As you can imagine, I get inundated with requests during the month of October from people who normally don't read horror but want to try something "creepy" for the haunting season.
These requests are tricky because while these readers make it clear that they do not want a lot of blood and gore, they are usually not too clear about anything else they want from their token annual horror book.
So below are three titles that I have had the best luck suggesting to a general adult audience who are looking for a "creepy" book to get into the Halloween spirit. The links go to a longer review by me for each title, but I have included a small sound bite book talk you can use to suggest these titles.
Slade House by David Mitchell is the most recently published novel reach "classic" haunted house status. Set over 5 Halloween weekends, spaced nine years apart, and told in 5 episodic bursts, this is a creepy tale of nefarious twins, but told through the eyes of their victims who are unknowingly summoned to the house. This is a great choice for fans of Gothic horror, atmospheric tales of dark corners, ghosts, and ghost stories.
The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon is a historical thriller about the bonds between mothers and daughter set "off the grid" in VT but told in two time frames, 1908 and the present. A mysterious death in the past is still literally and figuratively haunting the present. This is a great choice for fans of historical thrillers who want a little supernatural edge during this time of year.
The Caretaker of Lorne Field by Dave Zeltersman is a, short but intense and unsettling psychological suspense story of the 300 year line of Durkin mean whose lives are dedicated to pulling the weeds that grown in Lorne Field. Why? Because the weeds are vicious monsters, and if not weeded, they will grow to their full form, leave the ground, and destroy the world! Then again…they might just be weeds. The only way to know for sure is to stop taking care of the field. This is a great choice for all of your many fans of psychological suspense.
Library Journal Horror Review Column: January 2020 - 2020 brings with it more jobs for me and expanded horror coverage for all of you. Library Journal has hired me to provide a horror review column 4x a year...
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