Review copy provided in exchange for an honest review
There is some damn fine storytelling going on here in We Should Have Left Well Enough Alone. I’ve been a fan of Ronald Malfi for a few years now, going back to his book Little Girls. I recently finished BONE WHITE, which is excellent, and he just keeps bringing it. I’m digging his writing in a big way and this short story collection was a big hit for me. The first story, The Dinner Party, filled me with such a level of anxiety I wasn’t sure I could finish it. The protagonist is a wreck in every sense and ‘I made a mistake’ keep running through her head. It isn’t clear until the end what the mistake was, but believe me it was one hell of an error. This was an excellent first story to start off this collection of shorts and I think it is one of the best.
The stories Knocking, Mr. Trueheart, The Jumping Sharks of Dyer Island, The Housewarming and Closing in are all exceptional pieces of work. All is Calm, what do I say about this one, it hurt in a way most will not understand. This is the kind of story that makes me wonder where an author ‘is’ when writing these types of tales. In each story, there is a definite and shocking way the title makes itself known. Sometimes it’s the protagonist, other times it’s the antagonist, but the statement someone should have left well enough alone couldn’t be more on point. There is a foreboding feel to the stories, along with a heaviness that is oppressive and an atmosphere that is created with the purpose to remind the reader the mistake was most often brought on themselves from foolishness or carelessness. I fully recommend this collection and BONE WHITE.
Length: 379 Pages
Release date: November 2, 2017
A new mother is pursued by mysterious men in black. A misguided youth learns the dark secrets of the world from an elderly neighbor on Halloween night. A housewarming party where the guests never leave. A caretaker tends to his rusted relic of a god deep in the desert…
In his debut short story collection, Bram Stoker Award finalist Ronald Malfi mines the depths and depravities of the human condition, exploring the dark underside of religion, marriage, love, fear, regret, and hunger in a world that spins just slightly askew on its axis. Rich in atmosphere and character, Malfi’s debut collection is not to be missed.
Praise for Ronald Malfi-
“I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The setting, the words, the ending. Color me impressed.” –Melissa Reads on The Night Parade
“The Night Parade has a creepy vibe and some genuinely terrifying moments. I even teared up a time or two. It’s everything I look for in a great read.” – Frank Errington on The Night Parade
“One cannot help but think of writers like Peter Straub and Stephen King.”
“Malfi is a skillful storyteller.”—New York Journal of Books
“A complex and chilling tale….terrifying.”—Robert McCammon
“Malfi’s lyrical prose creates an atmosphere of eerie claustrophobia…haunting.”—Publishers Weekly
“A thrilling, edge-of-your-seat ride that should not be missed.”
Ronald Malfi, Biography-
Ronald Malfi is an award-winning author of many novels and novellas in the horror, mystery,
and thriller categories from various publishers, including Bone White, this summer’s release
In 2009, his crime drama, Shamrock Alley, won a Silver IPPY Award. In 2011, his ghost
story/mystery novel, Floating Staircase, was a finalist for the Horror Writers Association Bram
Stoker Award for best novel, a Gold IPPY Award for best horror novel, and the Vincent Preis
International Horror Award. His novel Cradle Lake garnered him the Benjamin Franklin
Independent Book Award (silver) in 2014. December Park, his epic childhood story, won the
Beverly Hills International Book Award for suspense in 2015.
Most recognized for his haunting, literary style and memorable characters, Malfi’s dark fiction
has gained acceptance among readers of all genres.
He was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1977, and eventually relocated to the Chesapeake Bay
area, where he currently resides with his wife and two children.
Visit with Ronald Malfi on Facebook, Twitter (@RonaldMalfi), or at ronmalfi.com.
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