To those who read lots of dark fiction, and ghost stories in particular, this is familiar territory. We even feel like we have been in this house before. Yes, there is the creaking floorboard and the shadow moving in the next room. Wasn't the staircase over there? Let's find the closets, because as we all know, a lot of things happen in closets and basements. Oh never mind. That doesn't matter.
While this story will definitely feel familiar, what isn't so common is the quality of the writing and the depth of the characters. Ghost stories should be creepy and unnerving, and this one sure is; but the very good ones are often sad---filled with the heartbreak of loss of loved ones and the anguish of those left behind.
Malfi delivers. We feel deeply for these characters. We appreciate the texture and depth of his narration and description. And even though we have been here before, we still feel the chill to the spine and the tug to the heart.
I guess that is why we will always read ghost stories. Particularly really good ones like this.