This summer I’ll be doing something I’ve been meaning to do for a long time… I want to recognize some great books in the horror fiction field. I also want to find some new books I might’ve missed myself, so…
Two men argue in the low light of one of nineteenth-century New York’s vilest bars. One is an aristocrat, clearly slumming, while the other, in appearance no better than the gutter-trash around him, is the finest author of his age. The wealthy man is Hudson Usher, come to berate Edgar Allen Poe for using Usher’s family history as fodder for his most famous story. The house of Usher has not fallen, Hudson boasts. It will endure into the centuries.
One hundred and fifty years later, the Usher line persists. The newest heir is Rix Usher, a hack horror writer whose ailing father has just called him back to the family’s North Carolina estate. To become the new Usher patriarch, Rix must confront a Gothic mystery more twisted than anything even Poe could have imagined.
(suggested by Nina D’Arcangela)
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Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead.So did his father before him, until he was gruesomely murdered by a ghost he sought to kill. Now, armed with his father’s mysterious and deadly athame, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat. They follow legends and local lore, destroy the murderous dead, and keep pesky things like the future and friends at bay.
Searching for a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas expects the usual: track, hunt, kill. What he finds instead is a girl entangled in curses and rage, a ghost like he’s never faced before. She still wears the dress she wore on the day of her brutal murder in 1958: once white, now stained red and dripping with blood. Since her death, Anna has killed any and every person who has dared to step into the deserted Victorian she used to call home.
Yet she spares Cas’s life.
(suggested by Loren Rhoads, who said: I finished reading Anna Dressed in Blood last week and it was so much fun! It’s a YA about a teenaged ghost killer who falls in love with a ghost)
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A journey to the past … where a serial killer awaits.
Some believe time is a curve. The days behind us fall from view as we move forward, rounding the bend to discover what lies in store for us next. Nothing is gone … it’s merely back there, accessible again if we only knew how to reverse course.
Others believe that time is a straight line that is obliterated as our present is created, existing only in our memories … gone forever, never to be seen or heard from again.
Luke McCabe wishes the latter were true. He really does. He never wanted to be a serial killer. He never wanted to be The Cowboy.
Take a ride in Luke’s restored, 1958 Cadillac Sixty Special Fleetwood. Buckle in and feel the desert ground beneath your wheels. Only then will you be fully equipped with the knowledge to decide how time really unfolds.
One recommendation: The Cadillac named Adeline holds dark secrets.
Stay clear of her trunk.
(suggested by Giles Batchelor, who said: I know you know Eric for his Zombie/Apoc work but this stand alone horror tale is one of his best. The story to me is reminiscent of some of the Stephen King books I devoured as a youngster. It has well developed main character and an interesting twisty plot that has you on the edge of your seat towards the end)
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Hodgson considered his three novels, “The House on the Borderland”, “The Boats of the Glen-Carrig” and “The Ghost Pirates” a trilogy. They are not sequels and not related, except for their emphasis on the supernatural beings, who came, perhaps, from another dimension.
“The Ghost Pirates”, the third book of this trilogy, was one of H.P. Lovecraft’s favorite works.
(suggested by Morgan Griffith, who said: My pick would be an old one, but a book that heavily influenced my love of horror literature, although it might also be classified as dark fantasy. I choose William Hope Hodgson’s “The House on the Borderland”. The imagination and sense of adventure and dread is unique and withstands time. I have read it more than once, and it remains a favorite. This version also includes two other great tales— Boats of the Glen-Carrig and The Ghost Pirates. Hodgson also excelled with his dark tales of the sea)
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Marty Strauss, a gambling addict recently released from prison, is hired to be the personal bodyguard of Joseph Whitehead, one of the wealthiest men in the world. The job proves more complicated and dangerous than he thought, however, as Marty soon gets caught up in a series of supernatural events involving Whitehead, his daughter (who is a heroin addict), and a devilish man named Mamoulian, with whom Whitehead made a Faustian bargain many years earlier, during World War II.
As time passes, Mamoulian haunts Whitehead using his supernatural powers (such as the ability to raise the dead), urging him to complete his pact with him. Eventually Whitehead decides to escape his fate after a few encounters with Mamoulian and having his wife, former bodyguard, and now his daughter Carys taken away from him. With hope still left to save Carys, Marty Strauss, although reluctant to get involved in the old man Whiteheads deserved punishment, decides to get involved and attempt to save the innocent gifted addict from being another victim to the damnation game.
(suggested by Misha Burnett)
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Armand’s Bonus Suggestion
The quaint Florida town of St. Augustine is a magnet for tourists. But one site is off-limits even for the locals.
Built on the site of an ancient Indian village, Tolomato Cemetery has been closed for years. But now a slaughtered Wiccan priestess has been discovered on the grounds. Human remains have been found in a nearby Dumpster. And a cryptic message is haunting a woman’s sleepless nights–a warning that the doors between two worlds have been opened.
Whatever’s buried in Tolomato Cemetery is more than legend.
(suggested by Armand, who said: just a phenomenal book by a phenomenal writer. A creepy, wonderful novel)
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I am opening this blog up to suggestions from YOU!
I want YOU to give me one horror book suggestion you loved. It doesn’t have to be new. It doesn’t have to be a certain length or within a certain subgenre of horror (although I won’t be taking zombie or post apoc books on this website because I’ll be doing the same thing on my other site, http://DyingDaysZombie.com each week for that!) It just has to be something you liked enough to want to let the world know. Or the readers of this blog.
You CANNOT CANNOT CANNOT suggest your own book. That is super tacky and frowned upon by management.
I’ll be picking 3-5 each week and I’ll post it up each Tuesday on this site and the zombie/post apoc every Thursday. It’s free of charge. It’s just a way for me to not miss what is out there, too. Hopefully it will become a place where horror readers will enjoy some new suggestions, too. I’ll even let people know you proudly suggested it, too.
Send me an email with the title/author and Amazon link to the book and I’ll do the rest. Simple as that!
armandrosamilia (at) gmail (dot) com