I read this book with my Shelfari group. I've read a few of Mr. Malfi's works before and enjoyed them, so I was looking forward to immersing myself in this novel. My excitement was not for nothing.
The thing that stands out the most for me about this author is his style of writing. It's literary and almost lyrical at times. The descriptions are excellent and the style allows Mr. Malfi to take his time building this town and its people, without becoming boring. I can't help but make comparisons in my mind to another novel I recently read, Harvest Home, by Thomas Tryon. He is another author skilled at "evil in a small town" story building. This book stood up to the comparison.
The second thing that stood out about this book is that it's actually scary, and I don't scare easy. The true horrors weren't quite visible at first, but as this tale gained momentum, the terrors became almost too visible. Like that X-Files episode with the thing in the pipes...you finally saw it-and immediately wished you hadn't. Because the scares were only half glimpsed at first, my imagination worked overtime filling in the blanks.
The third and last thing that made this read special for me was the imagination and the originality of it.
So overall, we have fantastic writing, with outstanding atmosphere and set building, real scares and originality. I ask you, what more could you ask for in a horror story? My highest recommendation!