Ronald Malfi is the author of The Ascent, The Fall of Never, The Nature of Monsters, Shamrock Alley, Via Dolorosa, and Floating Staircase, which was nominated for the 2011 Bram Stoker Award for Best Novel and won the 2012 IPPY National Gold Medal for Horror. He lives in Arnold, Maryland.
In the quiet suburb of Harting Farms, the weekly crime blotter usually consists of graffiti or the occasional bout of mailbox baseball. But in the fall of 1993, children begin vanishing and one is found dead. Newspapers call him the Piper because he has come to take the children away. But there are darker names for him, too . . .
Vowing to stop the Piper’s reign of terror, five boys take up the search. Their teenage pledge turns into a journey of self-discovery . . . and a journey into the darkness of their own hometown. On the twilit streets of Harting Farms, everyone is a suspect. And any of the boys might be the Piper’s next victim.
When Alan Hammerstun inherits a quaint ranch house in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, he and his wife Heather seize the opportunity to leave New York and the haunting aftermath of two miscarriages. Eager to start over in the rural North Carolina town, they hope this new beginning will be the antidote to Heather’s severe depression. For a time everything seems perfect. Too perfect, in fact. The neighbors are all young, handsome, healthy, and friendly. While surveying his new property, Alan finds a dirt path through the forest designated by stone markers carved with strange symbols, which culminates in a grassy clearing. One night Alan dreams the path ends at the foot of a lake and dives in; when he awakes gritty with lake grime and improved health and strength, he wonders if it could cure Heather’s depression and infertility as well. When the townspeople warn Alan of the lake’s powers, he must decide if the community’s secret is a nightmare or a miracle.
Come home to the darkness.
Kelly Rich, long estranged from her family, is forced to return home when her sister is involved in a mysterious accident. After years of suppressing the events that drove her away, she must struggle to unlock the mystery of her past in order to save her sister. But nothing is as it seems in her foreboding ancestral home, where cold hearts rule the hearth and deadly secrets lurk in the forest. Plunged back into the dream world of her youth, Kelly will have to face the dark reality of her own role in the horrors afflicting her family.
The town of Stillwater has a very unwelcome resident.
The town of Stillwater has been dying—the long and painful death of a town ravaged by floods and haunted by the ghosts of all who had lived there. Yet this most recent flood has brought something with it—a creature that nests among the good folks of Stillwater...and feeds off them. The children who haven't disappeared whisper the same word—“vampire.” But they’re wrong. What has come to Stillwater is something much more horrific.
Fear lives in Stillwater.
Eleven-year-old Mark Davis wasn’t happy at all that his family was moving to the small town of Stillwater. He worried that he’d miss his old friends and not be able to make new ones. But he’ll soon learn that was the least of his worries. Something deadly is waiting to welcome him to town.
Enjoy this chilling, short companion piece to Ronald Malfi’s new novel to get just a hint of the terrors that await you—and the residents of Stillwater—in The Narrows!
On a routine crabbing expedition in the Bering Sea, Charlie Mears and the rest of the men aboard the trawler Borealis discover something unbelievable: a young woman running naked along the ridge of a passing iceberg. The men rescue her and bring her aboard the boat. But they will soon learn her horrible secret. By the time they find out why she was alone on the ice—and what she truly is—the nightmare will have begun, as one by one she infects them with an evil that brings about unimaginable terrors.