The Upstairs House by Julia FineWhat it's about: Unable to finish her dissertation on Goodnight Moon author Margaret Wise Brown, delirious new mom Megan discovers that her upstairs neighbor appears to be the ghost of Brown herself, who's intent on settling unfinished business.
Read it for: an eerie supernatural allegory exploring the trials of new motherhood and postpartum depression.
Try this next: For more suspenseful books that tackle similar themes, read Little Darlings by Melanie Golding or The Need by Helen Phillips.
After the Rain by Nnedi Okorafor; adapted by John Jennings; illustrated by David Brame What it is: a gruesome graphic novel adaptation of Nnedi Okorafor's short story "On the Road."
Starring: Nigerian American Chioma, a Chicago cop who must embrace her heritage to best the menacing supernatural entity plaguing her family's Nigerian village.
Art alert: Bold colors, crowded panels, and an emphasis on facial expressions heighten the foreboding atmosphere of this evocative tale.
Children of Chicago by Cynthia PelayoHow it begins: Rookie Chicago detective Lauren Medina investigates a grizzly crime scene that is eerily reminiscent of her nine-year-old sister's murder years ago. Has the killer returned?
Why you might like it: This twisty reimagining of the Pied Piper folktale features a complex and unreliable narrator, breakneck pacing, and immersive worldbuilding that draws on Latinx history and culture.
Author alert: Poet and author Cynthia Pelayo is a two-time Bram Stoker Award nominee and a finalist for the International Latino Book Award.
The Memory Theater by Karin TidbeckWelcome to... the Gardens, a mystical universe where time stands still for the pleasure-seeking Masters, who subject their young servants to violent -- and deadly -- rituals.
A daring escape: Fleeing on the eve of his dismemberment, servant Thistle and his best friend Dora embark on a quest through time and space in a desperate bid for freedom.
Book buzz: This genre-blending latest from Swedish author Karin Tidbeck expands on the stories featured in Jagannath.
Bluebeard's First Wife by Ha Seong-nan; translated by Janet HongWhat it is: a disturbing and darkly humorous collection of 11 short stories exploring trauma, grief, and fraught relationship dynamics, penned by Korean author Ha Seong-nan (Flowers of Mold).
For fans of: stories that peel back the thin veneer of normalcy to expose the everyday horrors of the mundane, like Ottessa Moshfegh's Homesick for Another World.
Don't miss: the haunting "Star-Shaped Stain," about a woman visiting the site of an accident that killed her daughter one year earlier.
That Time of Year by Marie NDiaye; translated by Jordan StumpWhat it's about: While vacationing with his family in an isolated French village, Herman's wife and son mysteriously disappear.
What happens next: Herman's only hope of finding his loved ones is to ingratiate himself with the locals, whose cheerful indifference to his plight gradually reveals their unsettling motivations.
Reviewers say: "Part ghost story, part satiric horror, this gorgeously eerie book will keep you holding your breath even past the end" (Kirkus Reviews).
Hex by Thomas Olde Heuvelt; translated by Nancy Forest-FlierWhat it's about: Haunted by the spirit of 17th-century witch Katherine, the townsfolk of Black Spring, New York are doomed to isolation by strict government-imposed security measures and the machinations of Katherine herself.
Who it's for: Pitting ancient evil against modern tech, this tense and descriptive novel will appeal to fans of The Blair Witch Project.
Want a taste? "They're the faces of Black Spring. And when they try to smile, it looks like they're screaming."
Frankenstein in Baghdad by Ahmed Saadawi; translated by Jonathan WrightWhat it's about: In an effort to honor the dead in U.S.-occupied Baghdad, scavenger Hadi collects body parts from bombing victims, stitching them together to form a new body. But then the body disappears and begins wreaking terrifying vengeance upon the city.
Is it for you? If you like your horror to skew more literary, this visceral allegory offers a moving exploration of life in war-torn Iraq.
Awards buzz: Frankenstein in Baghdad is a Man Booker International Prize finalist and the winner of the International Prize for Arabic Fiction.
Fever Dream by Samanta Schweblin; translated by Megan McDowellWhat it is: a surreal, character-driven story of a young mother reflecting on her life and her fate as she dies slowly in a hospital bed.
Why you might like it: The unreliable narrator's tale is as compelling as it is disturbing, and features spare writing that serves to heighten its already menacing tone.
Book buzz: Fever Dream is the haunting debut novel from Man Booker International Prize-nominated Argentine author Samanta Schweblin.
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