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Book Review: Skullbelly – Author Ronald Malfi

Skullbelly by Ronald Malfi

When three teenagers disappear in the redwood forest of the Pacific northwest, private detective John Jeffers is hired by the families to find out why the local police seem to be covering things up. Jeffers travels to the shore town of Coastal Green to investigate…and learns of a terrible secret in the process…

“Skullbelly” by Ronald Malfi is just about everything a good novella should be. An interesting life like main character, a small town with secrets, a mystery and a local legend meant to keep young children out of the woods.

John Jeffers is a private detective that is hired to find out what happened to four teenagers on a camping trip. Three have disappeared and one was found covered in blood and catatonic. Mr. Malfi has infused John with a life like quality, that enables John to carry the story through to the end.

The story is fast paced, written well and short enough to be read in one sitting. I liked the ancillary characters as well, they were diverse and believable, and helped round out the storyline wonderfully.

If I had one complaint, it would be the ending. It seemed a bit abrupt for me and it seemed that the story could have been helped by increasing the length a little.

Though quite not up to some of Mr. Malfi’s previous endeavors like “Snow” and “Borealis”, “Skullbelly” is still very much worth the time to read and I wholeheartedly recommend it.

Book Review: Skullbelly – Author Ronald Malfi


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