ARC AUDIO BOOK REVIEW: Black Mouth by Ronald Malfi

Publication Date: July 26 2022
Format: Audio
Genre:  Horror/Mystery
Narrators: Joe Hempel

Publisher: Tantor Audio
12 hours 13 min
Buy: Kindle | Audio


An atmospheric, haunting thriller, full of memorable characters and sublime terror, from the author of Come with Me

For nearly two decades, Jamie Warren has been running from darkness. He's haunted by a traumatic childhood and the guilt at having disappeared from his disabled brother's life. But then a series of unusual events reunites him with his estranged brother and their childhood friends, and none of them can deny the sense of fate that has seemingly drawn them back together.

Nor can they deny the memories of that summer, so long ago—the strange magic taught to them by an even stranger man, and the terrible act that has followed them all into adulthood. In the light of new danger, they must confront their past by facing their futures, and hunting down a man who may very well be a monster.


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If Stephen King's books It and The Stand had a baby this is what I would imagine it would be.  Part horror part mystery this was a creepy wild ride.  Jamie Warren was involved in a fire that killed 2 people when he was a child and he has been haunted and running from it ever since.  A committed alcoholic Jamie is trying to get clean but when he finds out his mother has passed away and his disabled brother was alone in the house with her for 5 days after she passed he knows he has to go back home.  

He falls off the wagon again on the way back home and things only continue to go downhill from there.  His brother keeps talking about waking dreams, he is being haunted by the two people who died in the fire and his childhood friends who were with him that night have all shown up again with a photo of a man Jamie wishes to never see again.

Through present and past narrative we discover that a magician traveling with the Carnaval who squatted in Jamies barn when he was a kid and taught him and his friends magic tricks may have been way more than what he seemed and none of it good.  Now a young girl is facing murder charges for killing her best friend, but swears that a one eyed magician told her to do it.  

This is a creepy thrill ride, about acceptance of yourself, coming to terms with the evil inside us all and learning to live with it.  Can Jamie and his friends find the Magician and put an end to this? Well written and paced, there were several scenes that just sent a shiver up my spine. I am definitely adding this author to my list to look for other titles. 

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