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Come With Me

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A masterful, heart-palpitating novel of small-town horror and psychological dread from a Bram Stoker nominee. Aaron Decker's life changes one December morning when his wife Allison is killed. Haunted by her absence--and her ghost--Aaron goes through her belongings, where he finds a receipt for a motel room in another part of the country. Piloted by grief and an increasing s A masterful, heart-palpitating novel of small-town horror and psychological dread from a Bram Stoker nominee. Aaron Decker's life changes one December morning when his wife Allison is killed. Haunted by her absence--and her ghost--Aaron goes through her belongings, where he finds a receipt for a motel room in another part of the country. Piloted by grief and an increasing sense of curiosity, Aaron embarks on a journey to discover what Allison had been doing in the weeks prior to her death. Yet Aaron is unprepared to discover the dark secrets Allison kept, the death and horror that make up the tapestry of her hidden life. And with each dark secret revealed, Aaron becomes more and more consumed by his obsession to learn the terrifying truth about the woman who had been his wife, even if it puts his own life at risk.


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A masterful, heart-palpitating novel of small-town horror and psychological dread from a Bram Stoker nominee. Aaron Decker's life changes one December morning when his wife Allison is killed. Haunted by her absence--and her ghost--Aaron goes through her belongings, where he finds a receipt for a motel room in another part of the country. Piloted by grief and an increasing s A masterful, heart-palpitating novel of small-town horror and psychological dread from a Bram Stoker nominee. Aaron Decker's life changes one December morning when his wife Allison is killed. Haunted by her absence--and her ghost--Aaron goes through her belongings, where he finds a receipt for a motel room in another part of the country. Piloted by grief and an increasing sense of curiosity, Aaron embarks on a journey to discover what Allison had been doing in the weeks prior to her death. Yet Aaron is unprepared to discover the dark secrets Allison kept, the death and horror that make up the tapestry of her hidden life. And with each dark secret revealed, Aaron becomes more and more consumed by his obsession to learn the terrifying truth about the woman who had been his wife, even if it puts his own life at risk.

30 review for Come With Me

  1. 5 out of 5

    MarilynW

    Come With Me by Ronald Malfi (narrated by Joe Hempel) Aaron Decker's life has been shattered when his wife of five years is killed. The grief that racks Aaron after Allison's death is a solid and real thing. She haunts his sleeping and waking dreams, he sees her, hears her, feels her. His only way of moving and coping is to rely on the side of himself that he calls Other Aaron, the part of him that finishes his latest job translating a book. Other Aaron moves Aaron through life, answering questio Come With Me by Ronald Malfi (narrated by Joe Hempel) Aaron Decker's life has been shattered when his wife of five years is killed. The grief that racks Aaron after Allison's death is a solid and real thing. She haunts his sleeping and waking dreams, he sees her, hears her, feels her. His only way of moving and coping is to rely on the side of himself that he calls Other Aaron, the part of him that finishes his latest job translating a book. Other Aaron moves Aaron through life, answering questions, accepting sympathy, putting food in Aaron's mouth. Aaron's grief is almost like another character in this story. Going through his wife's belongings, Aaron finds that Allison was living a completely hidden life for years, before and after he knew Allison. He feels betrayed by Allison and wonders if he ever really knew her. At the same time he feels compelled to continue on the path of whatever it was that Allison was following, always with Other Aaron, right there with him, helping (or is he hindering?) Aaron's attempt to discover what Allison was really doing in secret. The story is dark and there is a hint of supernatural, dreams that seem real and reality that seems dreamlike. At the same time, the events seem so down to earth, like we could be right beside Aaron on his quest for information. He takes on Allison's obsession, follows her path, putting himself right in the line of fire of...what? Often Aaron walks right into very unwise situations as he wonders if one or another of the people he interviews could be the monster that he hopes to find at the end of his journey. There is a very real sense of foreboding, danger, darkness, fog, dreams, visions, and possible coincidences that merge together so that we can't tell what is real and what is something else. All through the story, Aaron thinks back to things that Allison told him, things she really couldn't have known but now seem prophetic. Once again I was listening to a book that I had a hard time putting down. I almost felt like I was in an interactive story as Aaron questioned people and I'd want him to ask something and he'd ask it. Creepy!!! Be sure to read/listen to the author's notes at the end of the story. Publication: July 20, 2021 Thank you to Tantor Audio and NetGalley for this ARC.

  2. 4 out of 5

    megs_bookrack

    Aaron and Allison Decker are happily married. They're a great match. Life is pretty good for the young couple. One December morning, as Allison heads out to a local shopping mall, she says to her husband, "come with me." Aaron, feeling a little too comfortable lounging around, declines her offer. That's the last time Aaron sees his wife. Allison's senseless death brings Aaron's world crashing down around him. Overwhelmed with grief, he tries to take it one day at a time, but even basic things are t Aaron and Allison Decker are happily married. They're a great match. Life is pretty good for the young couple. One December morning, as Allison heads out to a local shopping mall, she says to her husband, "come with me." Aaron, feeling a little too comfortable lounging around, declines her offer. That's the last time Aaron sees his wife. Allison's senseless death brings Aaron's world crashing down around him. Overwhelmed with grief, he tries to take it one day at a time, but even basic things are taxing. He's drowning. Sifting through some of Allison's belongings, Aaron discovers a motel receipt from North Carolina, paid in cash with Allison's name on it. They live in Maryland. He has no idea why she would have been at the motel for a two night stay; two nights that happen to coincide with a time Aaron was out of town on business. He's sure Allison never told him she left home. Aaron's mind immediately goes to where yours may have when you read that last paragraph. He wonders if Allison was possibly having an affair. Immediately he feels guilty. That couldn't possibly be true. Allison wasn't like that, was she? The receipt gives Aaron something to focus on. He's also insanely curious, thus he sets out on a journey to discover why Allison would have gone there. What exactly was she doing? Y'all, this is my favorite book of the year so far!!! The more I think about, the more I appreciate just how incredibly well-crafted this story is. Every moment of Aaron's journey brings darker discoveries and new information that will ultimately lead him to the truth behind Allison's secret life. I was constantly floored by what was happening. The reveals, the connections, the red herrings; they just kept coming. Aaron becomes completely obsessed with his task, risking life and limb in order to solve it. I love how Malfi beautifully wove together the exploration of grief, the supernatural and a tense and brutal mystery. Yes, it's a legit mystery, which I had no idea when I started. I had barely heard anything about this one, Malfi's name is what made me pick it up and I'm so happy that I did. I will be shouting from the rooftops about this for a long time to come. It's incredible. Come With Me released Tuesday, July 20th, so make sure you add it to you TBR! Thank you so, so much to the publisher, Titan Books, for providing me with a copy to read and review. I greatly appreciate the opportunity to read it early and provide my thoughts. All the stars in the universe!!!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Michael David

    A haunting and atmospheric mystery. Aaron and Allison were happily married until she was shot to death one winter day. Now, as he does his best to pick up the pieces of his life, he has a hard time moving on. For one thing, he can feel her presence with him. He also finds a receipt for a motel stay in her name from two months prior to her death. Initially thinking she was having an affair, Aaron realizes her secret was actually something darker. He digs deeper and soon finds himself on a journey A haunting and atmospheric mystery. Aaron and Allison were happily married until she was shot to death one winter day. Now, as he does his best to pick up the pieces of his life, he has a hard time moving on. For one thing, he can feel her presence with him. He also finds a receipt for a motel stay in her name from two months prior to her death. Initially thinking she was having an affair, Aaron realizes her secret was actually something darker. He digs deeper and soon finds himself on a journey that Allison herself took. He wants answers, but every step closer he gets to the truth is a step closer to danger. First, I’d like to thank my fab GR friends for making me aware of Ronald Malfi’s novels. I had never heard of him before, but the reviews for this one really made me take notice. This book oozes with atmosphere and apprehension. There were moments that were genuinely spine-tingling. Although there’s a supernatural element, I’d put this one in the mystery genre. The leads are fantastically fleshed out. Aaron’s grief is palpable, and I was consumed with following him on his journey of ghastly discovery and numerous revelations. While I found the majority of the story compelling, I did think it dragged on a bit towards the end. I started forgetting who some of the side characters were because it took awhile to get to the denouement. I also didn’t LOVE the ending...but apparently I’m the only one with that issue. Overall, this is a tense and gripping read, and I highly recommend it. It would also make a great film. The author’s note is moving and relevant, so please make sure you read that too. I look forward to digging into Malfi’s previous novels, and highly anticipate his next offering. Thank you to Titan Books and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Now available. Review also posted at: https://bonkersforthebooks.wordpress.com

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jayme

    COME WITH ME Which word you emphasize can change the meaning of these three little words. “COME WITH ME” Allison suggests to her husband Aaron, “we can get breakfast at ‘The Red Rooster’-a playful suggestion-a plea to join her? He had no idea when he turned her down that it would be the last morning he would see his wife alive. COME WITH ME- Allison’s handprint could be seen on the inside of the car window as the sheen of fog across the windshield faded-beckoning Aaron to follow a trail she left COME WITH ME Which word you emphasize can change the meaning of these three little words. “COME WITH ME” Allison suggests to her husband Aaron, “we can get breakfast at ‘The Red Rooster’-a playful suggestion-a plea to join her? He had no idea when he turned her down that it would be the last morning he would see his wife alive. COME WITH ME- Allison’s handprint could be seen on the inside of the car window as the sheen of fog across the windshield faded-beckoning Aaron to follow a trail she left behind with her unexpected death. A receipt, in the box of belongings packed up at work, showing a two night stay at the seedy Valentine motel, paid for in cash, starts his journey to uncover the secrets she left behind. COME WITH ME-a command that had to be followed, one night in the past….. I loved this ATMOSPHERIC mystery with its SUPERNATURAL vibes. THINGS will happen which will make you wonder if Allison is indeed helping Aaron to discover her secrets, from her grave-if she will be unable to Rest In Peace until he does…. The ENDING made the hair on my arms stand up! The AUTHOR’S NOTE brought a tear to my eye. I don’t know how I have missed Ronald Malfi’s work in the past-I WON’T make the mistake of missing it any longer!! NOW AVAILABLE!! Thank you to Titan books for my gifted copy! It was my pleasure to offer a candid review!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Holly B

    A dark obsession. Allison kept some very dark secrets in her closet. Her husband, Aaron only thought he knew her. After she is tragically killed, he discovers what she has been hiding and he cannot let it go! Her cloak of deceit haunts him. I could sense the tick, tick, of the cosmic clock as I turned the pages. The serial killer aspect made me uncomfortable and curious to find out more. In his quest to learn what his wife was up to, Aaron experiences haunting visions, visits seedy roadside motels A dark obsession. Allison kept some very dark secrets in her closet. Her husband, Aaron only thought he knew her. After she is tragically killed, he discovers what she has been hiding and he cannot let it go! Her cloak of deceit haunts him. I could sense the tick, tick, of the cosmic clock as I turned the pages. The serial killer aspect made me uncomfortable and curious to find out more. In his quest to learn what his wife was up to, Aaron experiences haunting visions, visits seedy roadside motels, discovers her laptops search history has been deleted, half-dreams and hidden memories pop up. The second person narration made the story even more affecting. I'm already excited to read more from this author. An atmospheric, menacing story that kept me in suspense until the end. Thanks to NG and the publisher for my review copy. This one is OUT on July 20, 2021

  6. 5 out of 5

    JanB

    Allison’s last words to Aaron as she leaves for the day are “come with me”. It was the last time he saw his wife alive. Wracked with guilt and grief, while moving through his days in a fog, he talks to her in the first person and sees reminders of her everywhere he turns. When Aaron finds clues among her possessions that suggests she had a life he knew nothing about, he finds a new purpose in life. What was Allison keeping from him? Aaron decides to follow the clues to find out. As he does, he u Allison’s last words to Aaron as she leaves for the day are “come with me”. It was the last time he saw his wife alive. Wracked with guilt and grief, while moving through his days in a fog, he talks to her in the first person and sees reminders of her everywhere he turns. When Aaron finds clues among her possessions that suggests she had a life he knew nothing about, he finds a new purpose in life. What was Allison keeping from him? Aaron decides to follow the clues to find out. As he does, he uncovers surprising secrets that makes him wonder if he ever truly knew his wife. I’m being deliberately vague, as the delight is thinking the story is going in one direction, only to have it veer off in another. For once, the Goodreads description involves no spoilers and you won’t get one from me. Well-written, with excellent character development, I especially adored the way Aaron talks to Allison throughout the story (it sounds cheesy but it is not). This is a creepy, atmospheric tale, full of suspense and menace. There is a very slight hint of the supernatural, but it’s well done and grounded in reality. All in all, this was a very satisfying read that was fresh and unique. *Don’t miss the heart wrenching author’s note at the end. *The narrator of the audiobook, Joe Hempel, did a phenomenal job, nailing his character perfectly.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    "I'm of the opinion that when it comes to secrets, there is no end to what we don't know about a person. Even the person who sleeps next to us and shares our lives." Aaron Decker has just lost his wife, Allison, to a tragic shooting. Soon after he receives a package in the mail containing his wife's work belongings. Riddled with grief he decides to unpack Allison's things when he discovers a motel receipt from North Carolina among the items. Her name signed to the receipt. What was his wife d "I'm of the opinion that when it comes to secrets, there is no end to what we don't know about a person. Even the person who sleeps next to us and shares our lives." Aaron Decker has just lost his wife, Allison, to a tragic shooting. Soon after he receives a package in the mail containing his wife's work belongings. Riddled with grief he decides to unpack Allison's things when he discovers a motel receipt from North Carolina among the items. Her name signed to the receipt. What was his wife doing in North Carolina? After backtracking a bit he discovers that this was the same weekend when he was in New York on business. Curiosity piqued he decides to investigate what his wife had been up to before she died and he realizes that his wife may not have been the woman he thought she was at all. Super vague plot description, I know, and without a synopsis on Goodreads you will just have to go in blind. Another winner for Malfi. This doesn't have the dread inducing creep factor of his previous novel Bone White. I'm not even certain that I would classify this one as the horror genre. It's much more of a mystery with winks and nods to the supernatural. One thing that remains evident in Malfi's work: THE DUDE CAN WRITE!!! Having now read 8 books by him and he still continually impresses me. If you prefer your horror books to be more literary rather than guts and gore then you should look no further. I recommend all of his books all of the time and Come With Me is no exception. 4 stars! Thank you to Edelweiss and Titan Books for providing me with a DRC. I! AM! SO! EXCITED! Received the ARC of one of my most highly anticipated new releases and I couldn't be more grateful for the opportunity. *Happy dancing* 💃💃💃 Thank you to Edelweiss and Titan Books!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jen

    This was my first book by Ronald Malfi, but it most certainly won’t be my last. Aaron Decker has just lost his wife Allison in an unimaginable tragedy. He’s wading through life shifting between grief and autopilot when he stumbles upon a clue that his wife was hiding something from him. As he ventures down into a rabbit hole trying to discover what Allison had been up to and why she had seemed so distant prior to her death, he realizes that not only was she keeping secrets from him about what sh This was my first book by Ronald Malfi, but it most certainly won’t be my last. Aaron Decker has just lost his wife Allison in an unimaginable tragedy. He’s wading through life shifting between grief and autopilot when he stumbles upon a clue that his wife was hiding something from him. As he ventures down into a rabbit hole trying to discover what Allison had been up to and why she had seemed so distant prior to her death, he realizes that not only was she keeping secrets from him about what she was up to, but perhaps about who she was fundamentally as a person. I can’t say enough good things about this book. Both the writing and character development are phenomenal. The story was fantastic, containing a mystery that was wonderfully twisty, and thank goodness, plausible* (so many mysteries and thrillers are not). I read a lot in the mystery and suspense genre and this struck me as an elevated version of that, and one I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend to people regardless of what genre they enjoy. *When I say plausible, I am referring to the general way events unfold. There are some supernatural and “ghost” elements here, and normally that isn’t my thing, but I felt it was really well done in this book. It was a creepy atmosphere that also was grounded enough in reality and “is this just a symptom of grief?” uncertainty that I feel fans of the paranormal and cynics alike will find they are enjoying themselves. Anyone who reads my reviews regularly knows I’m a notorious ending hater. Even for books I really enjoy, I often find myself unsatisfied with the conclusion. It’s a big deal when I like an ending, and let me just say this one left me in awe. I’d already decided this was going to be a 5 star for me, and now I wish I could give it more. You can get your hands on this one July 20, 2021. And I highly recommend that you do. Many thanks to NetGalley and Titan books for an advance copy of this book for review.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Julia Ash

    COME WITH ME by Ronald Malfi has everything I hope for in a book…emotionally impactful, page-turning, complex, thrilling, scary/tension-filled, well crafted, atmospheric, and satisfying. MY TEASE… Aaron Decker’s wife wrote a column for a neighborhood paper called Allison’s A-List which highlighted local teens and their accomplishments. Nothing hard hitting, just feel good stories about young people doing good things. Ironically, kids from Allison’s childhood town wouldn’t have made the cut for her COME WITH ME by Ronald Malfi has everything I hope for in a book…emotionally impactful, page-turning, complex, thrilling, scary/tension-filled, well crafted, atmospheric, and satisfying. MY TEASE… Aaron Decker’s wife wrote a column for a neighborhood paper called Allison’s A-List which highlighted local teens and their accomplishments. Nothing hard hitting, just feel good stories about young people doing good things. Ironically, kids from Allison’s childhood town wouldn’t have made the cut for her positive newspaper articles, including Allison herself. Apparently, doing good things wasn’t commonplace in the smoky refinery town called Woodvine, Pennsylvania, where even fresh snow was greyed with soot. Maybe the shroud of despair was fueled by the town’s urban legend: Gas Head Will Make You Dead. No wonder Aaron’s wife had rarely talked about her years growing up in Woodvine. Anyway, her family was dead. In fact, dying was the only thing the residents of Woodvine seemed to do well. Aaron and Allison had enjoyed five years of marriage in Maryland. But it all came to a tragic end one December morning when Allison left to go shopping at a strip mall and a crazed gunman opened fire, killing his ex-girlfriend and three random people, including Allison Decker. After his wife’s death, Aaron soon learned he had never really known Allison as well as he thought. First clue? He discovered his wife had padlocked her hope chest. Oh Allison. What kind of secrets have you been keeping in the files stuffed within your hope chest? Now Aaron had some questions of his own. Where would those secrets lead him? And at what cost? THOUGHTS… WOW. I was thoroughly engaged in this story which was an eclectic mix of mystery and suspense, complemented by the haunting tension of restless spirits and the vividness of light horror. And of course, a story of grief. COME WITH ME is one of my favorite reads for 2021 and will be shelved within my top tier of all-time favorites. It was THAT good! The story was written in third person from Aaron’s point of view, with emotionally gripping insertions of second person when he speaks directly to his wife. I found this combination so fresh, feeling about as close to Aaron’s intimate thoughts as I could get. This approach really worked for me! The writing was excellent. Here are two samples: “Directly overhead, the moon was a fat pearl wreathed in smoky black clouds.” And then… “Bits of gravel and sand slid out from beneath my shoes and bustled in compact little avalanches down the slope.” If I was looking hard for some criticism, I would say that sometimes parts of the book could’ve been trimmed back (and would’ve been just as powerful). And every now and then, believability slipped. Even still, I loved this book so much! QUICKFIRE RATINGS from 1 (ugh) to 5 (woo-hoo)… Plot (the story): 5 Main character’s likability: 5 Development of supporting character(s): 5 Settings/Atmosphere: 5 Pacing (how fast did I turn the pages): 5 Believability (in the context of the story): 4 Satisfying ending: 5 Tension of the story: 5 Stirs the heart (romantic elements): N/A Did I solve the mystery/guess the ending before the reveal? No Cover: 5 OVERALL: COME WITH ME was an enthralling, 5-star read that refused to let me go.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    No Thanks, I’ll Stay Put. Unpopular Opinion Alert. After pursuing the many stellar reviews, I was really anticipating my library loan for this book. However, I didn’t have the same reading experience as many others unfortunately. I had difficulty becoming invested and my only semi involvement lasted through the majority of the story. Maybe I read too many thrillers with unlikable characters, twisted humor and the like, but I prefer some juice and this seemed a little dry until near the end. In addi No Thanks, I’ll Stay Put. Unpopular Opinion Alert. After pursuing the many stellar reviews, I was really anticipating my library loan for this book. However, I didn’t have the same reading experience as many others unfortunately. I had difficulty becoming invested and my only semi involvement lasted through the majority of the story. Maybe I read too many thrillers with unlikable characters, twisted humor and the like, but I prefer some juice and this seemed a little dry until near the end. In addition, I wasn’t totally enthralled with an annoying pattern cropping up continually. When Aaron spoke to his deceased wife, it was with her name at the end of a sentence. “Every marriage has its secrets. I understand this Allison.” And a paragraph later: “I began the process of understanding your secret, Allison, something like three months after your death.” I found this ongoing style irritating because of reminiscent sales seminars where the audience is instructed to use the target person’s name during a pitch - as often as possible. It sounded forced and was possibly the root of an unidentifiable artificialness I couldn’t shake. Similar to fake sugar leaving an aftertaste. I did love the superb ending and the story as a whole but for the execution. Because my tastes can be ‘off beat’, please check out the many five star reviews as extensive praise abounds for this talented author. Thank you to my local library for my borrowed print copy.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Beata

    This was my second book by Mr Malfi and having enjoyed his other work, I had high expectations regarding this audiobook. Aaron Decker, grieving after his wife, comes across some documentation of unsolved murders of teenage girls which span over a decade. Intrigued by this discovery Aaron decides to follow the links and embarks on a journey that uncovers the truth about his wife, and not only that. I must admit that while listening I thought I had some clear ideas about Allison and the murders, ho This was my second book by Mr Malfi and having enjoyed his other work, I had high expectations regarding this audiobook. Aaron Decker, grieving after his wife, comes across some documentation of unsolved murders of teenage girls which span over a decade. Intrigued by this discovery Aaron decides to follow the links and embarks on a journey that uncovers the truth about his wife, and not only that. I must admit that while listening I thought I had some clear ideas about Allison and the murders, however, I was wrong. I am still a little confused but it does not mean the book did not deliver. It held my attention and the hours I spent listening to Come With Me, narrated by Joe Hempel, were quite enjoyable. *Many thanks to Ronald Malfi, Tantor Audio, and NetGalley for an audiobook in exchange for my honest review.*

  12. 4 out of 5

    Ginger

    Come with Me is the newest book by Ronald Malfi and it was fantastic! If you haven’t heard of this author, you should check out his books. He’s mainly known in the horror genre, but most of his books have a mystery/thriller feel as well. His writing is great! It’s descriptive, haunting, and very atmospheric. It’s not gory but dark, and certainly pulls you into the tragedy. Come with Me is about Aaron Decker. His wife Allison has just been killed in a tragic event and he soon learns a dark secret abo Come with Me is the newest book by Ronald Malfi and it was fantastic! If you haven’t heard of this author, you should check out his books. He’s mainly known in the horror genre, but most of his books have a mystery/thriller feel as well. His writing is great! It’s descriptive, haunting, and very atmospheric. It’s not gory but dark, and certainly pulls you into the tragedy. Come with Me is about Aaron Decker. His wife Allison has just been killed in a tragic event and he soon learns a dark secret about his late wife. The book is written in second person as he talks to his wife throughout the book. It's a really cool way to write a book because it makes his grief feel more tragic and personal. You get invested in their relationship and Aaron’s grief about Allison. You also start wondering about Allison and the dark, double life she led in secret. As all the pieces of the mystery become unhidden, you're into this book! It’s hard to put down and I read this in 4 days. I really don’t want to say more about the plot because the less you know, the better! You’ll enjoy the mystery and wild ride that Aaron goes through as he uncovers the hidden secrets of Allison, and her life before him. Definitely recommend this to horror and thriller fans. It’s a solid, well written book that has a dark feel to the plot, along with creepy moments that get under your skin!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Sadie Hartmann

    Come With Me by Ronald Malfi is a perfectly paced, page-turning, supernatural thriller that immediately draws the reader into an intimate shared space with the narrator of the story, Aaron Decker. Aaron’s wife, Allison invites her husband to come with her on an errand and he turns her down. Later that day, she is a victim of a mass shooting at a mall. Stricken with grief and the overwhelming loss he has suffered, Aaron finds comfort in immersing himself in memories the couple shared over the cour Come With Me by Ronald Malfi is a perfectly paced, page-turning, supernatural thriller that immediately draws the reader into an intimate shared space with the narrator of the story, Aaron Decker. Aaron’s wife, Allison invites her husband to come with her on an errand and he turns her down. Later that day, she is a victim of a mass shooting at a mall. Stricken with grief and the overwhelming loss he has suffered, Aaron finds comfort in immersing himself in memories the couple shared over the course of the marriage. Going through mementos and belongings, Aaron makes a startling discovery that uncovers a secret investigation Allison was involved in that would be outside her job description as a small-town journalist writing lifestyle articles. This book had me in an unrelenting grip of burning curiosity. The pages fly as the story conjures up scenes of marital intimacy as Aaron embarks on this journey of following in his wife’s footsteps. Where will this trail take him? Who will he meet? What was she investigating and why was it so important to her? I have to draw from my experience watching Mare of Easttown with my husband. A small-town, murder mystery where everyone seems so connected, and all the answers are just out of reach or evolve into new questions. Each episode ending on a new note of discovery enticing the audience to keep going. Come With Me engages the reader in the same way. Malfi’s compelling writing style sparks an insatiable hunger lasting until it is finally satisfied. One of my favorite books so far this year and I hope this story gets an adaptation either in a series or a movie because it felt so cinematic to me--like how I felt reading Gone Girl or Mystic River. This could be Malfi’s best work, which is saying a lot because both December Park and Bone White are five-star favorites. Don’t sleep on this one!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Ceecee

    Aaron Decker is grief stricken when his wife Allison is murdered in a mass shooting. Shortly after her death he finds something which makes little sense to him and he realises that you never really know a person, only what they choose to show you. His discovery becomes an obsession to learn more about what his journalist wife has secretly been working on for years before her death. His quest is to pursue the truth for himself and for her. First of all, the way this is written is absolutely brilli Aaron Decker is grief stricken when his wife Allison is murdered in a mass shooting. Shortly after her death he finds something which makes little sense to him and he realises that you never really know a person, only what they choose to show you. His discovery becomes an obsession to learn more about what his journalist wife has secretly been working on for years before her death. His quest is to pursue the truth for himself and for her. First of all, the way this is written is absolutely brilliant as it’s as if Aaron is talking throughout with Allison. This works so well as you follow the huge emotional rollercoaster mission which also examines the duality of personality in actions and in words. People, places and events are described so well that you get uneasy hints of creepiness, chills on the back of your neck and some images that are so powerful I feel as if they are burned into my brain! Boy, oh boy, this man can write. The storyline that emerges is very dark, there are ghostly, supernatural elements that infuse the shocking discoveries that Aaron makes and it feels like he’s trying to pin back a gas like fog to get to the elusive truth. This goes backwards and forwards so cleverly as we go on a car journey with Aaron to prove his wife’s theories correct. The ending is excellent and really clever as it dawns on you that’s exactly where all this has been heading. Overall, the author has had me glued to my seat and his every word for several hours. I don’t think this is horror per se but it certainly has hints of the ghostly and the storyline is darkly gritty. It’s well worth reading the authors notes at the end to appreciate how this book came about and what he has produced is high quality writing. With thanks to NetGalley and especially to Titan Books for the much appreciated arc in return for an honest review. . Thank you to Marilyn and Jen for putting this on my radar!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Carolyn

    This is such a haunting and atmospheric thriller that I found myself holding my breath at times. Really well written with a direct way of telling the story to the reader, it has a horror vibe with a smidgeon of ghost story as well. Aaron Decker and his wife Allison were very much in love when she was tragically killed in a shopping mall shooting. Going through her belongings after the police returned them to him, he found a receipt for a two day stay in a motel some 300 miles away. Aaron had been This is such a haunting and atmospheric thriller that I found myself holding my breath at times. Really well written with a direct way of telling the story to the reader, it has a horror vibe with a smidgeon of ghost story as well. Aaron Decker and his wife Allison were very much in love when she was tragically killed in a shopping mall shooting. Going through her belongings after the police returned them to him, he found a receipt for a two day stay in a motel some 300 miles away. Aaron had been away on business at the time but Allison hadn't mentioned going anywhere. Although he thought he knew everything about his wife, Aaron soon discovered she had dark secrets she had been keeping from him and feels compelled to follow her tracks to solve the mystery. What he finds not only astonishes him but puts him into danger. It's a dark story, very creepy and brooding. Aaron's profound grief has him imaging Allison is still around and he can't rest until he's found out what was haunting her. A stunning thriller, brilliantly written. I'll definitely be checking out more of Malfi's novels. With thanks to Titan Books and Netgalley for a copy to read

  16. 4 out of 5

    Rachel (TheShadesofOrange)

    4.0 Stars This is a beautiful story of marital love and grief blended into a compelling mystery Malfi is an incredible storyteller and his latest novel once again demonstrates his ability to tell an immersive narrative. In terms of writing, this one might be his best work yet. The prose was lovely and haunting. The character development was equally strong. I felt deeply connected to the main character, sharing in his grief. This book certainly packs an emotional punch. Malfi is better known for his 4.0 Stars This is a beautiful story of marital love and grief blended into a compelling mystery Malfi is an incredible storyteller and his latest novel once again demonstrates his ability to tell an immersive narrative. In terms of writing, this one might be his best work yet. The prose was lovely and haunting. The character development was equally strong. I felt deeply connected to the main character, sharing in his grief. This book certainly packs an emotional punch. Malfi is better known for his horror stories, but this one better fits the label of a slow burning mystery. The story touches on dark obsessions without becoming gruesome or grisly.  December Park remains my personal favourite, but from a more objective perspective, this one is arguably his best. Come Wit Me is a fantastic place to start for readers new to Malfi's books. Needless to stay, I would highly recommend this emotional novel to fans of dark fiction.  Disclaimer I received an ARC copy of this book from the publisher, Titan Books.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Char

    Aaron Decker recently lost his wife in a senseless shopping mall shooting. Feeling a bit haunted by her, Aaron begins to go through Allison's things and discovers a hotel receipt. This receipt spurs anger, then curiosity as Aaron continues to find things Allison never told him about. Is Allison actually haunting Aaron, or is he haunting himself? You'll have to read this to find out! Having to keep things intentionally vague is hard when it comes to this book. At first I wasn't crazy about it, to Aaron Decker recently lost his wife in a senseless shopping mall shooting. Feeling a bit haunted by her, Aaron begins to go through Allison's things and discovers a hotel receipt. This receipt spurs anger, then curiosity as Aaron continues to find things Allison never told him about. Is Allison actually haunting Aaron, or is he haunting himself? You'll have to read this to find out! Having to keep things intentionally vague is hard when it comes to this book. At first I wasn't crazy about it, to be honest. The protagonist is talking to his dead wife in his head the entire time. This leads to many long portions with no external dialogue whatsoever. Then things really started to heat up. As Aaron continues to seek out more and more information about what Allison was up to prior to her death, more characters and dialogue come into play. Aaron is someone you can really root for, he cared for his wife, and his grief stricken mind is reaching out to her the entire time. Every woman deserves a man like Aaron, a man that TRULY loves them. The pacing was generally good, (except for that rather slow start), but it picked up quite a lot towards the end. The denouement was surprising and had me at the edge of my seat. There were so many suspect characters, I had no chance of guessing the culprit. I love when that happens! The narrator, Joe Hempel, did a marvelous job voicing Aaron. It must have been particularly difficult too, as we are living in Aaron's head for a good part of this novel. Aaron's grief and anxiety seemed to spill out of my phone's speaker and tear right into my heart. I've long thought that Ronald Malfi was an under-rated author; he deserves to be more well-known. He's quietly turning out brilliant books and as for myself? I will line up to read them. I hope that you'll COME WITH ME and give this one a try! Highly recommended! *Thanks to Tantor Audio and NetGalley for the download of this audiobook in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it!*

  18. 4 out of 5

    Pat

    This book was, quite simply, stunning! It was a love story, a ghost story, a mystery, a whodunit and a thriller. Aaron Decker’s life falls apart when he loses his wife of five years, Allison, in a shooting incident at a local mall. His grief knows no bounds. He hears Allison, he sees her, he talks to her and it seems like she is still there with him as his town house lights and music system seem to have a mind of their own. He sees her ghostly hand print on the windscreen of their car. He can on This book was, quite simply, stunning! It was a love story, a ghost story, a mystery, a whodunit and a thriller. Aaron Decker’s life falls apart when he loses his wife of five years, Allison, in a shooting incident at a local mall. His grief knows no bounds. He hears Allison, he sees her, he talks to her and it seems like she is still there with him as his town house lights and music system seem to have a mind of their own. He sees her ghostly hand print on the windscreen of their car. He can only get through the days by relying on ‘other-Aaron’ an alter ego that does his work and ensures he eats. Other Aaron seems to operate effectively without much input from Aaron. One day a parcel arrives for Allison, when Aaron finally gets to open it he finds, among all her work things, a receipt for a two night stay at the Valentine Motel in another state. Aaron is confused, he doesn’t remember her being away. Aaron goes through the rest of Allison’s things. She keeps some mementos in a hope chest at the bottom of her wardrobe. Under the Christmas gifts she had already wrapped for him he finds….a gun. Wow! And right at the bottom, a folder containing details of crimes Allison had been secretly investigating for years. It seems there is a lot he didn’t know about Allison. Aaron feels compelled to follow in Allison’s investigative footsteps and so begins his odyssey across the eastern states. It makes him feel closer to Allison to walk where she walked, to speak to the people she spoke to and slowly he pieces together a rather horrific story that had its roots in Allison’s very own childhood. I don’t normally like paranormal elements in books but it was done with such a very light touch here it just felt right. It hard for me to do this book justice in my review but this one really gave me the all ‘the feels’. Aaron was such a well done character. He felt so real. The sense of creeping menace got more and more pervasive as the book progressed. It wasn’t creepy per se but very unsettling, or haunting - in a good way. It had a sort of otherworldly quality about it which I find very rare in books. The supporting cast all played their parts to perfection. It almost felt like I was there, walking alongside these characters. The ending was perfect. I really loved this book! Thanks to Netgalley, Titan Books and Ronald Malfi for providing a free copy of the book that I reviewed voluntarily and honestly.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Karine

    A poignant love letter and a achingly beautiful story of love, grief and loss. A clever mystery leading to a serial killer, questioning our morals and motives and our very sense of humanity. But most of all, a touching and passionate tale of a husband's love for his wife and his incapability of continuing living a seemingly normal life without her. Aaron Decker has just lost his wife to a madman shooter and just because feeling any kind of alive will do, he starts to unravel an unknown side of h A poignant love letter and a achingly beautiful story of love, grief and loss. A clever mystery leading to a serial killer, questioning our morals and motives and our very sense of humanity. But most of all, a touching and passionate tale of a husband's love for his wife and his incapability of continuing living a seemingly normal life without her. Aaron Decker has just lost his wife to a madman shooter and just because feeling any kind of alive will do, he starts to unravel an unknown side of his late wife. It is the start of a roadtrip, collecting clues to what seems to be a completely illogical quest to some unknown resolution, not only of a murder mystery, but to what it means to loose the most important person in your life, and what life means after such an impacting bereavement. I'm not going into more detail, as less you know going in, the better. I hope that no-one will get scared-off by the fact that is has been classified as horror, as there is just a slight hint at what might be supernatural events, which I easily interpreted differently and within the realm of logic. It is so much more, a true tour-de-force in its intricate details and plot, beautifully written and just truly unputdownable. Every character is detailed and nuanced and Aaron will linger around my thoughts for a long time. I know for certain that my next book will be one of Mr. Malfi's many others. Bravo ! A sincere thanks to Netgalley, Titan books and the author for an ARC in exchange of an honest review.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Chris Berko

    A very good book with a very safe conclusion but the last ten pages were very emotional for me. If you've ever lost someone abruptly and unexpectedly and never got any closure this is the book to read. Not only is it a damn fine mystery but the narrator coming to terms with his own losses was cathartic for me in ways I have come to appreciate. Everyone grieves in their own way and it can be a very personal thing, so to get inside someone else's head and hear what they told themselves and how the A very good book with a very safe conclusion but the last ten pages were very emotional for me. If you've ever lost someone abruptly and unexpectedly and never got any closure this is the book to read. Not only is it a damn fine mystery but the narrator coming to terms with his own losses was cathartic for me in ways I have come to appreciate. Everyone grieves in their own way and it can be a very personal thing, so to get inside someone else's head and hear what they told themselves and how they dealt introduced me to methods and concepts that never occurred to me during my own grieving process. Hats off to Malfi and the explanation after about what he was going through during the writing of this, it was vulnerable in an admirable way. Ronald Malfi was one of the best writers of horror coming into this, Bone White solidified that. Come With Me catapults him into the upper stratosphere with the greats. Ronald Malfi is now a MUST read author and he keeps getting better.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Adrian Dooley

    Oh man, this was good. Having only read one previous novel by Malfi, Bone White(which I loved) I was really hoping this would keep up the standard and boy does it and some. Aaron Deckers life is turned upside down when his wife is killed in a mass shooting at a mall. Consumed with grief and haunted by his wife(literally?) when eventually going through her belongings he finds a receipt for 2 nights in a hotel in the middle of nowhere. It has her name on it and was when he was away on business. Th Oh man, this was good. Having only read one previous novel by Malfi, Bone White(which I loved) I was really hoping this would keep up the standard and boy does it and some. Aaron Deckers life is turned upside down when his wife is killed in a mass shooting at a mall. Consumed with grief and haunted by his wife(literally?) when eventually going through her belongings he finds a receipt for 2 nights in a hotel in the middle of nowhere. It has her name on it and was when he was away on business. The nights she said she was at home. Confused by this and fearing his wife may have been having an affair, he begins to investigate and visits the small town where the hotel is. He slowly finds that his wife has a lot more secrets she kept as she led an alternative life, secret from him. That’s as much as I’d say about the story. I went in blind having got the book on the authors name alone. This one really delivers and has a same vibe as Bone White. It’s hard to pinpoint a genre for this. A whodunnit, mystery, thriller, supernatural story, a story of grief, a story of the mind, a story of time. The story is beautifully written and oozes atmosphere from start to finish. Like Bone White this is light on crash bang wallop and goes at its own pace with a constant sense of foreboding. The supernatural elements are hinted at and blurred with dream states that lets you make up your own mind about them. It’s just all beautifully suggestive and subtle and so satisfying to read. Of course there is a hell of an interesting story here too and it’s very well told and plotted but, it’s the writing as much as the story that is to be admired. I really loved this one. I started off giving this four stars but as I recount the story here I’ve changed my mind and upped it to five. This book I hope gets to more readers than those who read thrillers. There is so much more here. A fantastic book. Do yourself and get a copy and let it draw you in. You won’t regret it. Thanks to the publisher for the ARC through Netgalley.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Mogsy (MMOGC)

    5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum https://bibliosanctum.com/2021/07/13/... Come With Me by Ronald Malfi is a haunting, harrowing, breath-holding stay-up-all-night chiller of a novel about one man’s journey to uncover the hidden secrets of his late wife’s past. I loved this one to bits, and mark my words, while this may be my first book by the author, he’s just earned himself a fan for life. Five weeks ago, when Aaron Decker first heard about the mass shooting at the mall near his Maryland home, hi 5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum https://bibliosanctum.com/2021/07/13/... Come With Me by Ronald Malfi is a haunting, harrowing, breath-holding stay-up-all-night chiller of a novel about one man’s journey to uncover the hidden secrets of his late wife’s past. I loved this one to bits, and mark my words, while this may be my first book by the author, he’s just earned himself a fan for life. Five weeks ago, when Aaron Decker first heard about the mass shooting at the mall near his Maryland home, his only thought had been for his wife Allison, who’d gone to shop there earlier in the day. After hours of torturous uncertainty and frantic unanswered calls to her cellphone, Aaron’s fears were finally confirmed: his wife had been among the victims gunned down by the crazed killer. Consumed with grief, our protagonist’s fragile state of mind is further threatened when, upon receiving his wife’s belongings from the local newspaper at which she worked, he finds a receipt in her name for stay at a North Carolina motel he’d never known about. Aaron had been out of town on business at the time, and Allison had paid in cash, leaving no evidence on their credit card statements. After her boss informs him that Allison had not been given any out-of-state assignments during that time frame, Aaron is forced to face the gut-wrenching possibility that his wife may have been having an affair. However, this suspicion is soon dispelled, as Aaron travels to the motel in North Carolina and finds no evidence that Allison had been cheating on him. Instead, he is left with even more questions and a disturbing theory that his wife may have been conducting her own investigations into a string of mysterious deaths going back the last two decades or so. Inside a locked chest that belonged to Allison, Aaron finds a thick file containing her notes and information on the victims, all of them young, blond women. Other than that though, there appears to be nothing else linking the cases which are spread out over different states all along the east coast. Might this simply be research for a work project, or even a book Allison had been working on? But if so, why didn’t she tell Aaron, or any of her friends and colleagues at the newspaper? Why did she keep it to herself, doing all her traveling and information gathering in secret? As Aaron sets out to retrace the path Allison took, following the clues she left behind, he begins to wonder what else she had been keeping from him, and just how well did he know his wife? Some might categorize Come With Me as horror, and indeed, there’s maybe just the slightest hint of ghostliness to this tale. Still, as far as paranormal elements go, that’s probably the extent. Rather, the novel reads more like a mystery or thriller-suspense with just a tinge of the supernatural, but under Malfi’s talented pen, I think just about anyone can enjoy this no matter which of the aforementioned genres you prefer. In fact, the first thing that drew me in was the writing. Told via the second-person perspective which should have been jarring, this narrative mode instead had the effect of pulling me in straight away. Feeling adrift and lonely without Allison, a devastated Aaron tells this story to his late wife who was torn from him so suddenly, but whose spirit is with him still. The result was this immensely powerful, personal experience which brought the pain of the main character’s internal conflicts to the surface. Grief and loss are prominent themes, as you can imagine, and Aaron’s voice is tormented and raw as he initially struggles with survivor’s guilt, followed next by the shock of finding out that Allison had been living a double life behind his back. After that, there is also the determination to finish what she’d started, perhaps as a way to connect with his beloved wife one last time—regardless of who she’d been in her past life, or what she’d hidden from him. The mystery plot is also extremely well crafted, rivaling and even surpassing the work of more established authors I’ve read from this genre. I loved the twists and turns, the red herrings and the subtly dropped clues, and best of all, despite its speculative elements, this story required no great leaps of logic or any over-the-top suspension of disbelief. It was, in essence, an intelligent and convincing contribution to the mystery-thriller genre, dark and suspenseful while steeped in genuine emotion and the complexities of loss and love. Needless to say, this book has my highest recommendation. Come With Me is a multilayered mystery with haunted vibes that will appeal to thriller and suspense fans, but there’s also so much more about it to love, and you can be sure Ronald Malfi has now been added to my list of must-read authors.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Gatorman

    Wow. What a fantastic read. The story of a husband who's wife is killed in a mall shooting and then begins a painful and revealing journey of uncovering her secrets and obsessions after having going through her things, this is one of those books you don't want to end and are sad when it does. I'm not going to reveal any more of the plot as it's best to just let the story unfold as you get lost in the mesmerizing words that Malfi put down on paper. Part mystery, part thriller, part supernatural, Wow. What a fantastic read. The story of a husband who's wife is killed in a mall shooting and then begins a painful and revealing journey of uncovering her secrets and obsessions after having going through her things, this is one of those books you don't want to end and are sad when it does. I'm not going to reveal any more of the plot as it's best to just let the story unfold as you get lost in the mesmerizing words that Malfi put down on paper. Part mystery, part thriller, part supernatural, part love story. All of these parts add up to one amazing effort. One of the best books I've read in a long time. I've read two other books by Malfi and this is the best, by far. Do yourself a favor and check out this book. My highest recommendation.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Fiona

    There is a word in Japanese, yugen, that has no English equivalent. In Japanese, it is the awareness that the universe transmits a profound and mysterious beauty that can only be understood by the man or woman engaged in the comparable beauty of human suffering. You had plumbed the darkest depths of this world and left a part of the curtain pulled away so that I, too, might peek behind it. This bleak, rusty machine we call life. This unexpected beauty. Everything changed for Aaron Decker when he There is a word in Japanese, yugen, that has no English equivalent. In Japanese, it is the awareness that the universe transmits a profound and mysterious beauty that can only be understood by the man or woman engaged in the comparable beauty of human suffering. You had plumbed the darkest depths of this world and left a part of the curtain pulled away so that I, too, might peek behind it. This bleak, rusty machine we call life. This unexpected beauty. Everything changed for Aaron Decker when he lost his wife of five years, Allison; suddenly he finds out that he knew only parts of her, that she had been searching for something and keeping it from him. And though she's dead, things keep happening to lead him straight towards her search - maybe he's not as alone as he thinks. Completely aside from the mystery side of this book is an absolutely heart-wrenching portrayal of grief at a sudden loss - it's hard to read at times, it feels so visceral. Ronald Malfi, through Aaron Decker, does an incredible job of writing a man lost and feeling raw with his own loss. It doesn't take over the story though, but instead infuses through it - the mystery, the grief, the emotional journey and the investigative one, all balanced and just as important as each other. It creates quite the book. I really did enjoy this, and I feel like it's one that I might have sitting in the back of my mind for quite a while. I wouldn't say it's a book to just jump into as a reader - it's hard to read emotions this raw without being affected by them, but by the end there's a sense of catharsis that I found myself sharing as well. A very gripping, deep and thoughtful book that I'm sure will generate a lot of interesting discussion.

  25. 5 out of 5

    FanFiAddict

    Rating: 8.75/10 Thanks to the publisher and author for an advance reading copy of Come With Me for review consideration. This did not influence my thoughts or opinions. Come With Me is a harrowing, pulsating tale that had me completely enveloped in its grasp. For fans of early Koontz or King, and for those that couldn’t set aside I’ll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara, this is one that shouldn’t be missed. This is the first title of Malfi’s that I have read, though I do have most of his cata Rating: 8.75/10 Thanks to the publisher and author for an advance reading copy of Come With Me for review consideration. This did not influence my thoughts or opinions. Come With Me is a harrowing, pulsating tale that had me completely enveloped in its grasp. For fans of early Koontz or King, and for those that couldn’t set aside I’ll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara, this is one that shouldn’t be missed. This is the first title of Malfi’s that I have read, though I do have most of his catalogue on my Kindle. The premise and early praise quickly sold me, and having the opportunity to listen to Joe Hempel’s narration (thanks to Tantor Audio) was the final push that I needed. I devoured this audiobook to put it plainly. Malfi’s writing is very easy to get into and become familiar with. Not too wordy and gives scenes plenty of setup, breathing life into visuals and not overstepping detail. He really impresses with his ability to constantly twist the knife as the story progresses, giving our main character, Aaron, a run for his money on this journey of discovery. Each and every turn of the corner reveals more and more secrets that Aaron has to come to terms with, and face whether or not he is to believe these as truth. This won’t be one of those “I’m going to be looking at my wife differently from now on” type thrillers, but Allison really took the cake and will at least make me second glance my wife from time to time (kidding, maybe). Aaron quickly becomes a character in which you can become empathetic with. I mean, geez, the man just lost his wife. But really, he doesn’t sit around grieving. He is up and searching for answers, not allowing himself to wallow in pity, though his wife’s ghost does tend to show up in the most inopportune times. This is a story of love and loss, vengeance and secrets. It is about uncovering a past you never knew was there, and attempting to paddle through the muck to find a clear answer. This novel tore at my heartstrings and feels like a gut-punch that will forever be tattooed on my soul.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Nils | nilsreviewsit

    “The small secrets are easy to keep hidden—easier, say, than the big secrets, the whoppers, the infidelities, and closet addictions that, like some underwater beastie that must ultimately ascend to the surface for a gasp of air, don’t remain secrets forever.” Come With Me by Ronald Malfi is one of the most addictive psychological thrillers I’ve read in such a long while. Strictly speaking it isn’t just a psychological thriller, it’s also part paranormal, with the narrative meandering it’s way thr “The small secrets are easy to keep hidden—easier, say, than the big secrets, the whoppers, the infidelities, and closet addictions that, like some underwater beastie that must ultimately ascend to the surface for a gasp of air, don’t remain secrets forever.” Come With Me by Ronald Malfi is one of the most addictive psychological thrillers I’ve read in such a long while. Strictly speaking it isn’t just a psychological thriller, it’s also part paranormal, with the narrative meandering it’s way through the belief in ghosts and urban legends. This blend is exactly what made me fall in love with this book. Malfi continually kept my mind abuzz with theories, I was kept suspicious of every character and every development, I thought I knew all the answers, I was wrong. Please note this review is spoiler free, but if you would rather go into this novel knowing nothing about the plot, then I’d stop reading now. The book begins with a tragic event. Aaron Decker, our main protagonist, is a Japanese novel translator whose seemingly ordinary life completely changes after his wife, Allison, is suddenly killed in a shopping mall shooting. We heartbreakingly follow Aaron as he numbly becomes haunted by memories of his wife!and struggles to come to terms with her death. When acceptance slowly begins to seep in, Aaron decides to sort through Allison’s possessions, but he makes a discovery which changes his whole perception of her. You see Allison held many secrets, dark secrets. From there on, we follow Aaron as he embarks upon a journey to uncover the truth about his wife and exactly what she was up to in the weeks prior to her death. It is a compelling journey that takes many unpredictable twists along the way, and as Aaron’s obsession with seeking answers heightens, we too addictively keep our eyes glued to the pages eager to know more. One aspect which really drew me into the story was Malfi’s highly emotive prose. Aaron’s grief is at the forefront of the narrative, we truly feel his loss and his pain. The prose is written in first person framed narrative, with Aaron being the narrator addressing this story to his dead wife. This allows the reader a deeper insight into Aaron’s character, as we explore every aspect of their relationship from the first time they meet, to the life they eventually lead together. Malfi includes many flashback scenes of this relationship, and it poignantly brings to light just how much Aaron has lost. Then during Aaron’s investigation he meets characters such as Bobbi Negri, a journalist, Peter Sloane – a retired police officer and James de Campo – Allison’s stepfather; we feel his utter bewilderment unfold as he realises the kind of childhood his wife really had. These characters never felt cliched, which is often a problem I have when reading psychological thrillers, yet Malfi avoids this by making each character serve a purpose and simultaneously feel realistic. “My grief was so palpable in that moment that my entire body began to tremble and I thought it possible that I might just break apart and crumble to the carpet in broken shards of crockery, a powdery heap that that had once been a person which only you, in your spectral majesty, might reshape into something even more exquisite and true.” I loved the way Malfi’s prose was also atmospheric. As I have mentioned Come With Me also incorporates elements of the paranormal and even horror. The closet light turns on and flickers with no explanation as to how, a figure appears and disappears in the shadows, at night a handprint remains upon Aaron’s car window. Are all these signs of Allison’s ghost haunting him, or is his grief so overwhelming that it’s all in his mind? Then there’s the mysterious phrase ‘Gas Head will make you dead’ which was found among Allison’s notes, which turns out to have such a creepy supernatural story behind it. Even the title, Come With Me, a phrase which is eerily repeated throughout the book, holds more than one meaning. Malfi excels at building up a sense of uneasiness and dread, he knows how to keep the reader in anticipation for what may come next. Lastly, by the end of the novel I was left with an ache in my heart, but after reading the author’s note, my heart completely broke. Therefore I would suggest that you make sure to read this once you’ve finished the novel, it gives the entire narrative a whole new meaning. ”You have plumbed the darkest depths of this world and left a part of the curtain pulled away so that I, too, might peek behind it. This bleak, rusty machine we call life. This unexpected beauty.” ARC provided by Sarah at Titan Books in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for the copy! Come With Me is available to buy now.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Bandit

    I’m a huge fan of Ronald Malfi. I’ve read (just counted) 15 of his books, which may not be all of them but is certainly an overwhelming majority, from his earliest amateurish stabs at fiction to the awesome scary epics he’s matured into. So when Malfi says Come With Me I do. No map, no questions asked. Which is to say that having found his latest novel on Netgalley, I requested it immediately and read it as soon as approved, no plot summary, no page count, pure trust. And sure enough, it paid of I’m a huge fan of Ronald Malfi. I’ve read (just counted) 15 of his books, which may not be all of them but is certainly an overwhelming majority, from his earliest amateurish stabs at fiction to the awesome scary epics he’s matured into. So when Malfi says Come With Me I do. No map, no questions asked. Which is to say that having found his latest novel on Netgalley, I requested it immediately and read it as soon as approved, no plot summary, no page count, pure trust. And sure enough, it paid off. Mostly. For how prevalent literary fights have featured in Malfi’s latest work, with this book he decided to revisit his thriller writing days, flex those muscles, test those waters. So genre wise the book is basically a serial killer thriller with supernatural undertones thrown in. The plot goes something like this… Aaron Decker is a haunted man. Aaron’s comfortable life was brutally changed one day when his wife Allison was randomly gunned down by a crazed shooter at a mall (the most American of scenarios and most tragically inspired by a real life story death of the author’s friend). Now he’s become unmoored, unanchored and in his grief he goes over some of his late wife’s things and finds a side of her he didn’t know existed. Sure, she was always reticent to talk about her past, but he figured that was due to all the tragedies she left behind, a death of her father, a death of her sister. But turns out there was more, so much more. Turns out his late wife’s sister was actually murdered and Allison has spent years investigating that and other similar deaths. Evidence suggests a serial killer. And now Aaron finds himself compelled to take over where Allison left off, to follow the thread no matter what darkness it’ll lead to. It begins as the only way to understand Allison, to be close to her once again…but soon enough it turns terrifyingly real. So there you go. An excellent dark psychological suspense thriller from a genre hopping master of literary scares. The ghostly ambiance throughout blends in smoothly with the very credible murder investigation straight down to the prerequisite (and unexpected) final plot twist. A combination sure to delight fans of both supernatural and murderously natural genres. I said mostly earlier and that’s because at time (and really just that, only at times) the book seemed lightly overwritten and it used the title excessively in some many ways. But these are really very minor things, comparing to the most excellent sum total. Malfi’s writing is excellent in the way that it plays out (for me, anyway) cinematically, I find his words projecting a movie onto the screen of my mind. Such as his vivid imagery, the atmospheric darkness pervading this story, the eerie small towns shrouded in sadness, desperation and nightmares. Really, really good, completely immersive, profoundly engaging reading experience. Read in the dark if possible, but either way…read this book. It’s exciting, disturbing and hugely entertaining. This is a trip well worth taking. Recommended. Thanks Netgalley. This and more at https://advancetheplot.weebly.com/

  28. 4 out of 5

    Lou

    Come With Me is a compulsively readable supernaturally tinged mystery from award-winning horror writer Ronald Malfi in which he explores how grief and longing fan the flames of obsession as a man uncovers his dead wife’s horrifying secrets. Translator Aaron Decker and his wife, Allison, have been married for just over 5 years when the unthinkable comes to pass. In a morning that begins exactly like any other, Allison, a columnist for a local Maryland newspaper, is killed in a mass shooting incid Come With Me is a compulsively readable supernaturally tinged mystery from award-winning horror writer Ronald Malfi in which he explores how grief and longing fan the flames of obsession as a man uncovers his dead wife’s horrifying secrets. Translator Aaron Decker and his wife, Allison, have been married for just over 5 years when the unthinkable comes to pass. In a morning that begins exactly like any other, Allison, a columnist for a local Maryland newspaper, is killed in a mass shooting incident at a shopping mall. Aaron is devastated and descends into a pit of grief and despair unable to comprehend the tragedy, but this is also accompanied by survivor’s guilt as he had politely declined his wife’s request that he go with her on that fateful day. She had apparently died trying to save other people from the madman’s sights and had tried in vain to stop the carnage. A short time after her death, her office shipped a box containing her belongings to Aaron, but it leads to even more confusion and heartache than he was already feeling. He discovers a receipt for a two-night stay at a motel in North Carolina he had no idea about. It had coincided with his weekend stay in New York for business, and this naturally leads him to believe she was likely having an affair. However, this fear is soon dispelled and he learns the real reason behind her clandestine out-of-state trips. Allison had seemingly been unofficially investigating the suspicious deaths of 6 women whose cases had not yet been connected by the police. Desperate to see exactly what his wife had gotten herself into before she died, Aaron begins to trace her footsteps by following the clues she left behind in her files and finds himself embroiled in a situation far more perilous than he could ever have expected. This is a compulsive and enthralling mix of mystery, thriller and minimal supernatural horror elements all complementing each other to create the perfect blend of danger, palpable tension, dark secrets and deeply emotional moments. It's twisted, pacey and terrifying and a haunting and nuanced exploration of grief with plausible thoughts, feelings and behaviours on display by the bereaved. The mass shooting is handled sensitively and authentically with no sensationalism and the denouement brings it all together to form a powerful conclusion. Immersive, chilling and unique ripped-from-the-headlines horror fiction complete with spectres, devastating secrets within a supposedly content marriage and pure page-turning brilliance. Highly recommended.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie (That's What She Read)

    4.5 Oh man, I was sucked right into this story immediately. The writing has a lyrical second-person voice as Aaron is grieving and talking to his late wife. After her death he discovers that there was a lot to Allison that he didn't know and a mystery he is dropped into. Who knew stories about crime and grief went so well together? This was an experience that will have you wondering how well you know your spouse. 4.5 Oh man, I was sucked right into this story immediately. The writing has a lyrical second-person voice as Aaron is grieving and talking to his late wife. After her death he discovers that there was a lot to Allison that he didn't know and a mystery he is dropped into. Who knew stories about crime and grief went so well together? This was an experience that will have you wondering how well you know your spouse.

  30. 4 out of 5

    James

    One of the best books I have ever read. I've enjoyed Malfi's work for years, but this one is his tour-de-force. Not sure he'll ever be able to top it . . . and yet I have no doubts that he would gladly accept such a challenge. Magnificent. Only the third book I've ever read that had me wiping my eyes at the end (the other two: BOY'S LIFE and S.A. Cosby's recent RAZORBLADE TEARS). One of the best books I have ever read. I've enjoyed Malfi's work for years, but this one is his tour-de-force. Not sure he'll ever be able to top it . . . and yet I have no doubts that he would gladly accept such a challenge. Magnificent. Only the third book I've ever read that had me wiping my eyes at the end (the other two: BOY'S LIFE and S.A. Cosby's recent RAZORBLADE TEARS).

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