“First book to hit my best books of 2014 list! It’s going to be too hard to top this one. This was the best book to kick off the New Year with.”
“The plot was immediately engrossing, the characters and their dialogue effortlessly realistic. (And at times quite funny. I found myself laughing out loud at some of the conversations and antics of the protagonists.) Ronald Malfi is an exceptional author and I’m genuinely enthusiastic about hunting down his earlier books.”
~Reagan Kendera, LibraryThing
“. . . Ronald Malfi’s December Park could top the New York Times best sellers list. . . . Malfi has created a world that is intriguing, mysterious, and oddly relatable. He invites the reader to experience a roller coaster of emotions: excitement, sadness, euphoria. . . . Go pick up a copy of this incredible book!”
~ LibraryThing Reviews
“December Park is an outstanding novel that could go down as author Ronald Malfi’s magnum opus. It contains some of the best parts of Stephen King’s The Body, Robert McCammon’s Boy's Life and Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird and should be compared favorably to those books.”
~Tim Slauter, Literary Thing
Some novelists find something that works and they stick with it for years; others like to jump around, experimenting with genres and writing styles. Malfi appears to be one of the latter. Although most of his novels fall into the thriller, horror, or science fiction genres, stylistically they are quite different. This one, about a group of teenage friends living in a Maryland beach community from which some children have gone missing, feels a bit like Stephen King crossed with Dennis Lehane—specifically, the early portions of King’s It melded with Lehane’s Mystic River. But, just like Lehane doesn’t sound very much like King, Malfi doesn’t sound much like either of them. He has his own voice, and he’s telling his own story, one that begins with some disappearances, segues into murder, and ends with a violent confrontation. Malfi is a man of many voices, a sort of literary version of Mel Blanc (the “man of a thousand voices”), but all of his voices are captivating, though none of them quite the same. Horror and crime fans will find much to like here.
~ David Pitt, Booklist
“December Park kept me interested right through the entire book and in my opinion Ronald Malfi has all the makings of a great storyteller.”
~ Robert C Murray, LibraryThing
Welcome to Harting Farms
(October 1993–January 1994)
In the fall of 1993, a dark shadow fell over Harting Farms. Newspapers
called him the Piper, like the minstrel of Brothers Grimm
lore who lured all the children away. There were other darker
names, too—names kids whispered throughout the halls of
Stanton School and carved in the wooden chairs of the library like
dirty, fearful secrets. The cafeteria rumbled with talk of escaped
mental patients from Sheppard Pratt and lunatic mariners, lustful
for child blood, who ported in Baltimore and found their way to
our sleepy bayside hamlet.
In homeroom, Michael Sugarland drew pictures of werewolves
with dripping fangs and claws like bayonets until Mr. Johnson,
shaking his head and looking terminally exhausted, told him it
was disrespectful of the missing. No one referred to the children
as dead because none of them were found—not at first, anyway.
They were the Missing, the Disappeared. The first few were even
thought to be runaways.