Category Archives: Gord Rollo

Crowley’s Window – Gord Rollo

imageAbby was born with a cowl over her face which has given her the ability to see into people and their doings, ala reminiscent of Johnny Smith in the Dead Zone. The ability crescendos once she has her first period and enters womanhood. This is then followed by horrible visions of all of the world’s evils. Enter Marcus Crowley, a mysterious man that promises Abby’s parents that he can help her stop seeing these visions. He can help her to stop seeing, alright. He does it by removing her eyes! Years later, Abby is working in a traveling carnival as a fortune teller. Even though her eyes are removed, she can still see into people by touching them. When she witnesses a girl being abducted from the carnival, the hell from her past comes to visit.

I’ve read a few reviews of Crowley’s Window and I think it deserves more love than it has. In fact, I’ve got this 3.5 star rated novella actually as a 4.5 star read. Why? Characters and setting. The characters are interesting. Ones that you want to read more about. The setting of the carnival adds to the layers of the story and provides depth and realism to Abby’s ability to see. Rollo also uses it to bring the creepiness out. The carnies and “freaks” have always been a spooky bunch of outcasts and he uses the characters and the setting well. Add in the mysticism of Crowley and it truly makes for a real page turner. I do think the story could be expanded into something more and I’ve read the complaints that it should’ve been. But isn’t that the tell-tale sign of a good story – leaving them wanting more? I think it is and I enjoyed the ride. Rollo is quickly becoming one of my go-to authors for a fun romp into the macabre.

4.5 bloody eyeballs out of 5
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Crimson – Gord Rollo

imageCrimson is a tough one to review for me. After reading Rollo’s fantastic The Jigsaw Man, I couldn’t wait to dive into this one. Out of all the great books that I read in 2014, Jigsaw Man was tied for my absolute favorite. The writing was crisp, the characters were three-dimensional and fully fleshed out, and Rollo made an unbelievable story completely believable. Jigsaw Man was also his second novel. Crimson was his first and it shows. Gord’s fantastic writIng style is still there. But, you can tell he was still cutting his teeth. The characters didn’t feel fully developed and the story had the feel of a puzzle that was put together with the wrong pieces and were made to fit even when they didn’t. Don’t get me wrong. There are still some great ideas explored in Crimson. Unfortunately, all of those ideas didn’t make for a great, cohesive story. I’m going to chalk this up as Rollo learned many things between writing Crimson and Jigsaw Man. If the progression between #2 and #3 as it was for #1 and #2, then the third story of his should be lights out.

3 stars out of 5