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9781617736063_p0_v4_s300x I received this e-Arc from NetGalley and Kensington Books in exchange for an honest review.

Release Date: June 30, 2015

Synopsis ~ When Laurie was a child there was one room in her house which she was told never to enter by her father. Now an adult, Laurie has returned to her childhood home to settle her recently deceased father’s estate. Accompanied by her husband and ten-year-old daughter, she thinks she’s ready to face the past, but it soon becomes apparent that the past is still alive. Now Laurie begins to wonder if she’s losing her mind like her father, or is there truly is some unspeakable evil at play.

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Have I mentioned how much I love scary atmospheric horror, that slowly builds until a huge climax? Well I do, and Ronald Malfi is a genius with this genre. 

As the book opens, Laurie Genarro has returned to her childhood home after her father, who had Alzheimer’s, commits suicide. Once there she finds herself confronted by memories she had long since buried and when odd things start happening, including the appearance of a strangely familar and creepy little girl who befriends her daughter, Laurie needs to figure out what is real and what is imagined if she’s to have any hope of saving her family. 

That’s all I’m going to really say on the plot because if you choose to read this it’s better if you do so cold turkey.  I will say though there’s a reason why I stuck the above gif in! I know. I’m such a tease! Seriously though, Little Girls is not one of those stories where the action immediately starts on the first page. Instead, it wraps itself around you and slowly draws you in, much like a spider with it’s web. 

Laurie is a flawed yet sympathetic character who’s not only trying to deal with her emerging childhood memories, but also what is happening in the present day, as she desperately tries to uncover the truth, yet at the same time save herself and her family. Her husband is a likeable, yet not always supportive husband, and their daughter Susan is a cute and engaging child. The only problem I had with the book was that the characters were a little too predictable. 

° Haunted wife with traumatic childhood.

° Likeable but unremarkable unfaithful husband.

° Adorable child possibly in mortal peril.

° Mysterious demon-like child.

° Really frightening housekeeper whose motives are a mystery.

While I would have liked a little more originality regarding the characters, I would definitely call this a plot-driven book with plenty of plot twists that I did not see coming, including one of the most shocking endings I’ve read in a long time. If you enjoy ghost stories that develop at a slow pace, yet contain quite a few surprises, I highly recommend Little Girls. Just don’t read it right before bed. 

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