By LINDY RYAN
September is here, and it’s officially Spooky Season! As we head toward the end of the year, bookshelves are brimming with new horror releases – from hauntings to Lovecraftian horror, poetry to satire, there’s a dark new tome for every reader. Check out my top picks to kick off this year’s Halloween season.
THE SEPTEMBER HOUSE by Carissa Orlando (5 September 2023, Berkley)
A dream home becomes a nightmare, but the new owner isn’t leaving in this fresh take on haunted house stories. Here, the walls drip blood in September, but the ghosts haunting the new residents’ home are every bit as fierce as the ones haunting their marriage.
NOT FOREVER, BUT FOR NOW by Chuck Palahniuk (5 September 2023, Simon & Schuster)This horror satire about a family of professional killers should be too bleak to be funny – but isn’t. Family legacy meets dismembered sex dolls in Palahniuk’s latest in which two privileged young brothers prepare to take over the family business.
NO CHILD OF MINE by Nichelle Giraldes (12 September 2023, Poisoned Pen Press)
Motherhood becomes a nightmare when a woman discovers she’s pregnant and that a generational curse threatens her soon-to-be family. Equal parts ghost story and cautionary tale make this new novel ripe for the taking.
DESPATCHES by Lee Murray (15 September 2023, PS Publishing)
A war correspondent is off to report on the Allied campaign – until he learns it isn’t just the Ottoman who wish to reclaim the land. Slippery truths reveal themselves in this Lovecraftian-inspired cosmic horror novella set on the Dardanelles Peninsula during the Great War.
WHAT KIND OF MOTHER by Clay McLeod Chapman (12 September 2023, Quirk Books)
Southern Gothic gets salty when a former teen mom returns to her hometown, scrapes out a living as a would-be palm reader and finds herself ensnared in a net of disturbing visions of a drowned boy. Domestic suspense meets supernatural horror in this haunting exploration of parental grief.
BLACK SHEEP by Rachel Harrison (19 September 2023, Berkley)
Old horrors make for new nightmares when an estranged daughter discovers there are more than just skeletons lurking in the shadows in her family’s closet. Cynical yet endearing, Harrison’s latest is a whole new type of generational horror – plus a cult!
ON THE SUBJECT OF BLACKBERRIES by Stephanie M. Wytovich (21 September 2023, Rawdog Screaming Press)
Wytovich is synonymous with dark poetry, and her latest, inspired by Shirley Jackson’s We Have Always Lived in the Castle, is (once again) brutal and beautiful. Mediations on female rage, pregnancy and postpartum depression and soul exhaustion make this collection deeply personal and deeply resonant, highlighting the violence and poignancy of childbirth.
FIND HIM WHERE YOU LEFT HIM DEAD by Kristen Simmons (26 September 2023, Tor Teen)
Four years, five teens and a game form the prongs of this Japanese-inspired breakout about a group of estranged friends playing a deadly game in which few survive. A fresh take or a dash of Jumanji-esque nostalgia awaits in this hellscape.
Hungry for more creepy FANGirl content? Check out Lindy’s RUE MORGUE exclusive interview with Rachel Harrison, author of this month’s new release Black Sheep.