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Horrific and Thrilling Reads!

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Horrific and Thrilling Reads for Fall.

Yes it’s almost Halloween. So perhaps you’re looking for a special book?

In the past several years John and I have had the pleasure of reading many thrilling and horrific books that we would like to share with you – just in case you’re in need of a recommendation for your fall reading list.

I have shown the books in four categories that hopefully will help you find some that may be of interest. I have included a “quick take” (a short description) with the cover, as well as the title and author’s name linking to our review post for the book for further information.


Descent ~ by Sandy DeLuca

A slowly intensifying and terrifying page turner that details a woman’s descent into abuse, addiction, and hell and/or insanity. It’s not a novel for the faint-of-heart.   


The Year of the Storm ~ by John Mantooth 

A complexly interwoven and otherworldly mystery that is also a dark coming-of-age story. It centers around the events leading up to several devastating tornados and a painful loss.


Night Pilgrims ~ by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro 

It’s a stand-alone historical fiction novel that has horror and romance elements with a vampire as the main character. Set in Egypt in the 1200s, the main character (Count Saint Germain assisting as a translator) and a group of European Christian pilgrims are searching for holy sites and relics in the African desert, in hopes of redemption or money.


Goldenland Past Dark ~ by Chandler Klang Smith

A sweet yet dark and mind-bending coming-of-age romance about a sensitive and small clown who is traveling with a circus during the 1960s.


Blood and Other Cravings ~ edited by Ellen Datlow

Not for just vampire lovers, this is another compelling and diverse collection of horror from some of the best in the genre, edited by Ellen Datlow. What’s great about these stories, is they are not all based upon traditional “fangy” blood suckers since the cravings and feedings in this book are not only about blood.


The Devil in Silver ~ by Victor Lavalle

In a Kafkaesque turn of event someone is submitted to a psychiatric unit who shouldn’t be. Just when you think things can’t get any worse, they do – in the dead of night patients are being attacked by some demonic creature which the staff might possibly be protecting.


The Island of Dr. Moreau ~ by H. G. Wells

A classic science fiction and horror mix that includes monsters created by the amoral Dr. Moreau.


Wood (a novella) ~ by Robert Dunbar

A metaphorical and darkly hilarious novella about an environmentally poisoned wood where a ravenous monster awakens.

Science fiction and Fantasy 


Eyes to See ~ by Joseph Nassise 

A very dark urban fantasy about a grieving father who gives up his natural eyesight in order to see things differently.



The Six Gun Tarot ~ by R. S. Belcher

A clever and entertaining mash-up of cowboy Western, mysticism, mythology, urban fantasy, and horror – all set on the edge of the Nevada desert in the late 1860s, in the weirdest little town you can hope to imagine.


Dark Companion ~ by Marta Acosta

A retelling of the gothic classic Jane Eyre – it’s a special young-adult novel featuring snippets of Victorian genre classics at the beginning of each chapter. It also spotlights significant and current issues present in young women’s lives – such as romance, self esteem, drug abuse, violence – all in a readable, atmospheric story with a different type of vampire, and a sweet mythic thread.


All Seeing Eye ~ by Rob Thurman

A dark, fast paced, paranormal novel that’s jam packed with action and snarky dialog. I am thinking it’s for fans of Dean Koontz (but with attitude).


The Kassa Gambit ~ by M.C. Planck

A couple of paranoid loners find themselves in a web of conspiracy in this science fiction thriller.


Dinosaur Thunder ~ by James F. David

Are you interested in dinosaurs, time travel, space travel, religious cults and strange “alien” species? All mixed together with a good dose of impending apocalypse? Then this book is for you.



Mystery and Thrillers

The Cove ~ by Ron Rash

A dark and tragic World War I historical fable that examines the role of superstition and patriotism gone awry within the rural Appalachian mountains.


The Whisperer ~ by Donato Carrisi

A translated Italian crime fiction novel, that’s another thrilling read for the fans of this popular and immerging genre. A very dark psychological read, with a paranormal element, which is not for the faint of heart, or stomach.


The Widows of Braxton County ~ by Jess McConkey

A women’s thriller with a slight paranormal bent that includes domestic abuse and family secrets as major themes.


The Alienist ~ by Caleb Carr

An excellent psychological thriller that is woven around many real-life people and events. A terrifying serial killer is stalking a very realistic 1896 New York City – and the only way to catch him is to create a new science of psychological profiling. Imagine Silence of the Lambs set in a time before computers and automobiles, when psychology is mostly regarded as “gobbledygook”.



Who Was Dracula? ~ by Jim Steinmeyer

A historical telling of how Bram Stoker’s 100 year old cultural icon – Dracula – was created and became the character that holds awe even today. This book goes into some of the significant happenings going on around the creation of the novel Dracula.


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