A couple of years ago I put together a list of my go-to scary books. You can find it here.
Now, after nearly two years of reading novel after novel about haunted houses, monsters, psychopaths, vampires, and grim grinning ghosts, I have some new favorites to add to the list.
This time, I think the sequel is just as good as the first one. If not better. It’s the…um…uh…Scream 2 of suggested creepy reads?
Not all of these are straight-up horror novels. Actually, I’d say only two of them are–The Caretaker of Lorne Field and N0S4A2. The rest are suspenseful, creepy, dark, sometimes disturbing…but not quite horror. I’ve reviewed a couple of them for the blog–if you click the title it will take you to the relevant post. The others link to the book’s Shelfari page. Enjoy!
Marie’s Favorite Scary Books, Part II: The Bloodening
The Caretaker of Lorne Field by Dave Zeltserman
Jack Durkin is the ninth generation of Durkins who have weeded Lorne Field for nearly 300 years. Though he and his wife Lydia are miserable and would like nothing more than to leave, Jack must wait until his son has come of age to tend the field on his own. It’s an important job–if the field is left untended, a horrific monster called an Aukowie will grow-a monster capable of taking over the entirety of America in just two weeks. Of course, Jack is probably just crazy. Probably.
Rotters by Daniel Kraus
When Joey Crouch’s mother dies in a tragic accident, he is sent to rural Iowa to live with the father he has never known. His father is a strange, solitary man with unimaginable secrets. At first, Joey’s father wants nothing to do with him, but once father and son come to terms with each other, Joey’s life takes a turn both macabre and exhilarating.
I Am Not a Serial Killer by Dan Wells
John Wayne Cleaver is dangerous, and he knows it. He’s obsessed with serial killers, but really doesn’t want to become one. So for his own sake, and the safety of those around him, he lives by rigid rules he’s written for himself, practicing normal life as if it were a private religion that could save him from damnation.
The Asylum by John Harwood
Confused and disoriented, Georgina Ferrars awakens in a small room in Tregannon House, a private asylum in a remote corner of England. She has no memory of the past few weeks. The doctor, Maynard Straker, tells her that she admitted herself under the name Lucy Ashton the day before, then suffered a seizure. When she insists he has mistaken her for someone else, Dr. Straker sends a telegram to her uncle, who replies that Georgina Ferrars is at home with him in London: “Your patient must be an imposter.”
Night Film by Marisha Pessl
On a damp October night, beautiful young Ashley Cordova is found dead in an abandoned warehouse in lower Manhattan. Though her death is ruled a suicide, veteran investigative journalist Scott McGrath suspects otherwise. As he probes the strange circumstances surrounding Ashley’s life and death, McGrath comes face-to-face with the legacy of her father: the legendary, reclusive, cult-horror-film director Stanislas Cordova — a man who hasn’t been seen in public for more than thirty years.
Victoria McQueen has a secret gift for finding things: a misplaced bracelet, a missing photograph, answers to unanswerable questions. On her Raleigh Tuff Burner bike, she makes her way to a rickety covered bridge that, within moments, takes her wherever she needs to go, whether it’s across Massachusetts or across the country. Charles Talent Manx has a way with children. He likes to take them for rides in his 1938 Rolls-Royce Wraith with the NOS4A2 vanity plate. With his old car, he can slip right out of the everyday world, and onto the hidden roads that transport them to an astonishing – and terrifying – playground of amusements he calls “Christmasland.” Then, one day, Vic goes looking for trouble—and finds Manx. That was a lifetime ago. Now Vic, the only kid to ever escape Manx’s unmitigated evil, is all grown up and desperate to forget. But Charlie Manx never stopped thinking about Victoria McQueen. He’s on the road again and he’s picked up a new passenger: Vic’s own son.