“Come With Me”
Genre: Ghost Story, Crime/Mystery
Release Date: Out Now!
When Aaron Decker married Allison five years ago, he knew she was an uncompromising champion of justice. Once, she witnessed a drunk man hit his girlfriend. Allison punished the man’s skull with an oar. That had been one of their first dates.
That’s why, when she’s killed by a mass shooter, he’s unsurprised to learn she put herself in the line of fire attempting to disarm him. It sounds just like her. As Aaron begins to sort through Allison’s belongings, his grief evolves into into a vast, atramentous pool of heartache — only amplified as he discovers a network of secrets she’d buried during the course of their marriage.
On the surface, “Come With Me” is an unassuming little genre novel — a brisk crime thriller marinated in the supernatural.
It adheres to the conventions you’ve come to expect from Ronald Malfi. He errs on the side of simple-but-efficient language over vivid, lyrical prose. He opts to obey genre rules rather than employ risky plot beats. If you don’t ask much of it, you could inhale the novel over a short weekend.
But it would be a mistake to treat Come With Me like another generic thriller.
Beneath its mask of conventionality, it's a visceral and naked treatise on loss, the inexorable nature of bereavement, and the human drive to stoke the flames of grief as long as possible. As Malfi writes: “we haunt ourselves.”
Malfi began writing Come With Me when grieving the death of a friend, and it shows. While the story’s whodunnit elements keep the pages turning at high velocity, it’s the emotion under its skin that makes it stick.