Welcome to Deadland by Zachary Tyler LinvilleIn Welcome to Deadland, author Zachary Tyler Linville puts an intriguing spin on apocalyptic zombie tales, employing fast-paced alternating timelines. His flawed, complex characters strive desperately to evade the infected hordes and save the remnants of humanity…while conquering their own inner demons. Will they make it to the abandoned theme park in time? Can they work together despite their different backgrounds? In a starred review, Publishers Weekly calls this debut "engaging, heartbreaking, and thrilling."
Stranded by Bracken MacLeodSomewhere in the Arctic Ocean, a hurricane-force storm is battering a supply ship headed for an oil rig. The crew struggle to keep ice from building up, to re-secure loosened cargo containers, and to stay on board. When they develop flu-like symptoms, only one man is unaffected -- Noah Cabot, the inept deck hand who's also the captain's alienated son-in-law. Amid the natural terrors, which are deadly enough, the men start seeing something else that flits across their peripheral vision. Even the most intrepid horror fan should be in a warm, comfy, safe, and well-lit place while reading Stranded.
I Am Providence: A Novel by Nick MamatasTake one part Horror Con satire, one part murder mystery, and one part dead narrator, add a dash of bitters, and garnish with cosplayers, and you'll approximate author Nick Mamatas' I Am Providence. An homage to (or critique of) cult favorite writer H.P. Lovecraft, this suspenseful, complex novel will please mystery readers willing to venture into horror territory as well as fright-fanatics who enjoy dark humor. If you don't mind switching from horror to science fiction, you might also try Sharyn McCrumb's classic mysteries, Bimbos of the Death Sun and Zombies of the Gene Pool.
The Family Plot: A Novel by Cherie PriestAn old mansion near Chattanooga, TN, contains a goldmine of salvageable items, from marble mantelpieces to heart pine flooring to a chestnut staircase -- and that's not counting the outbuildings. Music City Salvage's owner Chuck Dutton pays $40,000 for the right to strip the entire property, and puts his daughter Dahlia in charge of the project. But soon they find human remains in a supposedly fake cemetery, the house's owner disappears, and the mansion displays signs that it has a will of its own -- an unfriendly one. The salvage crew are in danger -- but from what? Library Journal's starred review calls this contemporary haunted house tale an "irresistible mix of horror and home improvement."
Mirror Image by Michael Scott and Melanie Ruth RoseLos Angeles antiques dealer Jonathan Frazer thinks he's gotten the deal of the millennium when he buys a huge, centuries-old mirror, but he thinks again when three of his employees die while restoring the piece. Then it starts showing him images of them and other dead people, and he realizes that it's up to him to free their souls. The darkly fantastic Mirror Image features gory sexual violence as well as other supernatural occurrences. Horror fans who don't mind the explicitly erotic aspects will appreciate the compelling writing and twisty plot.
Roosevelt's Beast: A Novel by Louis BayardFormer President Theodore ("the Colonel") Roosevelt and his son Kermit went to Brazil in 1914 to map an uncharted river. During that trip, the Colonel suffered a minor injury that escalated into a debilitating illness. Author Louis Bayard imagines an alternate version of this history, in which the Colonel and Kermit are kidnapped by native Brazilians and forced to confront an evil, deadly monster. Roosevelt's Beast transforms the Roosevelts' actual journey into a terrifying supernatural battle. If you enjoy horror tales that unfold in the context of already thrilling adventures, you might also try Dan Simmons' The Abominable.
Dead and Alive by Dean KoontzIn Dead and Alive, the 3rd book in Dean Koontz's Frankenstein series, Hurricane Katrina bears down on New Orleans, threatening total chaos. Scientist Victor Frankenstein, 250 years old and now calling himself Helios, is planning to destroy humanity with his artificial humanoid monsters. But his first creation, who has renamed himself Deucalion, supports the humans, and he heads up an army of Victor's less successful creatures in a bid to derail his project. Though thoroughly science-fictional, Dead and Alive is also terrifying. You may want to start with book 1, Prodigal Son; the series continues through book 5, The Dead Town.
Hemlock Grove: A Novel by Brian McGreevyAuthor Brian McGreevy's Hemlock Grove (the inspiration for the Netflix television series by the same name) portrays a depressed rust-belt Pennsylvania town where rumors suggest that a local biotech facility is doing unethical research that produces flesh-eating monsters. Or perhaps Peter Rumancek, the new student at the high school, is a werewolf. Whatever the cause, a monster is killing and mutilating people in a manner reminiscent of Renfield, Bram Stoker's character from Dracula. Booklist praises McGreevy's skill at keeping the horror just vague enough "to make it genuinely unnerving."
Nocturnal: A Novel by Scott SiglerA strange series of killings haunts San Francisco police detective Bryan Clauser, who becomes even more concerned when he realizes he's dreaming about murders before they occur. Meanwhile, 13-year-old Rex Deprovdechuk is tormented by bullies, and homeless Aggie James is kidnapped and locked up underground, where he is surrounded by mutants. As the murder spree continues, Clauser finds disturbing evidence that it is not the work of an ordinary serial killer...and the threat is much greater than a typical crime wave. The unlikely allies -- Clauser, Rex, and Aggie -- are on their own against the evil monsters, and considerable amounts of blood will flow before the end.
Chimera: A Jim Chapel Mission by David WellingtonIn author David Wellington's series launch Chimera, genetically modified super-soldiers called chimeras have gone out on a targeted killing spree, and a pair of top-level government officials order retired Special Forces veteran Jim Chapel to track down and kill the monsters. Accompanied by a beautiful veterinarian and a sexy hacker, he sets out on his assigned mission, but he wonders what's really behind the killing machines: is it a government conspiracy? Fans of fast-paced science fiction/horror blends will want to pick up Wellington's Jim Chapel series, which currently extends to three volumes. For more in this vein, try Jonathan Maberry's Joe Ledger novels, starting with Patient Zero.
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