Creepy kids? Check. Haunted house? Check. Eerie doll? Check. If a chilling ghost story is what you’re looking for, Ronald Malfi’s Little Girls has all the ingredients to keep you up at night.
In Little Girls, Laurie returns to her childhood home after the death of her estranged father. Her father suffered from dementia and believed something was out to get him—right up until his suicide. Returning to the house brings up old memories and Laurie’s husband and daughter worry for her mental state. She can’t bring herself to tell them that her neighborhood friend died on the property when she was a child—a girl that looked remarkably like her daughter’s new playmate, Abigail. Is Laurie succumbing to her father’s illness or is Abigail a ghost from the past?
Malfi poses many questions up front and teases out just enough information in each chapter to push the narrative forward. This is a novel that will have readers guessing until the final chapter. The suspense is palpable and would have driven me to speed read for answers were it not for the author’s mesmerizing prose.
Malfi’s literary technique is haunting and beautiful. He has a gift for awakening the senses with rich description. The disquieting atmosphere serves to create tension and control the pacing which begins slowly and gradually kicks up to a heart-pounding climax.
Malfi’s storytelling brings to mind author Koji Suzuki, best known for The Ring novels and Dark Water. Malfi has a similar fascination with creepy little girls, water wells, and ghosts. Little Girls also delves deeply into how parent-child relationships both nurture and destroy.
I highly recommend Little Girls to anyone looking for a well-crafted, literary ghost story. This is the perfect novel to read alone at night, just don’t expect to get any sleep afterward.
AUTHOR: Ronald Malfi
RELEASE DATE: June 30, 2015
LENGTH: 384 pages (Trade Paperback)
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About the Author
Ronald Malfi is an award-winning author of many novels and novellas in the horror, mystery, and thriller categories from various publishers, including Little Girls, this summer’s 2015 release from Kensington.
In 2009, his crime drama, Shamrock Alley, won a Silver IPPY Award. In 2011, his ghost story/mystery novel, Floating Staircase, was a finalist for the Horror Writers Association Bram Stoker Award for best novel, a Gold IPPY Award for best horror novel, and the Vincent Preis International Horror Award. His novel Cradle Lake garnered him the Benjamin Franklin Independent Book Award (silver) in 2014. December Park, his epic childhood story, won the Beverly Hills International Book Award for suspense in 2015.
Most recognized for his haunting, literary style and memorable characters, Malfi’s dark fiction has gained acceptance among readers of all genres.
He was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1977, and eventually relocated to the Chesapeake Bay area, where he currently resides with his wife and two children.
Review Clause: Hook of a Book provided me with a review copy of Little Girls in exchange for an honest review. No compensation was provided.