Review: Come With Me by Ronald Malfi

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Rating: 8.75/10

Synopsis

A masterful, heart-palpitating novel of small-town horror and psychological dread from a Bram Stoker nominee.

Aaron Decker’s life changes one December morning when his wife Allison is killed. Haunted by her absence–and her ghost–Aaron goes through her belongings, where he finds a receipt for a motel room in another part of the country. Piloted by grief and an increasing sense of curiosity, Aaron embarks on a journey to discover what Allison had been doing in the weeks prior to her death.

Yet Aaron is unprepared to discover the dark secrets Allison kept, the death and horror that make up the tapestry of her hidden life. And with each dark secret revealed, Aaron becomes more and more consumed by his obsession to learn the terrifying truth about the woman who had been his wife, even if it puts his own life at risk.

Review

Thanks to the publisher and author for an advance reading copy of Come With Me for review consideration. This did not influence my thoughts or opinions.

Come With Me is a harrowing, pulsating tale that had me completely enveloped in its grasp. For fans of early Koontz or King, and for those that couldn’t set aside I’ll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara, this is one that shouldn’t be missed.

This is the first title of Malfi’s that I have read, though I do have most of his catalogue on my Kindle. The premise and early praise quickly sold me, and having the opportunity to listen to Joe Hempel’s narration (thanks to Tantor Audio) was the final push that I needed. I devoured this audiobook to put it plainly.

Malfi’s writing is very easy to get into and become familiar with. Not too wordy and gives scenes plenty of setup, breathing life into visuals and not overstepping detail. He really impresses with his ability to constantly twist the knife as the story progresses, giving our main character, Aaron, a run for his money on this journey of discovery. Each and every turn of the corner reveals more and more secrets that Aaron has to come to terms with, and face whether or not he is to believe these as truth.

This won’t be one of those “I’m going to be looking at my wife differently from now on” type thrillers, but Allison really took the cake and will at least make me second glance my wife from time to time (kidding, maybe).

Aaron quickly becomes a character in which you can become empathetic with. I mean, geez, the man just lost his wife. But really, he doesn’t sit around grieving. He is up and searching for answers, not allowing himself to wallow in pity, though his wife’s ghost does tend to show up in the most inopportune times.

This is a story of love and loss, vengeance and secrets. It is about uncovering a past you never knew was there, and attempting to paddle through the muck to find a clear answer. This novel tore at my heartstrings and feels like a gut-punch that will forever be tattooed on my soul.

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