cover image Bone White

Bone White

Ronald Malfi. Kensington, $15 trade paper (384p) ISBN 978-1-4967-0388-0

Malfi (The Night Parade) never quite takes this vivid horror-thriller over the top. Paul Gallo’s twin brother, Danny, has been missing for over a year. He was last seen in Dread’s Hand, an old mining town in the boonies of Alaska. Now, out of the blue, Dread’s Hand is in the news because of a bizarre series of homicides. Paul follows his brother out to Dread’s Hand to see whether Danny is one of the victims. Once there, Paul realizes that there’s more going on in Dread’s Hand than a one-off series of killings: the tiny hamlet has a reputation of unexplained grisly deaths that goes back more than 100 years, and Paul is convinced that Danny has somehow become caught up in it. Malfi’s creepy prose is stolidly workmanlike, with plentiful hair-raising enigmas and copious gore, but it’s lacking the depth of emotion that would raise it to the truly terrifying. Agent: Cameron McClure, Donald Maass Literary. (Aug.)