Talented writer Mayra Calvani’s latest book, Dark Lullaby, is yet another example of why I have grown to prefer reading small press books over the usual and predictable mass market books found at the big corporate bookstores. Now don’t get me wrong, those bookstores have great books but when you’ve read every Stephen King or Dean Koontz book possible you would like the opportunity to read a new voice or discover a story teller that can captivate you in a way that makes you stay up late at night because you can’t put the book down.
Mayra Calvani qualifies as one of those writers. In the fairness of full disclosure, I have read other works by Ms. Calvani, so I already knew she was a talented story-teller and as expected, her latest horror book, Dark Lullaby, kept me up late into the wee hours of the dark night.
The story begins when Gabriel Diaz ignores my advice in the opening paragraph and becomes enchanted with an exotic woman he meets at a local tavern. He is quickly captivated not only by her beauty but by her obsessive ideas regarding good and evil and the moral concepts of personal justice.
Despite the fact that almost from the beginning Gabriel feels there is an underlying darkness to his new love named Kamilah, he just can’t seem to break away from her physical and intellectual grip despite her increasingly bizarre behavior and his almost nightly nightmares.
As Kamilah begins to ingrain herself into Gabriel’s live, their relationship grows more complex and dark and a sense of terror pervades Gabriel that somehow Kamilah motives towards him are sinister and that she is hell-bent on overseeing his, if not, personal, at least, moral destruction.
Kamilah convinces Gabriel to travel with her back to her remote homeland in Turkey where they can relax and spend some quality time together.
Despite his rational mind screaming for him not to go Gabriel relents to her child-like pleas and agrees to the trip. Once in the lair of her homeland Gabriel descends into an anxiety-riddled paranoia as he discovers the true nature of his Kamilah. Is Gabriel simply mad or is Kamilah the true essence of all thing evil?
Read Dark Lullaby—You won’t be disappointed.
—JR Clifford, author & reviewer
*This review originally appeared in the Spring 2008 issue of Northwoods Journal
DARK LULLABY is available on Amazon, Fictionwise, and Whiskey Creek Press.