So far I’ve been impressed with the calibre of horror novels released over the past twelve months, some from authors I’d never heard of before, and others from authors I already knew and loved. Below are a few of the highlights from my reading list this year.
Title: The Damned
Author: Andrew Pyper (The Demonologist)
What it’s about: From the age of sixteen, Detroitian Danny Orchard is haunted by his sociopathic twin sister, Ash, who was killed in the same fire that left Danny dead for several minutes. Recommended for anyone in the mood for a good ghost story.
Title: The Silence
Author: Tim Lebbon (Coldbrook)
What it’s about: A British family flee from a plague of primitive bat-like creatures that hunt by sound. To survive, they must learn to live in total silence. Recommended for fans of creature horror like Stephen King’s The Mist.
Title: The Dead Lands
Author: Benjamin Percy (Red Moon)
What it’s about: A postapocalyptic reimagining of Lewis and Clark’s famous expedition. Blends futuristic nuclear horrors with a Western-style quest. Arachnophobes might want to consider giving this one a miss.
Title: Day Four
Author: Sarah Lotz (The Three)
What it’s about: A loose sequel to last year’s air disaster-themed The Three, this time taking place on a doomed cruise ship that may or may not be haunted. Not a good choice of holiday read if you’re planning on travelling, especially by sea.
Title: A Head Full of Ghosts
Author: Paul Tremblay
What it’s about: After hitting hard times, the Barrett family follow the advice of their priest, allowing their troubled daughter, Majorie, to become the subject of an exorcism-themed reality show called The Possession. But is Marjorie really possessed? Or just mentally ill? Or is she telling the truth when she says she faked the whole thing? This book stayed with me long after I turned the last page. Recommended for fans of psychological horror like The Turn of the Screw.
Title: Dead Ringers
Author: Christopher Golden (Snowblind)
What it’s about: Sinister doppelgangers. Recommended for anyone with an interest in the occult or the Victorian era.
Last but not least, I’ll be finishing the year juggling between The Library at Mt Char by newcomer Scott Hawkins, the psychedelic haunted house story Slade House by David Mitchell, and the light-hearted but no less creepy Welcome to Night Vale by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor, based on their popular podcast of the same name.