So Thursday its Halloween. Love it or hate it (and having young children means I kind of have to love it) it would seem like the perfect week to read some creepy tales…so here are a few of my favourites for your perusal…and hey, if you have a particular favourite then shout. My Halloween Read is “SnowBlind” by Christopher Golden, coming soon. I shall review that one in due course…for now though how about these?
Well of course I WOULD start with a Stephen King novel. Hands up anyone who wasnt expecting that? No-one? I am WAY too predictable…
Anyway my King pick for Halloween is “Geralds Game” because of all his books this was the one that haunted my dreams for the longest time after finishing it. Ok, its not his most horror bound novel, but its creepy. And unpredictable. And surprising. And next on my King Re-Read list now….
On a warm October day, Jessie Burlingame lies in the bedroom of her secluded lake home, listening to the far-off sounds of the country; the cry of a loon, the growl of a chain saw, the bark of a lonesome dog. Nearer, she hears the banging of the screen door, left unlatched in the autumn breeze; nearer still, the click of the key locking the second pair of handcuffs that chain her to the bed.
Gerald Burlingame, her husband of 17 years, looms over her, grin on his face, gleam in his eye, lust in his heart. This is Gerald’s favorite game little kinky, perhaps, but all in good fun. And then, quite suddenly, the fun is over. Gerald’s heart fails him in the heat of passion, leaving Jessie hideously trapped and dreadfully alone. As darkness gathers in the room that is now Jessie’s whole world, she must face not only the terror of never escaping, but the most excruciating truths about her life: the murky secrets that brought her here in the first place.
Happy Shivers Folks!
Next up I’m going with one from that most amazing of writers, Mr John Connolly. His ability to blend superb crime fiction and compelling supernatural elements make the Charlie Parker series of novels a must read. This is not the first…but it IS the one that still stays with me when it comes to remembering those books that have made me sleep with the lights on..Axe Proof Duvet standing between me and the dark..Brilliant stuff. Evocative, addictive and with one of the most fascinating concepts out there, the whole series is unmissable.
Charlie Parker races to unravel a brutal crime committed in the Deep South. After years of suffering unfathomable pain and guilt over the murders of his wife and daughter, private detective Charlie Parker has finally found some measure of peace. As he and his lover, Rachel, are awaiting the birth of their first child and settling into an old farmhouse in rural Maine, Parker has found the kind of solace often lost to those who have been touched by true evil.
But darkness soon descends when Parker gets a call from Elliot Norton, an old friend from his days as a detective with the NYPD. Now practicing law in Charleston, South Carolina, Elliot is defending a young black man accused of raping and killing his white girlfriend, the daughter of a powerful Southern millionaire. Reluctantly, Parker agrees to help Elliot and by doing so ventures into a living nightmare, a bloody dreamscape haunted by the specter of a hooded woman and a black car waiting for a passenger who never arrives. Beginning as an investigation into a young woman’s death, it is a fast-moving descent into an abyss where forces conspire to destroy all that Parker holds dear.
Happy Hiding Folks!
Ah Mr White. Crime Fiction. Not the first thought perhaps when it comes to horrific Halloween reads but the point is to make you shake in your boots…and I’m choosing this one because of the sheer horror that faces Sarah Goode. And the fact that this one not only made me cry, great big fat tears, but also horrified me in ways that I can’t even explain. You will just have to read it. Keep the tissues handy. And possibly some motion sickness medication….
What do you see in your dying moments…? A young woman is on the run, her boyfriend found brutally slain in their bed. A simple crime of passion. Or is it?
The Lancashire town of Blackley has been rocked by the violent death of Luke Howarth. The fingers of suspicion point towards his girlfriend, Sarah Goode – missing since his murder. Just another crime of passion with a tragic end.
Or is it? Reporter Jack Garrett isn’t so sure – especially when he’s asked by Sarah’s distraught parents to find their daughter. Their description of caring schoolteacher Sarah doesn’t tally with the media’s portrayal of a cold-blooded killer.
But as he hunts for Sarah, Jack finds himself immersed in the town’s troubled history and discovers that dangerous rituals from the past are impacting on the present.
Happy Hiding Folks!
So, how about a ghost story to finish us off completely. Well, you might want to dive into Heart Shaped Box by Joe Hill. I read this one caffeine fuelled dark and stormy night and it scared me, intrigued me, made me pace up and down and finally let me go heart pounding and drained. Perfect Halloween Reading and one of my favourite books of that year. Don’t miss this one!
‘Buy my stepfather’s ghost’ read the e-mail.
So Jude did.
He bought it, in the shape of the dead man’s suit, delivered in a heart-shaped box, because he wanted it: because his fans ate up that kind of story. It was perfect for his collection: the genuine skulls and the bones, the real honest-to-God snuff movie, the occult books and all the rest of the paraphanalia that goes along with his kind of hard/goth rock.
But the rest of his collection doesn’t make the house feel cold. The bones don’t make the dogs bark; the movie doesn’t make Jude feel as if he’s being watched. And none of the artefacts bring a vengeful old ghost with black scribbles over his eyes out of the shadows to chase Jude out of his home, and make him run for his life . . .
Happy Frights Folks!
So thats your lot. What are you reading for Halloween? Do tell. And watch out for those restless spirits…..