Little Girls by Ronald Malfi
Kensington (June 2015)
384 pages, $10.35 paperback/$9.83 ebook
Reviewed by Frank Michaels Errington
Ronald Malfi is the award-winning author of the novels Floating Staircase, Snow, The Ascent, and several others. He currently lives along the Chesapeake Bay where he is at work on his next book.
Laurie Genarro’s estranged father has passed away, an apparent suicide, and Laurie, her husband, Ted, and ten-year-old daughter Susan have traveled from Connecticut to Maryland to deal with the estate. When they pull up to the house on Annapolis Road Susan comments, “It looks like a haunted house.” Little did they know what they’d find.
Little Girls is much more than a haunted house or a ghost story. It’s a literary horror tale filled with lovely prose. The story itself is a slow build, giving up its secrets sparingly, providing plenty of questions. Who is the little girl next door? What is the mystery of the Belvedere Room? Did Laurie’s father really jump from the window of the same room or was the cause of his death much more sinister?
The creepiness factor increases greatly at the midway point and includes one of the most disgusting scenes I’ve ever read, and I’m not referring to the draining of the well which made my skin crawl. Malfi provides some real “Oh wow!” moments for the reader and Little Girls has an ending that may leave the reader less than happy.
Recommended for fans of literary horror and ghost stories.