Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Little Girls by Ronald Malfi Book Review

Title: Little Girls
Author: Ronald Malfi
Publisher: Kensington
Pages: 384
Genre: Thriller/Suspense
Format: Kindle/Paperback/Audible

From Bram Stoker Award nominee Ronald Malfi comes a brilliantly chilling novel of childhood revisited, memories resurrected, and fears reborn…

When Laurie was a little girl, she was forbidden to enter the room at the top of the stairs. It was one of many rules imposed by her cold, distant father. Now, in a final act of desperation, her father has exorcised his demons. But when Laurie returns to claim the estate with her husband and ten-year-old daughter, it’s as if the past refuses to die. She feels it lurking in the broken moldings, sees it staring from an empty picture frame, hears it laughing in the moldy greenhouse deep in the woods… At first, Laurie thinks she’s imagining things. But when she meets her daughter’s new playmate, Abigail, she can’t help but notice her uncanny resemblance to another little girl who used to live next door. Who died next door. With each passing day, Laurie’s uneasiness grows stronger, her thoughts more disturbing. Like her father, is she slowly losing her mind? Or is something truly unspeakable happening to those sweet little girls?

My Review

Sadie Russ - a girl who has haunted Laurie as long as she can remember. Sadie died, a tragic accident when Sadie and Laurie were little girls. But truth be told, Laurie was happy to see Sadie die. They were good friends but as the years went by Sadie became cruel and began to bully and torment Laurie to the point where she felt their was no escape. So imagine Laurie's surprise when she goes to her father's house after a freak accident causing his death, and meets Abigail, a dead ringer for Sadie.

Abigail and Susan, Laurie's young daughter, strike up a friendship, a friendship that causes Laurie to be concerned and uneasy. Add that to the fact that her father was terrified in his own home and made sure all the windows were nailed shut, the 'belevedere', or room at the top of the stairs that she was forbidden to go in, and caused his ultimate demise, is padlocked shut at his insistence, and both caretakers were scared of him and the house, and you have the makings of a great ghost story.

What really caused Laurie's fathers death? Was it the vengeance as he kept telling those who cared for him? Or was it something more sinister?

This was a well told tale, one that kept me going until the last page. ***SPOILER ALERT*** Watching how Laurie, her husband and their young daughter change as a result of staying in the house is interesting. There has been some distance between her and her husband, but it becomes more clear that she is being isolated and their bond is strong. The haunting feelings that Laurie feels as soon as she steps into the house, and how it escalates the more time she spends there was what really kept me going. Was Abigail truly Sadie? Their encounters (Laurie and Abigail) seem to suggest that she is indeed the girl from Laurie's past. And when the true past of her father is uncovered, you see why Abigail/Sadie is back, and exactly why she is after Laurie.

The only complaint I have is how the book ended. I know what happened, but it just seemed way to abrupt. Other than that I would recommend this for someone looking for a steady decent into madness, madness caused by secrets from the past that won't stay buried.

3 1/2 stars

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