In The Narrows the dying town of Stillwater, located in the mountains of Maryland, sets the tone of desolation and hopelessness that permeates the novel. Floods have ravaged the town for a number of years, causing most of the residents to leave and the industry that once supported the town to shrink away. The floods also brought in a monstrous entity that is killing the townspeople and taking possession of its children.
The Narrows is a brilliantly written novel written by Ronald Malfi. The novel equally blends elements of mystery, suspense and horror, and is gripping from beginning to end. Malfi uses a slow build, starting with nothing overtly horrific, but giving hints as to what will come. He does a good job of introducing well-written characters including Stillwater's sheriff, who is holding onto Stillwater like a man grasping a life preserver. Naturally, he doesn't know what to make of the town's new predator as he puts together pieces suggesting that something all together unnatural is loose in the town.
The novel is reminiscent of Stephen King's Salem's Lot and Scott Nicholson's The Harvest. The writing quality is top notch. His prose has a lyrical quality to it. The suspense ultimately builds to a crescendo as Journale faces off in a fight to the finish with the creature haunting his town. With this novel, Malfi has established himself as a modern master of horror. If you haven't read any of his novels, then you are missing out spell-binding horror. The Narrows would be a good place to start on your journey into the mind of Ronald Malfi.
Carl Alves - author of Blood Street