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Scary Books

October 14, 2014

It’s the spookiest time of year. Halloween is my favorite holiday and I thought I would take a little time to talk about scary books. I don’t actually read very much horror. I need a happy or relatively happy ending to make me ok at the end of a book, but every now and then, I like to read something that’s tense and disturbing. So, here are some of my favorite creepy books:

PatientZero1. Patient Zero by Jonathan Maberry
Weaponized. Zombie. Virus.
If that doesn’t scare you then… I’m not sure. You’re a strange person. Jonathan is one of my favorite authors and I’ve gone on, and on, and on about his books, so I won’t give a full recap here. But the short version is that terrorists have figured out how to manipulate prion diseases to create a zombie virus. Joe Ledger and the Department of Military Sciences are the only thing standing between them and their goal of wiping the US off the map.
Maberry writes incredibly compelling action scenes and very good suspense. There is a scene inside an old refrigeration plant that haunts my nightmares.
He also has a few books that are too spooky for me to read: Ghost Road Blues is the first book in the Pine Deep series. Those are about five steps too far for me, but if you like supernatural horror I highly recommend them.
(Trigger Warning: violence against women and children (most of whom are zombies))

serial killer2. The John Cleaver Series by Dan Wells
I’d say especially book 2, Mr. Monster. You’re already on creepy ground since your protagonist has all the hallmarks of a serial killer. Only his own resolve not to give into that side of himself keeps him from tipping over the edge. So, you’re never exactly safe with him. Next, John is fighting (minor spoiler) demons. Demons who manifest as… serial killers. He hunts that which he might become, but in order to do that he has to tap into the dangerous side of himself. It’s a very narrow line.
In Mr. Monster the demon kidnaps and murders women. There are some very, very disturbing scenes with the women he has captive. Do not read this one before bed.
((Trigger Warning: violence against women, violence against an animal))

mistress3. The Mistress of the Art of Death by Ariana Franklin
This book is actually not, in the strictest sense, speculative fiction. It could be considered a very minor alternate history, but I don’t think of it that way.
The book takes place during the reign of Henry II. Someone is murdering the children of Cambridge. The Jewish community has been blamed, as was often the case, and they have taken refuge in the Sheriff’s keep. While they are there no taxes are being collected from them, so Henry sends to the University of Salerno for a Master of the Art of Death, what would eventually become a pathologist.
Instead he gets Vesuvia Adelia Rachel Ortese Aguilar, a Mistress of the Art of Death. Adelia and her companions come to Cambridge where they must face off against a brutal madman. The writing is rich and wonderful, which makes the creepy and violent scenes that much more chilling.
((Trigger Warning: violence against children, violence against an animal))


What are your favorite creepy books?

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