lurid with this book and while I was far from disappointed on that front, what I actually got was something even better.
Henry Miller returned home from the war in Iraq to his idyllic home town of Easton Falls. After rekindling his relationship with his childhood sweetheart, and moving into the house of his dreams, he soon gets the news that his girlfriend is pregnant with their first child. Everything is finally coming together for him until some shocking news turns his world upside down.
In the forest of Easton Falls, an uneasy truce has been in place for generations, between a local family and a race of creatures that many would call ‘Bigfoot.’ Many don’t believe the legends but when the truce is unwittingly broken, violence erupts in the once peaceful town as the local folk tales become a harrowing reality.
The Easton Falls Massacre is, first and foremost, an unashamedly pulp creature feature. It’s brutal and gory and a hell of a lot of fun. The titular cryptids are imposing and frightening, a force of nature that can’t be stopped. The body count racked up is impressive and the authors do not shy away in the blood and guts department. If you have picked this book up wanting a fun throwback novel then you’re onto a winner here.
What pleasantly surprised me, however, was the quality of the writing and the level of character development that went into what was already a brisk 130-page novella. A great deal of time is spent with Henry, the lead character, and it is a surprisingly long time until the action really kicks into fifth gear. It is time well spent because Henry is a surprisingly complex character for a novel of this kind. The whole book, in fact, lacks the usual caricatures and one-dimensional people fodder that the pulp books of the 70s and 80s that clearly influenced Easton Falls Massacre were typically populated with. Had the Bigfoots decided to massacre nobody, I still would have found this a satisfying read, just based on the strength of the characters alone.
Luckily, we get the best of both worlds. Beautiful prose, memorable characters and brutal, big scale action all combine to make this a thoroughly enjoyable read. It may not be breaking the mold but there is nothing wrong with taking a familiar premise and doing it exceptionally well.
The Easton Falls Massacre is noted as being ‘Book One in the Easton Falls’ series in my review copy and I, for one, can’t wait to revisit the town to see what sasquatch shenanigans the Garcias have lined up for us in book two.