Dark Lullaby by Mayra Calvani. Whiskey Creek Press, 2007
The next time you feel like curling up with a scary book, get a copy of author Mayra Calvani's Dark Lullaby, a riveting page turner that will keep you reading straight through until the end. The story begins in Baltimore where Puerto Rican born Gabriel Diaz meets the lovely young woman Kamilah. His friend Liz is with him when Kamilah, overhearing the two discussing the philosophy of good and evil, invites herself to join them. Liz immediately feels there is something eerie, even frightening about this stranger and quickly excuses herself. Gabriel, however, seems completely oblivious. Very soon she has his undivided attention. Kamilah tells Gabriel that both good and evil exist equally in the world and that both are part of God's plan. Gabriel finds this lovely lady fascinating although he thought her philosophy rather superstitious unlike his own realistic ideas.
Tension builds as Kamilah works her way into Gabriel's life. They spend almost every moment together, and it is then that his nightmares begin. A part of him suspects a connection to the new woman in his life, but ultimately his attraction to her pushes his concerns aside. In his apartment are photos of his twin sister Elena who is expecting a baby in a few weeks. He is anxious about Elena because her first child died soon after birth. Gabriel is very close to his sister and has promised to be with her when this child is born. Kamilah finds this admirable and wants to hear everything about Elena and her efforts to have a healthy baby. But first the exotic beauty convinces Gabriel that he has time to come with her to her family's small cottage in a beautiful, somewhat desolate area of northern Turkey. Just for a week, she says. Gabriel agrees then quickly regrets this decision. His nightmares worsen. He hears sounds of frightened children in the forest, and sees grotesque faces of babies in the bark of trees. All too quickly the nightmares become reality.
Dark Lullaby is a must read for those who enjoy novels of horror. Calvani keeps the tension tight throughout this gripping novel.