Review: William Malmborg – Crystal Creek

Review: William Malmborg – Crystal Creek


Genre: Thriller
Publisher: Darker Dreams Media
Publication Date: 14th March 2017
Pages: 257




A copy of Crystal Creek was sent to Confessions of a Reviewer by the author, William Malmborg in exchange for an honest review. This is said review. This book is published by Darker Dreams Media.

Again, the above is sort of true. I am blessed to be in the position where, whenever William Malmborg brings out a new title, he automatically sends me a copy for review. Not just any old copy though. It always comes to me in the form of a beautifully package hard backed copy.

I never tire of the generosity of the man and how he looks after reviewers in general and will forever be in his debt for the beautiful additions to my signed bookshelf.

Anyway, enough of the love in! Having said the above, Mr Malmborg knows that his generosity doesn’t bring any favours when I review his stuff. I love his writing style and the fact that none of his stories are ever the same. The last couple I have read could have been written by totally different people.

Would this be the same with Crystal Creek? This is what I thought.

Brian Goldman and his wife Alice are going through a rough time. Partly due to Alice’s infidelity and partly due to Brian’s obsession.

He is on his way to a remote mountain town called Crystal Creek to hopefully find some video evidence of a Bigfoot siting to help his new website and flailing book sales.

Little does he know that he is about to get dragged into a conspiracy of murder and madness in his quest for the truth.

Alice’s desperation to make amends is unwittingly drawing her into the same conspiracy. Life is going to get even more difficult for the Goldman’s.

Well now. You would think that a story set in a remote location wouldn’t have too many main characters. Crystal Creek is not your average story.

Our main characters are really most of the characters in the book because of how the story concentrates on them at different times. Brian and Alice are a funny couple. Both unhappy in their marriage and both at fault for the problems. I would say Alice more than Brian. She has done something very wrong and now is full of remorse. She is trying to make things better now but I think for the wrong reasons. Brian is obsessive about many things in his life but his marriage is not one of them. He really wound me up in this story because he appears to be so weak for most of it. A bit of a wimp.

Living in Crystal Creek we have Beverly and her brother Brendon. I can’t tell you too much about them for fear of giving things away other than to say Brendon is an animal and Beverly isn’t too far behind him. Cheryl runs the local paper. She is in love and would seem to do anything for love even if she knows it is wrong. She needs to open her eyes to see the truth rather than following like a sheep.

There are others involved in the story, mainly the local police that play their parts as it goes on.

The plot? Brian has gone in search of a possible Bigfoot sighting video but comes across some problems. That is all I can tell you.

Well I could probably tell you more and you still wouldn’t guess what it was about because – and here is where I steal one of my own lines from a review of another Malmborg title – “there are more twists and turns in this story than the biggest roller coaster in the world! Just when you think the story is going in one direction and you have it all figured out, Mr Malmborg pulls the rug from under your feet, wraps you up in it and throws you down a very big hill, until you hit the bottom and fall out with your eyes spinning in your head!”

I also find it nearly impossible to put this book into a specific genre. Is it horror? Well yes there are scary parts in it. Is it a thriller? Definitely. There are a huge amount of thrills to be had and it is a seriously fast moving story. Is it crime? Yeah. There are lots of crimes being committed on every page. Roll them all up into one big ball and you have a pick and mix story that will scare you, thrill you and crime you all in one sitting.

For this reason, it infuriated me at times. William Malmborg writes really good horror. The likes of Jimmy, Text Message and Santa Took Them illustrate this perfectly. He writes good crime thrillers too. Pick up Blind Eye and you will see this. Crystal Creek, at times, gave me the impression that he couldn’t make his mind up what way to take the story.

Again, at times, I both loved and hated this book. The switch in direction sometimes left you wishing it had gone the other way but then when you read further, you realise that the way it did go, and the reason behind it, was perfect. I think if you have read Mr Malmborg’s work before, you need to go at this one with a totally open mind or you may end up feeling the same way.

In saying all of that, this man can write some very gripping stuff. If this were a film or TV series, you would be screaming at the screen as you watch it. The characters are all brilliant. They all do some really silly things at times and you just want to grab them and punch them for it. But then, people in everyday, normal life, are like that. We aren’t all Jack Reacher’s or Lara Croft’s so we all do make mistakes. Reading a story where the characters are like that, infuriating as it may be, is quite refreshing. Sometimes it reads as if the story isn’t polished enough but then when you realise what is happening and why the characters do what they do, it all makes sense.

This is an easy read, something you will discover with William Malmborg’s work. His writing flows very well and it does grab you and only let you go when the story wants you to. You will be tired when you have finished this one. It is one hundred miles an hour for most of it.

When you come to the end, you will learn that Mr Malmborg doesn’t believe in happy endings. For any of his characters.

To summarise: a mixture of thrills and spills and scares that will have you knackered by the end of it. If, like me, it infuriates you, stick with it. It all makes sense in the end.


General rating:
★★★★ just needed a little extra.

Thriller rating:
★★★★ thrills galore.


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Book Synopsis:

Crystal Creek.

It has a pleasant ring to it, one that might create a charming visual of an idyllic small town that welcomes visitors to come view its beautiful mountain scenery, and hike along its wooded trails.

Such a visual would be wrong. Crystal Creek is not a pleasant place. And it doesn’t host many visitors. In fact, the last two who ventured into town have disappeared. Vanished without a trace, the locals would say. But is that true? Or is that just want the locals want to believe?

What is going on in Crystal Creek?

And why?




William Malmborg is the author of five novels, Jimmy, Text Message, Nikki’s Secret, Dark Harvest, and Blind Eye, as well as the short story collection Scraping the Bone: Ten Dark Tales. Future works will include Santa Took Them, Crystal Creek, and A Taste of Pain. When not writing, William spends time reading, doing puzzles, planting peach trees and looking for ghosts in the 100-year-old farmhouse where he lives in with his brother Tom and their two cats Toby and Truman.



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