"The monster was the best friend I ever had."
~ Boris Karloff (1887-1969), English actor
Let Me Tell You: New Stories, Essays, and Other Writings by Shirley JacksonShirley Jackson (1916-1965), author of "The Lottery," The Haunting of Hill House, and We Have Always Lived in the Castle, wrote some of the eeriest fiction ever published. The short stories in this posthumous collection include "Paranoia," a tale about a man who is (or maybe isn't) being followed; a supernatural story, "The Man in the Woods;" and an early short story titled "Sorcerer's Apprentice." In addition, there are essays and lectures that offer insight into her personal views and her inventive, dark imagination. This new compilation will delight both longtime Jackson fans and readers not already familiar with her work.
World War Moo: An Apocalypse Cow Novel by Michael LoganIn World War Moo, the zombie cows that first appeared in author Michael Logan's Apocalypse Cow are still undead -- and the infection is spreading to human beings. Though the problem remains confined to Britain, the rest of the world is considering ways to protect itself, including wiping out the island and all its inhabitants. Meanwhile, the characters that attempted to stem the contamination in the first book regroup and consider new strategies. The tale features inexorable, fast-paced action and witty commentary on contemporary society. Will readers die of fright, or die laughing?
The Devil's Bag Man by Adam MansbachIn author Adam Mansbach's The Dead Run, protagonist Jess Galvan escaped from jail by absorbing the soul of a 500-year-old Aztec demon, El Cucuy. Now, in The Devil's Bag Man, Galvan has El Cucuy in his head, competing with Galvan's own thoughts and intentions. While Galvan keeps the demon quiet by focusing on killing bad guys, El Cucuy's lieutenant is trying to maintain their illegal drug trade. Replete with diabolical possession and gore, this intense and violent novel will keep some horror aficionados riveted, though the profanity and mayhem aren't for everyone.
The Night Sister: A Novel by Jennifer McMahonMoving between the present, 1989, and the 1950s, this creepy tale, which revolves around a derelict former motel, explores broken friendships and a decades-old unexplained disappearance. Sisters Margot and Piper receive news in the present that their childhood friend Amy has been arrested for a gruesome crime. Their certainty that she couldn't have done it leads them back to the motel and further into the past, when Amy's mother and aunt were growing up. Though author Jennifer McMahon employs a classic multigenerational mystery plot in The Night Sister, it's also a chronicle of dread with an additional element of the supernatural. Horror fans shouldn't skip this one.
The Devil's Only Friend by Dan WellsIn The Devil's Only Friend, 17-year-old series protagonist John Wayne Cleaver is employed as a monster killer in his 4th outing. John is by nature a serial murderer, but he applies a great deal of ingenuity and self discipline to keep himself from killing human beings. He's now working for the government; however, the demons he's stalking have discovered who he is and are out to get him and his team. Fans of the series (which begins with I Am Not a Serial Killer) will be pleased with this frightening but engaging tale. Those new to John's adventures can start here or at the beginning.
Broken Monsters by Lauren BeukesAn unusually gruesome series of murders has Detroit homicide detective Gabriella Versado puzzled -- and revolted -- by the human corpses found fused with parts of other animals. As Gabi and her team investigate these crimes, other characters face their own challenges, which gradually weave together into one intricate plot that includes the unthinkably desecrated bodies, sculptor Clayton Broom's horrific nightmares, and the aspirations of three other people. The atmosphere of doubt against a background of hope adds tension to this tale of terror, which Booklist says combines the techniques and styles of Peter Straub and Karin Slaughter.
The Devil in Silver: A Novel by Victor LaValleIn The Devil in Silver, a big, violent troublemaker named Pepper finds himself locked up in a mental hospital reminiscent of the one in Ken Kesey's One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest, and the court hearing Pepper's supposed to receive within 72 hours keeps being delayed. But judicial bureaucracy and the human foibles of the hospital's staff are the least of Pepper's worries. Behind a silver door lurks the Devil himself, and he comes out to attack patients -- until Pepper and the inmates get organized and fight back. Library Journal calls author Victor LaValle's novel "exciting, insightful, tragic, and hopeful in equal proportion."
The Wolf Gift: A Novel by Anne RiceCan a werewolf be a superhero whose aim is to rescue victims and do away with their assailants? In author Anne Rice's The Wolf Gift, the answer is "Yes." Recovering from serious wounds received in a home invasion, San Francisco reporter Reuben Golding discovers his hair has grown thicker, his hearing sharper, and his sense of smell keener. Released from the hospital, he uses his new powers for good -- unlike traditionally malevolent werewolves. In her Wolf Gift Chronicles, Rice explores the eternal confrontation between good and evil in fresh ways while updating the horror tradition of shapeshifters. This is the 1st in the series, followed by The Wolves of Midwinter.
The Abominable by Dan SimmonsAuthor Dan Simmons' The Abominable expertly mixes elements of horror, espionage, and historical fiction. It takes place in 1925 as four climbers attempt to recover the body of missing adventurer Lord Bromley in the wake of his disappearance (and that of historical mountaineer George Mallory) near Everest's summit the year before. To say more might give away too much, but rest assured that the chill you'll feel is as much due to the machinations of the plot and the possibility of supernatural monsters as it is to the incredibly detailed world of snow and ice-bound exploration that Simmons describes.
John Dies at the End by David WongDavid Wong, aka humorist and Cracked.com editor Jason Pargin, is well known for his tense but witty John Dies at the End, the basis for the 2012 film of the same name. In this inventive, action-packed novel, a mysterious, deadly monster intrudes into the lives of David Wong (the fictional narrator) and his friend John, via a mysterious substance they call "Soy Sauce." Absurd, hilarious situations lead to horrific consequences in this cross between a road trip novel and a mystery thriller. Be ready for a wild ride, and if you want even more, read the sequel, This Book Is Full of Spiders.
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