book cover of Small Town Horror
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Small Town Horror

(2024)
A novel by

 
 
Five childhood friends are forced to confront their own dark past as well as the curse placed upon them in this horror masterpiece from the bestselling author of Come with Me.

Maybe this is a ghost story…


Andrew Larimer has left his past behind. Rising up the ranks in a New York law firm, and with a heavily pregnant wife, he is settling into a new life far from Kingsport, the town in which he grew up. But when he receives a late-night phone call from an old friend, he has no choice but to return home.

Coming home means returning to his late father’s house, which has seen better days. It means lying to his wife. But it also means reuniting with his friends: Eric, now the town’s deputy sheriff; Dale, a real-estate mogul living in the shadow of a failed career; his childhood sweetheart Tig who never could escape town; and poor Meach, whose ravings about a curse upon the group have driven him to drugs and alcohol. 

Together, the five friends will have to confront the memories—and the horror—of a night, years ago, that changed everything for them. 

Because Andrew and his friends have a secret. A thing they have kept to themselves for twenty years. Something no one else should know. But the past is not dead, and Kingsport is a town with secrets of its own.

One dark secret...

One small-town horror...


Genre: Horror

Praise for this book

"Small Town Horror blends the sunburnt southern noir of S.A. Cosby with the homespun haunts of Raymond Bradbury, creating a brackish blend of sin-ridden horror unlike anything else scuttling across bookshelves today. Ronald Malfi is the Bard of Chesapeake Bay gothic and the outright brine of this beautifully terrifying book will be steeped into your subconscious forever." - Clay McLeod Chapman

"Malfi is a masterful writer, a storyteller who has no interest in pulling punches or playing nice when it comes to his fiction, but Small Town Horror is a vicious, merciless assault; a relentless, passionate, nightmarish kaleidoscope of guilt and vengeance, witches and curses, murder and deception, with just enough supernatural mayhem to keep the whole thing feeling like a fever dream from hell. Buckle up kids, this is one you won't soon forget." - Philip Fracassi

"Ronald Malfi is a gifted writer. You fear for his characters because they feel like people you know, ordinary people with dire secrets. Small Town Horror gives us broken people wrapped up in a past that won't set them free, the kind of story Malfi has truly mastered. Nobody else can weave the kind of chilling, small-town horror story I grew up reading the way Malfi does. His writing is so strong and so of-the-moment that these horrors and fears tap into horror nostalgia while also feeling brand new. It's some kind of magic trick, which makes Malfi one hell of a magician." - Christopher Golden

"Malfi is horror's Faulkner, and Small Town Horror might be his best novel yet. Stylish, dark, and with a haunting, salty atmosphere, this is a superb novel about how the ghosts of the past always dance with those of the present." - Gabino Iglesias

"This isn't only Malfi's masterpiece, it's a heroic swing at the Great American Novel, and will be nakedly terrifying to anyone who's been a kid-and to anyone who's grown up with regret. This is heavyweight horror, a total knockout." - Daniel Kraus

"An eerie and deeply unsettling horror epic with faint shadows of Peter Straub and Robert R. McCammon flickering at the periphery . Small Town Horror is the kind of masterful and deftly written horror fiction that makes me fall in love with the genre all over again." - Eric LaRocca

"Damaged characters, dark secrets, and traumatic histories swirl in this haunting and beautifully written tale of a grim past that refuses to stay buried. Ronald Malfi is fast becoming one of my favourite writers, and Small Town Horror cements his reputation as one of the best horror writers working today." - Tim Lebbon

"As the Peter Straub of his generation, Ronald Malfi shines a poetic iridescence into the darkest corners of a speculative thriller, and Small Town Horror showcases the full range of his talent. Haunting, suspenseful, and just plain damn smart, it is everything Malfi fans have come to expect, cranked to full volume. People will be talking about this book all year." - Rebecca Rowland

"With strokes of King and shades of Jackson, Malfi burns bright in Small Town Horror." - Lindy Ryan

"This is bedrock American horror fiction, sure to be a classic. Malfi deftly draws you down into the darkness of a group of friends in a small town (natch) who find themselves literally haunted by the secrets and mistakes of their shared past." - Chuck Wendig


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