Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Cradle Lake-Ronald Malfi

Cradle Lake

Ronald Malfi

Medallion, Jun 1 2013, $14.95

ISBN 9781605425108

English college professor Alan Hammerstun inherits a house from his paternal Uncle Phillip; a man he met a few times and a place he visited once thirty years ago. He persuades his wife Heather to move from New York where they lived their entire lives to start fresh in this home in the Smoky Mountains. Depressed Heather agrees to leave the bad memories of two miscarriages and her subsequent suicide attempt behind. Thus they and Jerry Lee the farting dog drive to North Carolina.

Their new neighbors seem young, healthy and friendly, and the air quality perfect. Oriole fanatics especially Hank Gerski befriends him. Alan finds a path with strange stone markers through the forest. That night he dreams the path leads to a lake and he dives into it. When a child is hit by a car, Hank and others carry the injured lad to the nearby lake. The kid heals almost instantly. The neighbors warn him to be careful with the lake; while psychic George YoungCalfRibs tells him the lake can do bad things against those poisoning the land and water. Alan ignores them as he spends all his time there wondering if this water will heal Heather’s health issues unaware of his increasing paranoia that the neighbors hold him culpable.

Cradle Lake is an exciting horror tale that feels like a throwback to 1970s books and movies in which Mother Nature revenges the destruction of the environment. Readers will be hooked early on as the atmosphere gets increasingly darker as Alan who holds the storyline focused slowly loses his mind. Although fans will anticipate the climax, Ronald Malfi provides a tense thriller.

Harriet Klausner

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