The Mourning House

Ronald Malfi. DarkFuse/Delirium (www.darkfuse.com), $4.99 e-book (182p) ISBN 978-1-93777-150-8
Malfi (Floating Staircase) masterfully crafts a tale of psychological and supernatural horror. Sam Hatch has it all—friends, a successful career, a blissful marriage—until a car accident, with Sam at the wheel, kills his wife and infant daughter. Haunted by memories, driven by guilt and “some separate, indescribable urge,” Sam walks away from his shattered life, drifting aimlessly until he reaches a “breathless town” on the Chesapeake Bay, and the vacant shell of a house that he’s compelled to buy. But strange things keep happening inside: misplaced belongings, a child’s nonsensical babbling coming from the pipes, the windows and roof shifting and bulging, things moving behind the walls. Outside, everyone has forgotten the house exists, except for local waitress Karen Kilstow, who tells Sam to be careful—the house literally bites. Lyrical prose creates an atmosphere of eerie claustrophobia, flawless pacing, and a plot that unfolds into a quietly shattering climax. Fans of literary horror will enjoy this compelling, haunting story. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 10/15/2012
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