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Saturday, August 6, 2022 | Books, Scary Reads


As the dog days of summer begin to wear thin and the first hints of fall creep into the air, prepare to layer on those soft fall textiles to guard against these upcoming autumn reads. From Southern Gothic to historical horror and fierce, feminine takes on classic monsters and tropes, consider cracking open one of these thrillers to chill you from the inside out. 

THE DEVIL TAKES YOU HOME by Gabino Iglesias (Mulholland, 02 August 2022)
Iglesias’s newest is chock full of vibrant culture and grisly terror as one man undertakes an odyssey to put an end to his suffering – one way or another. Brimming with noir sensibility and delightfully unapologetic, this book weaves a tangled path of terror that reminds readers there’s no one straight path to redemption. 


RIVER OF ASHES by Alexandrea Weis & Lucas Astor (Vesuvian Books, 02 August 2022)
Award-winning writing duo Weis and Astor are back with another cinematic, soapy, Southern Gothic that proves once again, things – and people – aren’t always what they seem, no matter how charming they appear. A handsome psychopath and long-held secrets unravel an idyllic river town as the authors prime readers for a twist ending in a series debut that hits close to home for anyone who grew up in the quaint South – and raises a warning flag for those who didn’t. 


RELUCTANT IMMORTALS by Gwendolyn Kiste (Gallery Books, 23 August 2022)
Three-time Bram Stoker Award-winning author Gwendolyn Kiste is back with a spellbinding gothic horror novel featuring two of horror history’s most notorious women: Dracula’s Lucy Westenra and Jane Eyre’s Bertha Rochester (née Mason), to finally give these two forgotten ladies the opportunity to rise from the ashes, tell their tragic truths and fling away the trappings of their tormentors. A shared sisterhood, an unlikely partnership and a fight for freedom set in the heyday of Los Angeles’ “summer of love,” this book slaps. 


SUBURBAN HELL by Maureen Kilmer (Putnam, 30 August 2022)
Maureen Kilmer’s horror debut is flat-out fun. Comedic horror set in suburbia, this delightful read has spirit, snark and one very sinister demon eager to wreak havoc on a pretty cul-de-sac tucked somewhere between Stepford and Castle Rock. A little digging pulls up a lot of dirt in this sassy read when four women unknowingly uproot an angry spirit in this clever mix of horror and women’s fiction that makes for a perfect pairing of summer cocktails and exorcisms. 


LUCKY GIRL by M. Rickert (Tordotcom, 13 September 2022)
M. Rickert hits all the gothic holiday haunting notes in slow-building dread, eerie ambiance, odd traditions and unsettling details that stem from a vaguely unreliable narrator. While one might hunger for a little more meat on the skeleton of this Ghost of Christmas past, the familiar imagery and atmospheric details give this quick, dark holiday ghost story enough substance to keep reading. 


DAPHNE by Josh Malerman (Del Rey, 20 September 2022)
In Josh Malerman’s (Bird Box)] latest, a ghost story shared amongst team members of a high school basketball team reignites old terrors when a name that’s not supposed to be spoken much less thought – suddenly becomes top of everyone’s mind, and every time the monster is thought of only brings her closer. A unique slasher story with a relatable subtext, DAPHNE will stick in your mind long after you’ve turned the final page.


MOTHERTHING by Ainslie Hogarth (Vintage Books, 27 September 2022)
Fierce and unexpected, this darkly comedic horror is an exploration of how we haunt ourselves and how we allow others to haunt us, especially those closest to us. A crass narrator and an unraveling plot, coupled with subtext on sensitive and relatable topics, bring a dose of reality to what is otherwise a delightfully unhinged romp through domestic hell.


GHOST EATERS by Clay McLeod Chapman (Quirk, 20 September 2022)
Gothic-punk. Graveyards. Ghosts. Clay McLeod Chapman twists addiction into its ultimate form in this thrill ride of ghosts, grief and god complexes explored through a Southern Gothic lens. Chapman draws on body horror and hauntings to toe the line between the psychological and the supernatural in this story of a grieving, directionless woman who uses a drug that allows her to see the dead. 


SUCH SHARP TEETH by Rachel Harrison (Berkley, 04 October 2022)
A girl in need of transformation, a step into oppressive darkness and a twist on the classic werewolf story (with a chaser of sweet romance) make Rachel Harrison’s newest a to-die-for read. This darkly comedic story is a brilliantly layered portrait of trauma, rage and vulnerability that gives the reader enough elements to cut their teeth while never deviating from the core horror of total self-acceptance – even when parts of you may be monstrous.


LITTLE EVE by Catriona Ward (Tor Nightfire, 11 October 2022)
Before The Last House on Needless Street (2021) and Sundial (2022), there was LITTLE EVE. Fans of Catriona Ward’s work have cause to celebrate, as her 2019 Shirley Jackson Award winner is finally coming to the US this fall. In this apocalyptic horror tale, a clan prepares to bring about the end of the world (and its rebirth). Unpredictable and oozing with the ambiance of 1920s coastal Scotland, LITTLE EVE is quintessential Ward. Grisly and confident, it will keep you guessing to the end.


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