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Black Mouth by Ronald Malfi review

Ronald Malfi continues to be the finest horror writer of 2022 to date.

Between Come With Me and this new novel Black Mouth, Malfi is creating stories on a different level.

While the motif of a group of friends returning to their hometown to confront an ancient evil may feel plucked straight out of IT, Malfi finds a way to make this feel fresh and genuinely terrifying.

We follow Jamie Warren, a damaged man with a mentally handicapped brother as they return to Black Mouth, after the death of their mother under mysterious circumstances. Add to the mix Jamie’s childhood friends and you may have a motley crew ready to battle evil.

Much like the Loser’s Club, or maybe more so, this ragtag group are seriously damaged and it feels like Malfi enjoys putting these messed-up people in supremely dark scenarios.

Unlike Pennywise, Malfi’s evil can feel deliberately vague and have a shapeshifting quality that may have infected the town and never truly let go. He asks the question, is evil ever defeated and if so, what are the scars it leaves?

Expertly crafted and thoroughly engrossing, Black Mouth is a sure-fire contender for book of 2022.

Black Mouth by Ronald Malfi is released on 19 July 2022 by Titan Books.

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