“At the beginning of beginnings there was only ∞, which was darkness multiplied by nothingness. The darkness was eternal and unchallenged until ∞ divided
nothingness by zero. A sound not unlike a faint brass trumpet note pierced the void, and light issued forth. Darkness could not subdue the light. Whatever
was not darkness was light. The future had a future. Within the light were particles that contained excitable atoms held together in an electron cloud.”
Talk about moving from the general to the specific! The above paragraph, the first in the “Prologue” to The Sasquatch Murder suggests an epic with a cosmic scope is underway.
Nope. Instead, after a crunched history of the origins of the universe through the early varieties of humankind, we end up in a rainstorm in a forest where Jake Holly and his horse try to escape the downpour. There, Jake accidently fires his rifle when he’s startled by a strange couple of beasts copulating on the forest floor. In short order, Jake learns he’s killed a female Sasquatch and wounded her mate.
Trying to do the right thing, Jake takes the corpse to his hometown of Aurora, Washington where a number of subplots begin. For one, we meet Jessica, Jake’s lawyer girlfriend who is 15 years his junior. She’s very supportive. We meet her prosecuting attorney father who dislikes their relationship and quickly has Jake arrested for murder.
Strangely, a local boy sees Jake, Jessica, and a local mortician take the corpse into a funeral home and begins to blog about it. Even more strangely, journalists from as far away as India and Japan read the boy’s blog and come running to track down the story. On top of that, the president of the U.S. gets wind of the story and calls the prosecuting attorney and asks him to suppress the story in the name of national security. The president sends a special unit called the PNG (Paranormal Group) to Aurora to put a lid on the situation.
Meanwhile, many of the townspeople have heard about the body in the morgue and want a look at it. After all, confirmation that Sasquatch, or Bigfoot, exists would be something to put Aurora on the map. And all this happens in just a day or so of the killing.
In addition to all these balls in the air, author Jeffrey Viles tosses in more digressions, character sketches, and unrelated scenes than I’ve ever seen in one book. Throw in the actions of the natural world from Elminio to clouds of volcanic ash and smoke belched out from Mount St. Helen’s to a posse of 16 angry Sasquatch who, for the first time, gather together and march into a human town through a thick fog to reclaim the body of one of their own.
Despite the padding, the touching of so many bases, and improbable plot twists, there’s much in The Sasquatch Murder to attract an audience. After the “Prologue” and very descriptive first chapter, the story is told with an engaging, personable style. Viles fleshes out some very likeable characters, especially Jake and Jessica whose romance is the “love story” in the book’s sub-title.
This one sure looks like a stand-alone yarn with no likely sequels. It’s a family-friendly story, appropriate for a YA readership.
This review first appeared at BookPleasures.com on Jan. 18, 2018 at: