Thursday, March 8, 2012

Floating Staircase by Ronald Malfi

I'm a sucker for a haunted house story. I love nothing more than curling up with a book that makes me quiver at every strange bump in the night. A marker of a good horror novel is if you have to stay up late watching sitcoms on Netflix in order to take your mind off the scary stuff so that you can get some sleep.

Floating Staircase is the story of Travis Glasgow, a horror writer who moves into an old, run-down house with his wife. Haunted hijinks ensue. Malfi truly has a talent for describing those creaks and thuds that could just be the house settling... or could be something more sinister.

Throughout the course of the book, Travis investigates the death of a young boy who drowned (or did he??) in the lake behind their house the summer before the Glasgows moved in. Through his investigations Travis also has to confront his guilt over the death of his younger brother, who drowned in a lake when they were kids. So not all the ghosts of this book are of the paranormal kind, there are the more common ghosts of human memory as well.

For the most part, I would recommend checking out this book if you're a fan of the horror genre. But, be warned that most of the best spooky stuff is concentrated in the earlier chapters of the book. At some point the book shifts away from straight-up horror to a more standard murder mystery. I would have preferred a little more intense spookiness at the climax of the book, but really, when wouldn't I prefer a little more spookiness? I liked this book, but I wish I would have just rented the library's copy, because I don't feel this is going to be a re-read a la 'Salem's Lot.