Terrifying page-turners: 4 books for fans of creepy fiction

31 October 2019 - 15:09 By AFP Relaxnews
Fiction that'll frighten you.
Fiction that'll frighten you.
Image: 123RF/ liwei12

While you can read horror novels at any time of the year, there is a uniquely satisfying thrill about immersing yourself in a world of spookiness and mystery during the Halloween season.

Here is a selection of spine-chilling books to read for Halloween ... if you dare.

'The Twisted Ones' by T. Kingfisher (2019).
'The Twisted Ones' by T. Kingfisher (2019).
Image: Saga Press

1. THE TWISTED ONES

by T. Kingfisher (Saga Press)

For her debut on the horror scene, T. Kingfisher has chosen to title her latest novel after a chilling quote from Welsh fantasist Arthur Machen's The White People, often regarded as one of the greatest horror tales ever written.

"Then I made faces like the faces on the rocks, and I twisted myself about like the twisted ones, and I lay down flat on the ground like the dead ones," the short story reads.

Just like in Machen's story, the plot of The Twisted Ones centres on a notebook. Melissa, who goes by the nickname Mouse, travels to North Carolina to clear out her late grandmother's home when she encounters her step-grandfather's journal.

As she reads deeper into the notebook, a long-hidden secret begins to unfold and Mouse finds herself encountering the terrifying creatures from the wood described in the diary.

'A Lush and Seething Hell: Two Tales of Cosmic Horror' by John Hornor Jacobs (2019).
'A Lush and Seething Hell: Two Tales of Cosmic Horror' by John Hornor Jacobs (2019).
Image: Harper Voyager

2. A LUSH AND SEETHING HELL: TWO TALES OF COSMIC HORROR

by John Hornor Jacobs (Harper Voyager)

The master of cosmic horror returns with the collection A Lush and Seething Hell, which examines the violence of the human condition in two equally chilling novellas.

My Heart Struck Sorrow follows music archivist Cromwell and his assistant Harriet as they travel to the American South to gather the field recordings of Harlan Parker, a recently deceased ethnomusicologist.

They encounter a secret stash of recordings and writings related to the real-life song Stagger Lee, which might contain the voice of the Devil himself.

The critically-acclaimed The Sea Dreams It Is the Sky takes readers further South, more precisely to the fictional and fascist-led South American country of Magera.

This novella follows the story of two Mageran exiles in Spain, namely Rafael Avendaño and Isabel, whose lives will become intertwined.

When Avendaño mysteriously returns to their home country, Isabel finds his journal which details his failed attempts to translate the maddening "Opusculus Noctis."

'Wanderers' by Chuck Wendig (2019).
'Wanderers' by Chuck Wendig (2019).
Image: Del Rey

3. WANDERERS 

by Chuck Wendig (Del Rey)

In Wanderers, The New York Times bestselling author Chuck Wendig explores the terrifying lengths society will go to repress a new and inexplicable phenomenon.

The dystopian novel tells the story of Shana as she wakes up one morning to discover her little sister, Nessie, in the grip of a mysterious disease, which pushes her to sleepwalk to an unknown destination.

Others in a similar state soon join Nessie on the road, prompting governmental agencies and scientists to investigate what is happening to the flock of "wanderers."

As the flock keeps walking, the country descends into mayhem and extreme violence fed by bigotry and fear of the unknown.

"They had no idea what this was, where it began, or what it could do. And thus the true danger of a brand-new pandemic became overwhelmingly clear: Act too slow, it could take over," Wendig writes in the novel.

'Tinfoil Butterfly' by Rachel Eve Moulton (2019).
'Tinfoil Butterfly' by Rachel Eve Moulton (2019).
Image: MCD x FSG Originals

4. TINFOIL BUTTERFLY

by Rachel Eve Moulton (MCD x FSG Originals)

For her debut novel, Australian novelist Rachel Eve Moulton questions the nature of evil.

Tinfoil Butterfly follows Emma as she hitchhikes her way to the Badlands to escape her troubled past.

She is traveling in a van with a seemingly inoffensive man, Lowell, who is in search of his ex-wife and their child.

When Lowell tries to kidnap her, Emma runs away with his gun and the van, leaving him bleeding from a bullet wound in the middle of the Badlands.

As the van runs out of gas, she finds herself stranded in a mostly abandoned community in the Black Hills of South Dakota. She soon meets a young boy wearing a tinfoil mask, Earl, who shares a past as dark as hers.


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