Review: Come With Me - Ronald Malfi
Published: Titan Books, July 2021
Rating: 4/5 stars
"'We will always be together, because we've always been together' you'd once told me. 'We are acting out all our moment simultaneously right now. Ghosts are timetravelers, not bound by the here and now.'"
Part ghost-story, part serial-killer-hunt, Ronald Malfi plunges us into the depths of grief and a dark obsession with Come With Me.
Aaron's world is brought to a crashing hold when his wife is killed in a senseless shooting, leaving him consumed by grief and longing for a life he can never return to. When looking for comfort among her things, he finds something else entirely: a motel receipt on her name that he doesn't recognise. Urged by curiosity and the need to understand his wife's life, Aaron embarks on a journey to discover what Allison had been doing in the weeks prior to her death. A journey that leads into a dark obsession that becomes as much his as it was hers.
I really liked Come With Me, perhaps even more than I was anticipating to. I loved the portrayal of Aaron's grief and how it's integrated into the horror elements of the story. It makes for a more mature type of haunting, that doesn't rely on jumpscares or gore, but rather on a deeply relatable fear of loss and the emptiness that's left behind when a loved one leaves us. It also made Aaron into a layered protagonist that I quickly became involved and attached to. That attachment was very welcome during the middle-part where there was a slight dip in pacing and progression, and I wasn't as gripped by the story as I was before. Perhaps it was one red-herring too many, or perhaps it was the contrast to the absolute phenomenal beginning and ending, but it did leave me to knock 1 star off my 5-star rating.
This ending definitely redeemed the story for me, and I will wholeheartedly recommend this book horror- and (supernatural)thriller fans alike.
Having read and loved Malfi's latest two works in short succession now, I may have stumbled upon a new favourite author within the genre. I cannot wait to dig into his (surprisingly extensive) backlist, and will be following what he brings out next.