Book Reviews

{Review} A Shrill Keening by Ronald Malfi

by Ronald Malfi
Published by Darkfuse on Nov 18th 2014
Genres: Dark Fiction, Horror, Supernatural, Thriller
Pages: 70
Format: eARC
Buy on Amazon

Though infused with many Lovecraftian themes, A Shrill Keening is less a horror than it is an intriguing study of insanity and the type of tightrope a truly ego-syntonic delusional person might walk. Waxing between two alternate “realities”, first person narrator Carl Thompson is trying to figure out which is real and which is the product of his traumatised, psychotic mind after he has apparently murdered his girlfriend – even if he can recall doing no such thing.

This was my first read by Ronald Malfi and I was drawn in as much by his strong, literary prose as I was by the unfolding mystery within the narrative. A Shrill Keening packs a fair amount into its short 70 page length – some might argue it’s actually over too quickly – and ends on a note that feels suitable for such a tale.

Recommended to fans of mental institution set-tales as well as Lovecraftians looking for their next (small) hit.

4 Crayon Written Codes for A Shrill Keening.

The preceding was based on an eARC received from Netgalley courtesy of DarkFuse Publications

About Ronald Malfi

Ronald Malfi is an award-winning author of many novels and novellas in the horror, mystery, and thriller categories from various publishers, including Little Girls, this summer’s 2015 release from Kensington.

In 2009, his crime drama, Shamrock Alley, won a Silver IPPY Award. In 2011, his ghost story/mystery novel, Floating Staircase, was a finalist for the Horror Writers Association Bram Stoker Award for best novel, received a Gold IPPY Award for best horror novel, and the Vincent Preis International Horror Award. His novel Cradle Lake garnered him the Benjamin Franklin Independent Book Award (silver) in 2014, while December Park, his epic coming-of-age thriller, won the Beverly Hills International Book Award for suspense in 2015.

Most recognized for his haunting, literary style and memorable characters, Malfi’s dark fiction has gained acceptance among readers of all genres.

He was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1977, and eventually relocated to the Chesapeake Bay area, where he currently resides with his wife and two children.

Visit with Ronald Malfi on Facebook, Twitter (@RonaldMalfi), or at

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