December Park by Ronald Malfi

December Park is a dark, moody, atmospheric novel that is more psychological thriller and mystery than it is a horror novel.  It takes place in the nineties in suburban Maryland.  Angelo Mazzone and his group of outcasts obsess over a series of missing children in their area involving a potential serial killer called The Piper.  Even though Angelo’s father is a detective investigating the case, he and his friends believe they can accomplish what the cops cannot, which is to find the killer and bring him to justice.

 

What I liked most about this novel was the quality of the writing.  As I mentioned, it created a dark, brooding atmosphere that really added to the novel.  I thought the characterization was also quite strong.  Angelo and his friends were well done, not to mention Angelo’s father, who was a sympathetic and relatable character.  The novel had a strong mystery component to it and a nice build up.  What I didn’t like was the ending, in particular the reveal of the Piper.  That didn’t make much sense to me and I didn’t feel it was adequately explained.  It did bring the novel down a bit but overall, it was still a strong read.