Jackal by Erin E. AdamsHomecoming: Liz Rocher, a Black woman who grew up in a small, predominantly white Pennsylvania town, returns for her best friend's wedding. When the bride's daughter disappears from the reception, Liz investigates, uncovering a pattern of Black girls going missing.
For fans of: atmospheric crime-horror combos that examine social issues like class and race and don't shy away from violence.
Reviewers say: "masterful and emotionally wrenching" (Publishers Weekly); "chilling and memorable" (Library Journal).
Leech by Hiron EnnesWhat it is: a gothic and surreal blend of body horror and post-apocalyptic science fiction.
The premise: When a secluded chateau's physician mysteriously dies, a doctor from the Interprovincial Medical Institute is sent to replace him and investigate the circumstances surrounding his demise.
The catch: The Institute doctor is part of a parasitic hivemind whose evolutionary advantage is jeopardized by his findings.
House of Hunger by Alexis HendersonWhat it is: a fast-paced and atmospheric vampire novel that centers on the complicated cat-and-mouse relationship between a bloodsucking noble and her paramour.
Starring: impoverished Marion Shaw, who accepts a position in the famed House of Hunger as bloodmaid to the elusive Countess Lisavet. But not all is as it seems in the countess' decadent court...
Try this next: A Dowry of Blood by S.T. Gibson.
Little Eve by Catriona WardHow it begins: Dinah's sister Evelyn commits a ritualistic murder of their entire family in the 1921 Scottish Highlands and disappears.
What happens next: Narrated in dual timelines (by Dinah in 1921 and Evelyn in 1917), this twisty, atmospheric homage to We Have Always Lived in the Castle slowly reveals the disturbing sequence of events that led to the brutal slaying.
Book buzz: Previously published in the United Kingdom in 2018, Little Eve won the Shirley Jackson Award for Best Novel the same year.
Mary: An Awakening of Terror by Nat CassidyWhat it's about: Fired from her job at a New York City bookstore and plagued by nightmarish visions, unassuming middle-aged Mary Mudgett moves back home to Arizona in search of a fresh start.
But then...when Mary discovers her visions are tied to Damon Cross, a long-dead local serial killer, she investigates her possible connection to Cross' misdeeds while trying to stay one step ahead of the FBI -- and the dangerous cult that worships Cross.
Reviewers say: "It's as scary as it is smart" (Publishers Weekly).
Just Like Mother by Anne HeltzelWhat it's about: Decades after escaping the clutches of a matriarchal cult, Maeve reunites with her cousin Andrea, a fellow cult survivor who now runs a successful fertility wellness company.
Too good to be true? Though Maeve feels healed by the pair's reunion, Andrea's baby fever and unclear motivations disturb her -- and she begins to wonder if either of them ever truly escaped their dark past.
Read it for: a twisty, fast-paced blend of horror and thriller offering pointed commentary on motherhood and bodily autonomy.
Black Tide by K.C. JonesWhat it is: an action-packed alien invasion novel starring flawed but relatable characters whose one-night stand becomes a fight for survival against nightmarish otherworldly creatures.
For fans of: science fiction and cosmic horror, snarky narrators, Bird Box, and A Quiet Place.
Why you might like it: Screenwriter K.C. Jones' immersive debut offers a post-apocalyptic tale worthy of the big screen.
Jawbone by Mónica Ojeda; translated by Sarah BookerWhat it's about: At an elite Catholic girls' school in Ecuador, a manipulative clique led by "inseparables" Annelise and Fernanda engages in surreal misadventures while their anxious literature teacher devises her own sinister schemes.
Read it for: a seductive and menacing storyline; a pop culture-infused examination of classic horror tropes and creepypasta tales.
Try this next: For another horror novel with a destructive teenage friendship at its center, read Paul Tremblay's The Pallbearers Club.
Contact your librarian for more great books!
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