Floating Staircase: Soon after Travis and his wife move into their new house by the lake, he becomes convinced the house is haunted. Is it the ghost of a child who was murdered there years before – or is there a deeper mystery? – Goodreads
I believe Floating Staircase was the same number of pages as Solar Express, and yet it took me half the time to read it. I know that many people who read a lot are familiar with what I’m saying. In Deep Blue Sea, L.L. Cool J’s character explains relativity by explaining it something like this … “Put your hands on a hot woman, and an hour can seem like a second. Put your hands on a hot burner and a second can seem like an hour.” Well, if I was translating relativity in to bookworm speak, it would be very similar to that.
“When you’re reading a good book, a hundred pages takes a minute.But when you’re reading a bad one, a page takes a hundred minutes.”
Floating Staircase feels like it took me about four minutes to read. It might not have been the book I wanted to read, but it was the book I needed to read. (Yes, I’m ripping off another movie.) Because it was the one that, when I finished it, made me lift my eyes briefly to the heavens and thank the goddess of books that I’d broken my “meh” streak. The story of a writer dealing with writer’s block is not a new one. Neither is the fact that his writer’s block broken by strange events that he witnesses. However, Ronald Malfi did a solid job of taking established tropes and weaving them into a compelling story that ensnares the imagination.
Floating Staircase is the second Ronald Malfi book that I’ve tackled. The first was The Night Parade, and it never managed to catch my attention. I was bit wary going into this book, but the synopsis looked way too interesting. Now, I don’t think it’s a stand-out book. I won’t sit here and rave about how great a writer Malfi is. Truth be told, the only things I can really praise about Floating Staircase are: 1.) The almost immediate establishment of atmosphere and 2.) The smooth flow of the story. This book cut a mildly creepy edge, and held it until the last page.
The pacing is perfect. The language is a bit too flowery at times, but that can be forgiven. The main character and his wife are likable enough. The author managed to throw me off at least once in the course of reading it. Overall, I’m very pleased with Floating Staircase. I will definitely be reading more of Ronald Malfi in the future. I would recommend his books for people who travel a lot. They definitely entertain you, but don’t require any real brain power to get absorbed in them. His ability to craft atmosphere is excellent, and his characters are easily visualized in your mind’s eye.