Told from the point of view of an 8-year-old child (Bela), Incidents Around the House is a slow-burning and terrifying haunted house/ghost story. Bela has what you first might think of as an imaginary friend, Other Mommy, who lives in her closet. But Other Mommy is much more than an imaginary friend. Other Mommy has an agenda of her own and it’s not a nice one. She constantly asks Bela if the little girl will let her into her heart. Bela doesn’t answer. The entity, who Bela first looked upon as a friend, can change shape, becoming large and menacing, slide across the floor, and she can also mimic the voices of other people – people Bela trusts.

Bela’s parents, Russ and Ursula, don’t know about this entity and are dealing with problems of their own. Ursula’s having an affair and is torn between her own carnal desires and the desire to preserve her family. Russ, whom Bela calls Daddo, is an eternal optimist, always looking on the bright side of things. But soon the couple’s marital woes will take a backseat to the entity which becomes more and more malevolent as it seeks to enter Bela’s heart. The terror escalates when Other Mommy, who has always stayed in Bela’s room, follows the little girl to the park, scaring her so much that she falls down the jungle gym slide backwards, hitting her head. Things really get dicey when Ursula overhears Bela and Other Mommy talking in Bela’s room and Other Mommy sounds just like Ursula.

This novel is a total page-turner and I could not put it down. The characters are multi-faceted and literally leap off the page. I especially liked Grandma Ruth who’s a tough old bird who doesn’t mince words and speaks the truth. The terror in Malerman’s novel begins slowly and increases with every turn of the page. Incidents Around the House is by far the best book I have read this year. Always a fan of author Malerman, this novel, I believe, sits right up there with Bird Box. In summary, Incidents Around the House is a riveting read and one horror fans surely don’t want to miss. FIVE BIG SHINY GOLD STARS!