Come Back to the Swamp (Black Spot Books, 2018) is a perfectly paced, masterfully creepy novella that doesn’t care if you have something to do today. Laura Morrison sabotages any reader’s daily plans with her electrifying plotline and hours and hours of mystical, blood-pumping entertainment.
The novella’s main character, Bernice, is a stubborn, smart, and way-too-gutsy ecology student, hacking her way through Cleary Swamp’s weeds and invasive species at the beginning of the story. She’s been coming to this swamp for quite some time now, and nothing out of the ordinary has ever happened. Until now.
Just three pages later, a strange old lady with leaves and dirt in her hair comes hurtling toward Bernice, shouting that she has to stop hurting her, that she must leave right now. But Bernice stands still. She’s got research to do, she tells her. And what do you mean it’s hurting you?
The old woman snatches roughly at Bernice’s arm. She grabs and tosses her hedge clippers deep into the swamp, proving herself to be strong. Very, very strong. Who is this woman?
“I am the swamp.”
Sure, lady. Sure you are.
Bernice heads home and vows to return the next day, aware that the old lady is just a crazy old fool that will be gone in the morning. But little does Bernice know, she is the main character in a supernatural thriller. When she steps back into the swamp the next day, guess who is there waiting for her?
Bernice is the engine that really makes this story go. Thrust into a situation where everyone else would be running away screaming, she refuses to let the crazy old lady win. She stands strong to her beliefs, and thanks to her, the plot moves forward in the most dangerous, entertaining, and believable way.
Laura Morrison does a wonderful job in combining fast-paced action with teasingly slow pace in Come Back to the Swamp. She ends nearly each chapter in impossible-to-put-down fashion. And good luck stopping at chapter ten, folks, as it blindfolds you and brings you exactly where you know you shouldn’t be going.
Come Back to the Swamp is an IBR Book of the Month Contest winner! Read our interview with the author here.