Ronald Malfi is one of my go-to authors, ever since The Night Parade, I’ve been hooked on his writing.
Malfi has a certain style, a skill that is hard to find; he is a master of setting the scene. The vocabulary he uses enhances the story, some authors use words, and it gives you the impression that they scoured the thesaurus to find the right word that fits; Malfi just knows the right words, it flows effortlessly – his words are the perfect fit for the story he is telling.
Black Mouth pulled me in, each character filled a hole: nothing more, nothing less. Our protagonist’s brother, Dennis, is a fantastic character; he completes the story. Malfi has used Dennis to do things that otherwise wouldn’t work or fit into Black Mouth, he allows for comic relief, he takes actions that no reasonable person would take. This is a case of perfect character for the perfect time and place.
I took my time with Black Mouth; the story deserved the time. It was intense, it went a lot of places and did a lot of things. It was a fantastic ride.
The publisher starts off the synopsis with a comparison to IT. I hate comparisons to other books, often they set up unrealistic expectations. I get the blatant comparison: events from their childhood bring adults back to the hometown where they experienced childhood trauma, blah, blah, blah; I also get the comparison between King and Malfi: both authors are content to take their time, draw the tension out with their superb vocabularies. But Malfi doesn’t need these comparisons; his work stands on its own as strong as any other author in the genre.