Welcome to Deadland by Zachary Tyler LinvilleWhen a deadly virus is unleashed, the last few survivors become humanity's only hope. The symptoms include animalistic rage and a hunger for human flesh. But it is the group's own inner demons that must be overcome in order to save not only themselves but the last vestiges of humanity.
In a starred review, Publishers Weekly calls this debut "engaging, heartbreaking, and thrilling." Still can't get enough zombie goodness? Try One Second After by William Forstchen or The Strain by Guillermo del Toro
Stranded by Bracken MacLeodBadly battered by an apocalyptic storm, the crew of the Arctic Promise find themselves in increasingly dire circumstances as they sail blindly into unfamiliar waters and an ominously thickening fog. Without functioning navigation or communication equipment, they are lost and completely alone. One by one, the men fall prey to a mysterious illness.
Even the most intrepid horror fan should be in a warm, comfy, safe, and well-lit place while reading Stranded. If you make it through and want more, you should read The Terror by Dan Simmons.
I Am Providence: A Novel by Nick MamatasFor fans of legendary pulp author H. P. Lovecraft, there is nothing bigger than the Summer Tentacular convention. Colleen Danzig doesn't know what to expect when she arrives, but is unsettled to find that among the hobnobbing between scholars and literary critics are a group of real freaks: book collectors looking for volumes bound in human skin, and true believers claiming the power to summon the Elder God Cthulhu, one of their idol's most horrific fictional creations, before the weekend is out.
If you don't mind switching from horror to science fiction, you might also try Sharyn McCrumb's classic mysteries, Bimbos of the Death Sun and Zombies of the Gene Pool.
The Family Plot: A Novel by Cherie PriestAn old mansion near Chattanooga, TN, contains a goldmine of salvageable items. Music City Salvage's owner Chuck Dutton pays $40,000 for the right to strip the entire property, and puts his daughter in charge of the project. But soon they find human remains in a supposedly fake cemetery, the house's owner disappears, and the mansion displays signs that it has a will of its own -- an unfriendly one.
Library Journal's starred review calls this contemporary haunted house tale an "irresistible mix of horror and home improvement." If you like this, move on to Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill.
Mirror Image by Michael Scott and Melanie Ruth RoseLos Angeles antiques dealer Jonathan Frazer thinks he's gotten the deal of the millennium when he buys a huge, centuries-old mirror, but he thinks again when three of his employees die while restoring the piece. Then it starts showing him images of them and other dead people, and he realizes that it's up to him to free their souls.
This darkly fantastic novel features gory sexual violence as well as other supernatural occurrences. Horror fans who don't mind the explicitly erotic aspects will appreciate the compelling writing and twisty plot. If this is your flavor, read Lullaby by Chuck Palahniuk.
Roosevelt's Beast: A Novel by Louis BayardRoosevelt's Beast is a story of the impossible things that become possible when civilization is miles away, when the mind plays tricks on itself, and when old family secrets refuse to stay buried. With his characteristically rich storytelling and a touch of old-fashioned horror, the bestselling and critically acclaimed Louis Bayard turns the story of the well-known Roosevelt-Rondon expedition on its head and dares to ask: Are the beasts among us more frightening than the beasts within?
If you enjoy horror tales that unfold in the context of already thrilling adventures, you might also try Dan Simmons' The Abominable.
Dead and Alive by Dean KoontzAs a devastating hurricane approaches, as the benighted creations of Victor Helios begin to spin out of control, as New Orleans descends into chaos and the future of humanity hangs in the balance, the only hope rests with Victor's first, failed attempt to build the perfect human.
Though thoroughly science-fictional, Dead and Alive is also terrifying. You may want to start with book 1, Prodigal Son; the series continues through book 5, The Dead Town.
Hemlock Grove: A Novel by Brian McGreevyThe body of a young girl is found mangled and murdered in the woods of Hemlock Grove, Pennsylvania, in the shadow of the abandoned Godfrey Steel mill. A manhunt ensues--though the authorities aren't sure if it's a man they should be looking for.
Booklist praises McGreevy's skill at keeping the horror just vague enough "to make it genuinely unnerving." This one is definitely a must read for fans of The Wolfman by Nicholas Pekearo.
Nocturnal: A Novel by Scott SiglerExperiencing vivid dreams about serial murders taking place in San Francisco, homicide detective Bryan Clauser fears he is losing his sanity and discovers a link between the victims and a young boy who is gripped by the same nightmares.
If you loved this and Nightmare on Elm Street and want more scary dreams, follow up with The Night Clock by Paul Meloy.
Chimera: A Jim Chapel Mission by David WellingtonA small band of fugitives escapes from a secret upstate New York military facility, leaving a trail of bodies in its wake. Each fugitive has a target--an innocent civilian--and will not stop until that target has been eliminated.
Fans of fast-paced science fiction/horror blends will want to try The Experiment by John Darnton.