The weather’s getting chilly, the nights are starting early, and the lamps illuminate only the most insignificant portions of the streets. All signs point to summer ending and fall beginning, which means the grandest and most imaginative holiday of all is upon us. Finally, it’s time to frighten friends and family with scary pranks and to dress up as witches, ghosts, and monsters to embrace the Halloween spirit. But the best part lies in the chilling stories we get to share, and what better way to start off the month than by bringing forth some of the must reads for this Halloween? All of these books have been released this year.
I . The Cabin at the End of the World by Paul G. Tremblay (Horror Fiction)
Both a Horror Fiction and LGBT book, this brings you onto an emotional rollercoaster from beginning to end. This book’s movie-like storytelling and scenery will keep you buckled-in for the twists and turns that await you at the end of the world.
Synopsis: Seven-year-old Wen and her parents, Eric and Andrew, are vacationing at a remote cabin on a quiet New Hampshire lake. Their closest neighbors are more than two miles in either direction along a rutted dirt road.
One afternoon, as Wen catches grasshoppers in the front yard, a stranger unexpectedly appears in the driveway. Leonard is the largest man Wen has ever seen but he is young, friendly, and he wins her over almost instantly. Leonard and Wen talk and play until Leonard abruptly apologizes and tells Wen, “None of what’s going to happen is your fault”. Three more strangers then arrive at the cabin carrying unidentifiable, menacing objects. As Wen sprints inside to warn her parents, Leonard calls out: “Your dads won’t want to let us in, Wen. But they have to. We need your help to save the world.”
Thus begins an unbearably tense, gripping tale of paranoia, sacrifice, apocalypse, and survival that escalates to a shattering conclusion, one in which the fate of a loving family and quite possibly all of humanity are entwined. The Cabin at the End of the World is a masterpiece of terror and suspense from the fantastically fertile imagination of Paul Tremblay.
2. The Outsider by Stephen King (Crime Fiction/Horror Fiction)
Stephen King returns with another compelling and gripping story filled with shock and suspense. The Outsider will have you at the edge of your seat, second guessing everything that you know. This crime and horror fiction will have readers questioning if they know people as much as they think they do.
Synopsis: An eleven-year-old boy’s violated corpse is found in a town park. Eyewitnesses and fingerprints point unmistakably to one of Flint City’s most popular citizens. He is Terry Maitland, Little League coach, English teacher, husband, and father of two girls. Detective Ralph Anderson, whose son Maitland once coached, orders a quick and very public arrest. Maitland has an alibi, but Anderson and the district attorney soon add DNA evidence to go with the fingerprints and witnesses. Their case seems ironclad.
As the investigation expands and horrifying answers begin to emerge, King’s propulsive story kicks into high gear, generating strong tension and almost unbearable suspense. Terry Maitland seems like a nice guy, but is he wearing another face? When the answer comes, it will shock you as only Stephen King can.
3. Apart in the Dark: Novellas by Ania Ahlborn (Ghost story, Thriller, Horror Fiction, Suspense, Psychological Fiction, Domestic Fiction)
Ania Ahlborn brings us two books in one, both surrounded by suspense, dread and mystery. From the first page, you’ll be caught by chills and dread. A perfect book for those who love ghost stories.
Story 1: THE PRETTY ONES
New York, 1977. The sweltering height of the Summer of Sam. The entire city is gripped with fear, but all Nell Sullivan worries about is whether or not she’ll ever make a friend. The self-proclaimed
“Plain Jane” does her best to fit in with the girls at work, but Nell’s brother, Barrett, assures her that she’ll never be like them. When Nell manages to finally garner some much-yearned-for attention, the unthinkable happens to her newfound friend. The office pool blames Son of Sam, but Nell knows the awful truth. . .because doing the devil’s work is easy when there’s already a serial killer on the loose.
Story 2: I CALL UPON THEE
Maggie Olsen had a pretty ordinary childhood—swimming and sleepovers, movie nights and dad jokes. And then there were the other things. . .the darker things. . .the shadow that followed her home from the cemetery and settled into the corners of her home, refusing to let her grow up in peace. Now, after three years away from the place she’s convinced she inadvertently haunted, and after yet another family tragedy strikes, Maggie is forced to return to the sweltering heat of a Savannah summer to come to terms with her past. All along, she’s been telling herself, it was just in your head, and she nearly convinces herself that she’d imagined it all. But the moment Maggie steps into the foyer of her family home, she knows. The darkness is still here. And it’s been waiting for Maggie’s return. . .
4. Thirty-Seven by Peter Stenson (Horror Fiction, Psychological Fiction, Dystopian Fiction)
If you loved the Maze Runner books by James Dashner, then you’ll fall in love with this. Peter Stenson is back with his second book, captivating and capturing readers within a Dystopian world of horror. The crisp, shocking language
Synopsis: The Survivors, their members known only by the order in which they joined, live alone in a rural Colorado mansion. They believe that sickness bears honesty, and that honesty bears change. Fueled by the ritualized Cytoxan treatments that leave them on the verge of death, they instigate the Day of Gifts, a day that spells shocking violence and the group’s demise.
5. Hallowed Ground by Justin Fulkerson (Horror, Paranormal, Mystery)
Justin Fulkerson returns just in time for Halloween with a story of intertwining fates. The lives of three people show the struggles of survival and acceptance in an apocalyptic world full of mystery. Every
character pulls the reader deeper into the story, making it harder for you to stay grounded.
Synopsis: Donald Bristo served his country for eight years and PTSD is all he has to show for his service.
But, when a zombie outbreak occurs, Donald must go into survival mode and rescue Sister Mary Frances and her young nun in training, Christine.
Taking them to family hunting cabin in the woods, he prepares to teach them the skills they will need to survive while battling his own demons.
As the women face an uncertain future, they must also come to terms with their pasts. Christine begins to doubt Donald’s integrity and Sister Mary Frances finds herself questioning her faith because of the feelings she has for Donald.
6. The Woman in the Window by A J Finn (Fiction, Thriller, Suspense, Psychological thriller)
If you haven’t read the sample released first in 2017, then you’re missing out. A.J. Finn makes his debut with this international best-selling Hitchcockian thriller that’s earned the #1 best-seller spot in the New York Times. Take a peek through the blinds, if you dare.
Synopsis: It isn’t paranoia if it’s really happening . . .
Anna Fox lives alone—a recluse in her New York City home, unable to venture outside. She spends her day drinking wine (maybe too much), watching old movies, recalling happier times . . . and spying on her neighbors.
Then the Russells move into the house across the way: a father, a mother, their teenage son. The perfect family. But when Anna, gazing out her window one night, sees something she shouldn’t, her world begins to crumble—and its shocking secrets are laid bare.
What is real? What is imagined? Who is in danger? Who is in control? In this diabolically gripping thriller, no one—and nothing—is what it seems.
7. The Perfect Mother: A Novel by Aimee Molloy (Thriller, Suspense, Psychological thriller, Psychological Fiction)
If you enjoyed reading books like Gone Girl and Girl on a Train, then you’ll love this. Aimee Molloy brings us a bestseller full of suspense and twists at every turn. Are you ready unravel a real mystery?
Synopsis: A night out. A few hours of fun. That’s all it was meant to be.
They call themselves the May Mothers—a group of new moms whose babies were born in the same month. Twice a week, they get together in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park for some much-needed adult time.
When the women go out for drinks at the hip neighborhood bar, they want a fun break from their daily routine. But on this hot Fourth of July night, something goes terrifyingly wrong: one of the babies is taken from his crib. Winnie, a single mom, was reluctant to leave six-week-old Midas with a babysitter, but her fellow May Mothers insisted everything would be fine. Now he is missing. What follows is a heart-pounding race to find Midas, during which secrets are exposed, marriages are tested, and friendships are destroyed.
8. The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware (Thriller, Mystery, Suspense, Psychological thriller)
Ruth Ware is back with her 4th book after In a Dark, Dark Wood, The Woman in Cabin 10, and The Lying Game. A read similar to that of Agatha Christie, Ware tells a confusing, yet intriguing story of suspense and mystery that’ll keep you eager to see where greed will take you.
Synopsis: On a day that begins like any other, Hal receives a mysterious letter bequeathing her a substantial inheritance. She realizes very quickly that the letter was sent to the wrong person—but also that the cold-reading skills she’s honed as a tarot card reader might help her claim the money.
Soon, Hal finds herself at the funeral of the deceased. . .where it dawns on her that there is something very, very wrong about this strange situation and the inheritance at the center of it.
Full of spellbinding menace and told in Ruth Ware’s signature suspenseful style, this is an unputdownable thriller from the Agatha Christie of our time.
9. Bring Me Back: A Novel by B A Paris (Thriller, Suspense, Psychological thriller, Psychological Fiction)
New York Times Bestselling author B.A. Paris returns with a breathtaking thriller that you won’t be able to get away from. From the first page, you’ll be taken by suspense and suspicion that ramps up the farther you read. Who can you really trust?
Synopsis: She went missing. He moved on. A whole world of secrets remained—until now.
Finn and Layla are young, in love, and on vacation. They’re driving along the highway when Finn decides to stop at a service station to use the restroom. He hops out of the car, locks the doors behind him, and goes inside. When he returns Layla is gone—never to be seen again. That is the story Finn told to the police. But it is not the whole story.
Ten years later Finn is engaged to Layla’s sister, Ellen. Their shared grief over what happened to Layla drew them close and now they intend to remain together. Still, there’s something about Ellen that Finn has never fully understood. His heart wants to believe that she is the one for him. . .even though a sixth sense tells him not to trust her.
Then, not long before he and Ellen are to be married, Finn gets a phone call. Someone from his past has seen Layla—hiding in plain sight. There are other odd occurrences: Long-lost items from Layla’s past that keep turning up around Finn and Ellen’s house. Emails from strangers who seem to know too much. Secret messages, clues, warnings. If Layla is alive—and on Finn’s trail—what does she want? And how much does she know?
10. The Fallen by David Baldacci (Thriller, Mystery, Suspense, Adventure Fiction)
David Baldacci is back with the 4th book in the Memory Man series. This thriller gets more and more intense as you take steps to reach the truth. The heavy descriptions will have you sweating with suspense at every page-turn.
Synopsis: Something sinister is going on in Baronville. The rust belt town has seen four bizarre murders in the space of two weeks. Cryptic clues left at the scenes–obscure bible verses, odd symbols—have the police stumped.
Amos Decker and his FBI colleague Alex Jamison are in Baronville visiting Alex’s sister and her family. It’s a bleak place: a former mill and mining town with a crumbling economy and rampant opioid addiction. Decker has only been there a few hours when he stumbles on a horrific double murder scene.
Then the next killing hits sickeningly close to home. And with the lives of people he cares about suddenly hanging in the balance, Decker begins to realize that the recent string of deaths may be only one small piece of a much larger scheme—with consequences that will reach far beyond Baronville.
Decker, with his singular talents, may be the only one who can crack this bizarre case. Only this time—when one mistake could cost him everything–Decker finds that his previously infallible memory may not be so trustworthy after all. . .