Catfish in the Cradle by Wile E. Young is an eerie tale about creatures, called the Deep Folk, that live deep in the river, and a grandfather that pushes himself to the limit to protect his kin.
Once you start in on this tale, it’s a non-stop trip that will leave you gasping for air like one of the Deep Folk were toying with you!
Let’s dive in!
My Thoughts on Catfish in the Cradle by Wile E. Young
On the very first page, we meet Grady Pope, an older gentleman still mourning the disappearance of his daughter. He’s sitting at a local diner grabbing a meal, mulling things over. As he travels back home by boating on the river, everything seems rather dreary and bleak.
However, on page three, when Grady approaches his dock, someone is waiting for him. Right away, those dark feelings suddenly shift into a split second of relief before moving into full-blown emergency-mode.
From there, we’re off and running with a tale that absolutely did not let me go!
This is a story that I want to go on and on about because I loved it so much! However, it’s one that I highly recommend you go into as dark as you can in order to best experience it. As such, I will keep the elements of my review below very light!
I was drawn to Grady Pope’s character right away. It was amazing that in just three short pages, I felt like I really knew Grady as if I had read over fifty pages about him! (Wonderful work, Wile!). I loved Grady’s loyalty to both those that shared his blood as well as the people that he knew to be decent people. I also really appreciated his strong will to do whatever he could, even if his body and his strength were tested by the activities.
Grady is certainly a man that I wouldn’t want to cross! While he did show a few instances of blind-anger, I don’t think anyone could blame him for being filled with sudden rage!
Then there were the Deep Folk… My GOSH. What a terrifying type of creature those things were! I really enjoyed learning more about these being slowly over the course of the book. I won’t go into it much here, as this is definitely an element that you need to learn about for yourself while reading! The only other thing that I will say is that, it will likely be a very, very, very long time before I head out to swim on a river…
Amazing characters. Really terrifying creatures from the deep. A massive amount of suspense and dread. A dash of hoodoo. A very atmospheric setting. A plot that was very well organized and perfectly paced. And then toward the end, a ton of striking violence…
If you haven’t guessed so already, this book was a huge hit for me!
My Favorite Passages from Catfish in the Cradle
It was late afternoon; the sun had settled behind the cypress trees and turn the world into a tapestry of long shadows and islands of fading light.
Little known fact about small towns: there isn’t anything to talk about until something big happens.
Sorrow has a way of discoloring everyday life, especially when the wound is fresh.
That’s the stuff that makes life worth living, when you find that little spot of peace in a busy and tough world.
My Final Thoughts on Catfish in the Cradle
I could not get enough of this one! The pacing was perfect, but I couldn’t help but try to read as fast as I could to see what was going to play out! More than a few times, I caught myself going too fast and had to force myself to slow it down.
This will definitely be a tale that I will return to time and time again! I just loved the eerie atmosphere, the amazing characters, and the plot that really sunk it’s teeth into me!
I highly recommend Catfish in the Cradle to fans of stories set in a small town that give them a sense of dread throughout before ending with a bang.
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Thanks for reading!
And thanks again for sending me a copy after #CoronaCon, Wile! I absolutely loved it, typos and all! 😉 I can’t wait to snag more of your work soon!