Zakk reviews The Night Parade by Ronald Malfi

“Ex Libris The Eyes of Madness, simple reviews from a simple reader…”

Zakk reviews The Night Parade by Ronald Malfi, 395 pages published by Kensington, 2016.

“For what seemed like the millionth time since they’d hit the road, he took mental inventory of the items he’d managed to squirrel away in the trunk: extra clothes, some food, approximately six hundred dollars in cash, some books and board games to keep Ellie’s mind off the whole thing. There was a handgun and two boxes of ammo back there, too, in a stolen pink suitcase. He’d never fired a gun in his life.”


First the birds disappeared.
Then the insects took over.
Then the madness began….

They call it Wanderer’s Folly–a disease of delusions, of daydreams and nightmares. A plague threatening to wipe out the human race.

After two years of creeping decay, David Arlen woke up one morning thinking that the worst was over. By midnight, he’s bleeding and terrified, his wife is dead, and he’s on the run in a stolen car with his eight-year-old daughter, who may be the key to a cure.

Ellie is a special girl. Deep. Insightful. And she knows David is lying to her. Lying about her mother. Lying about what they’re running from. And lying about what he sees when he takes his eyes off the road . . .

“The music grew louder, louder, until it was right outside the house in the street. In the summertime, that jocular little melody would send the neighborhood kids flooding into Columbus Court, anxious for a Rocket Pop or an Italian ice. But now, in the dead of winter and in the middle of the night—David glanced at the alarm clock on the nightstand and saw that it was well after midnight—the sound of that tune unnerved him.”

This is how the world falls apart. Or at least I believe that this is how the world crumbles. Not in one fell swoop but in a escalating pandemic. With The Night Parade, Ronald Malfi does a great job of tapping into my psyche and presenting me with my nightmare scenario (losing loved ones, racing against the devil, failing as the world dies) all the while weaving a touching & heartbreaking narrative.

This is my second full length Malfi read, second captivating Malfi read, and damn, he knows what makes me tick. His style is so easily accessible that you can’t help but get lost in his words, in his world. Characters, dialogue, settings, chain of events, all of the ingredients involved in the telling of this story are realistic, honest, and believable. It’s the type of story, and the quality or writer, that I seek out in my downtime.

With The Night Parade, I quickly found myself invested in the lives of David and Ellie Arlen, all-in and more than a bit concerned with their wellbeing. Which is a reader’s dream, finding that immediate connection to a book’s main characters, any characters for that matter. These are real people and their plight feels like an honest to God crisis. The landscapes they inhabit, flee from and flee too, is Everyville USA. You’ve been here before and it feels tangible. Alive.

Yes, I’d love to know more about the worldly circumstances, the complete how’s and why’s leading us to this moment, beyond the scope of David and Ellie’s experiences. And I desperately want to know what happens after the last page turns. Maybe that’s for another time, mayhap not. For now I am content, and grateful, for the time I was able to spend in the world of the Arlen’s.

The Night Parade is a tear jerker, and definitely a highlight in this year’s finished-reads pile.

One of these day, hopefully sooner rather than later, I’ll find time to delve into the Malfi titles a have gathering digital dust on my Kindle. Not necessarily for review but for pleasure.

“He was halfway across the lot to his car when something exploded off to his left. It was very close, the sound of its detonation causing him to drop his briefcase. He looked around but could not see what might have caused it. The lampposts were spaced too far apart, and it was too dark to make out any real—

He caught movement out of the corner of his eye, a large object bulleting down from the sky at such an alarming speed, David drew his arms up to cover his head despite the fact that the object was crashing down several yards away. It struck the hood of a Volkswagen with a sickening solidity, rolled up over the windshield, then toppled to the asphalt. It took David only a second to realize what it was, but by that point, more and more had begun to rain from the sky, a mortar attack. Only instead of bombs, they were geese.”

Overall score: 5/ 5

Zakk is a big dumb animal!

**Note: I received a review copy of this book from the publisher/ publicist on the promise of an honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation, these are my unbiased feelings.

Ronald Malfi, Biography

Ronald Malfi is an award-winning author of many novels and novellas in the horror, mystery, and thriller categories from various publishers, including The Night Parade, this summer’s 2016 release from Kensington.

In 2009, his crime drama, Shamrock Alley, won a Silver IPPY Award. In 2011, his ghost story/mystery novel, Floating Staircase, was a finalist for the Horror Writers Association Bram Stoker Award for best novel, a Gold IPPY Award for best horror novel, and the Vincent Preis International Horror Award. His novel Cradle Lake garnered him the Benjamin Franklin Independent Book Award (silver) in 2014. December Park, his epic childhood story, won the Beverly Hills International Book Award for suspense in 2015.

Most recognized for his haunting, literary style and memorable characters, Malfi’s dark fiction has gained acceptance among readers of all genres.

He was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1977, and eventually relocated to the Chesapeake Bay area, where he currently resides with his wife and two children.

Visit with Ronald Malfi on Facebook, Twitter (@RonaldMalfi), or at

Praise for Ronald Malfi

“I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The setting, the words, the ending. Color me impressed.” –Melissa Reads on The Night Parade

“The Night Parade has a creepy vibe and some genuinely terrifying moments. I even teared up a time or two. It’s everything I look for in a great read.” – Frank Errington on TheNight Parade

“One cannot help but think of writers like Peter Straub and Stephen King.”

“Malfi is a skillful storyteller.”—New York Journal of Books

“A complex and chilling tale….terrifying.”—Robert McCammon

“Malfi’s lyrical prose creates an atmosphere of eerie claustrophobia…haunting.”—Publishers Weekly

“A thrilling, edge-of-your-seat ride that should not be missed.”
—Suspense Magazine

Purchase Links

Barnes & Noble

Want to feature this book/author?

If you are a blogger, author, or member of the media and you would like to feature The Night Parade or Ronald Malfi in a review or interview, please contact Erin Al-Mehairi, publicist, at Thanks!

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