Black Mouth

Tantor Audio. Jul. 2022. 12:13 hrs. ISBN 9781705295960. $19.99. HORROR
Malfi (Bone White; Come with Me), a respected novelist among horror and suspense fans, returns with a compelling new title for readers to add to their list. Jamie Warren, freshly recovering from alcohol- use disorder, returns to his hometown after his mother’s suicide. There, he and his childhood friends Mia and Clay confront a monstrous man from their past. Malfi’s characters (in both their young and older incarnations) are well written, sympathetic, and endearing. Jamie has both realistic and potentially supernatural struggles, and they both feel equally believable. Narrator Joe Hempel’s voicing of Jamie and portrayal of the adult male characters in the book both pass muster, but his female and child voices are not very distinctive. His pacing is quite slow—slow enough that listeners may prefer to listen to a digital copy so that they can increase the listening speed.
VERDICT This horrific tale will appeal to readers who appreciate coming-of-age stories, found families, sibling relationships, and childhood friends reuniting as adults to defeat a villain from their youth. Share with fans of Stephen King, Ray Bradbury, and Peter Straub.
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