cover image Cradle Lake

Cradle Lake

Ronald Malfi. Medallion, $14.95 trade paper (364p) ISBN 978-1-60542-510-8

Alan and Heather Hammerstun, recovering from Heather’s two miscarriages and suicide attempt, plan new beginnings at a North Carolina home inherited from Alan’s Uncle Phillip. Then a child hit by a car is carried to the lake behind their house and healed of his wounds. Despite warnings from neighbors, Alan finds the lake intriguing; as he spends more time there, his social isolation and paranoia increase, and relations with Heather turn ever more volatile. Malfi deftly maintains the tension and engrossing atmosphere of horror by stepping up the pace and frequency of bizarre events (sometimes with imagery that becomes repetitious) as Alan spins out of control. Even readers who roll their eyes at Alan’s cryptic, hackneyed meeting with psychic Cherokee George YoungCalfRibs will be impressed by a final catastrophe that attests to Malfi’s skill at weaving a tale of sustained terror. (June)