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13 Horror Titles You’ll Want to Read With the Lights On in 2015

Like reading the scaries? Hey, so do I!! And, of course, I love trumpeting my picks for anyone that will listen (and a few that still attempt escape), and these 13 horror titles are at the top of my reading list for 2015. I kicked off 2015 with the terrifying The Deep by Nick Cutter, and I’m ready for more! Behold the awesome (in no particular order.)

devilsonlyfriends

(Tor Books | June 16, 2015)

SYNOPSIS:

John Wayne Cleaver hunts demons: they’ve killed his neighbors, his family, and the girl he loves, but in the end he’s always won. Now he works for a secret government kill team, using his gift to hunt and kill as many monsters as he can . . .

. . . but the monsters have noticed, and the quiet game of cat and mouse is about to erupt into a full scale supernatural war.

John doesn’t want the life he’s stuck with. He doesn’t want the FBI bossing him around, he doesn’t want his only friend imprisoned in a mental ward, and he doesn’t want to face the terrifying cannibal who calls himself The Hunter. John doesn’t want to kill people. But as the song says, you can’t always get what you want. John has learned that the hard way; his clothes have the stains to prove it.

When John again faces evil, he’ll know what he has to do.

 

WHY IT’S ON MY READING WISHLIST:
This is the first book in a brand new John Wayne Cleaver series from one of the best authors in the biz. Demon hunting? Cannibals? Yes, please!


thesilence

The Silence by Tim Lebbon
(Titan | April 14, 2015)

SYNOPSIS:

In the darkness of a underground cave system, blind creatures hunt by sound. Then there is light, there are voices, and they feed… Swarming from their prison, the creatures thrive and destroy. To scream, even to whisper, is to summon death. As the hordes lay waste to Europe, a girl watches to see if they will cross the sea. Deaf for many years, she knows how to live in silence; now, it is her family’s only chance of survival. To leave their home, to shun others, to find a remote haven where they can sit out the plague. But will it ever end? And what kind of world will be left?

 

WHY IT’S ON MY READING WISHLIST:
Tim Lebbon’s last novel, Coldbrook, was phenomenal. Can’t wait for this one!


shutter

Shutter by Courtney Alameda
(Feiwel and Friends | Feb. 3, 2015)

SYNOPSIS:

Micheline Helsing is a tetrachromat — a girl who sees the auras of the undead in a prismatic spectrum. As one of the last descendants of the Van Helsing lineage, she has trained since childhood to destroy monsters both corporeal and spiritual: the corporeal undead go down by the bullet, the spiritual undead by the lens. With an analog SLR camera as her best weapon, Micheline exorcises ghosts by capturing their spiritual energy on film. She’s aided by her crew: Oliver, a techno-whiz and the boy who developed her camera’s technology; Jude, who can predict death; and Ryder, the boy Micheline has known and loved forever.

When a routine ghost hunt goes awry, Micheline and the boys are infected with a curse known as a soulchain. As the ghostly chains spread through their bodies, Micheline learns that if she doesn’t exorcise her entity in seven days or less, she and her friends will die. Now pursued as a renegade agent by her monster-hunting father, Leonard Helsing, she must track and destroy an entity more powerful than anything she’s faced before . . . or die trying.

Lock, stock, and lens, she’s in for one hell of a week.

 

WHY IT’S ON MY READING WISHLIST:
This has gotten fantastic buzz, and I’m always looking for good YA to add to my collection for my own kids (ok, ok, and for me.)


thedamned

The Damned by Andrew Pyper
(Simon & Schuster | Feb. 10, 2015)

SYNOPSIS:

Most people who have a near-death experience come back alone…

After he survived a fire that claimed the life of his twin sister, Ashleigh, Danny Orchard wrote a bestselling memoir about going to Heaven and back. But despite the resulting fame and fortune, he’s never been able to enjoy his second chance at life.

Ash won’t let him.

In life, Danny’s charming and magnetic twin had been a budding psychopath who privately terrorized her family—and death hasn’t changed her wicked ways. Ash has haunted Danny for twenty years and now, just when he’s met the love of his life and has a chance at real happiness, she wants more than ever to punish him for being alive—so she sets her sights on Danny’s new wife and stepson.

Danny knows what Ash really wants is him, and he’s prepared to sacrifice himself in order to save the ones he loves. But to do this, he’ll have to meet his sister where she now resides—and hope that this time, he can keep her there forever.

 

WHY IT’S ON MY READING WISHLIST:
It’s already been optioned for film and of course, dead, obsessive siblings that seek revenge from beyond the grave.


TheDeadLands-905

The Dead Lands by Benjamin Percy
(Grand Central | Feb. 16, 2015)

SYNOPSIS:

In Benjamin Percy’s new thriller, a post-apocalyptic reimagining of the Lewis and Clark saga, a super flu and nuclear fallout have made a husk of the world we know. A few humans carry on, living in outposts such as the Sanctuary-the remains of St. Louis-a shielded community that owes its survival to its militant defense and fear-mongering leaders.

Then a rider comes from the wasteland beyond its walls. She reports on the outside world: west of the Cascades, rain falls, crops grow, civilization thrives. But there is danger too: the rising power of an army that pillages and enslaves every community they happen upon.

Against the wishes of the Sanctuary, a small group sets out in secrecy. Led by Lewis Meriwether and Mina Clark, they hope to expand their infant nation, and to reunite the States. But the Sanctuary will not allow them to escape without a fight.

 

WHY IT’S ON MY READING WISHLIST:
It’s Benjamin Percy. You have read Red Moon, haven’t you??


predatorone

Predator One (Joe Ledger) by Jonathan Maberry
(St. Martin’s Griffin | April 7, 2015)

SYNOPSIS:

On opening day of the new baseball season a small model-kit airplane flies down from the stands and buzzes the mound, where a decorated veteran pilot is about to throw out the first ball. The toy plane is the exact replica of the one flown by the war hero. Everyone laughs, thinking it’s a prank or a publicity stunt. Until it explodes, killing dozens.

Seconds later a swarm of killer drones descend upon the picnicked crowd, each one carrying a powerful bomb. All across the country artificial intelligence drive systems in cars, commuter trains and even fighter planes go out of control. The death toll soars as the machines we depend upon every day are turned into engines of destruction.

Joe Ledger and the Department of Military Sciences go on the hunt for whoever is controlling these machines, but the every step of the way they are met with traps and shocks that strike to the very heart of the DMS. No one is safe. Nowhere is safe. Enemies old and new rise as America burns.

Joe Ledger and his team are back in Jonathan Maberry’s seventh book in the series. They begin a desperate search for the secret to this new technology and the madmen behind it. But before they can close in the enemy virus infects Air Force One. The president is trapped aboard as the jet heads toward the heart of New York City. It has become PREDATOR ONE.

 

WHY IT’S ON MY READING WISHLIST:
The Joe Ledger series is 7 books in, and each book keeps getting better. If you’re looking for horror/thrillers that are high on adrenaline, thrills, and nonstop action, look no further!


scarletgospels

The Scarlet Gospels by Clive Barker
(St. Martin’s Press | May 19, 2015)

SYNOPSIS:

The Scarlet Gospels takes readers back many years to the early days of two of Barker’s most iconic characters in a battle of good and evil as old as time: The long-beleaguered detective Harry D’Amour, investigator of all supernatural, magical, and malevolent crimes faces off against his formidable, and intensely evil rival, Pinhead, the priest of hell. Barker devotees have been waiting for The Scarlet Gospels with bated breath for years, and it’s everything they’ve begged for and more. Bloody, terrifying, and brilliantly complex, fans and newcomers alike will not be disappointed by the epic, visionary tale that is The Scarlet Gospels. Barker’s horror will make your worst nightmares seem like bedtime stories. The Gospels are coming. Are you ready?

 

WHY IT’S ON MY READING WISHLIST:
Clive Barker is returning to the world of Hellraiser. Finally. ‘Nuff said.


noonegetsoutalive2

No One Gets Out Alive by Adam Nevill
(St. Martin’s Press | April 28, 2015)

SYNOPSIS:

When Stephanie moves to the notoriously cheap Perry Bar neighborhood of Birmingham, she’s just happy to find an affordable room for rent that’s large enough not to deserve her previous room’s nickname, “the cell.” The eccentric — albeit slightly overly-friendly — landlord seems nice and welcoming enough, the ceilings are high, and all of the other tenants are also girls. Things aren’t great, but they’re stable. Or at least that’s what she tells herself when she impulsively hands over enough money to cover the first month’s rent and decides to give it a go.

But soon after she becomes uneasy about her rash decision. She hears things in the night. Feels them. Things…or people…who aren’t there in the light. Who couldn’t be there, because after-all, her door is locked every night, and the key is still in place in the morning. Concern soon turns to terror when the voices she hears and presence she feels each night become hostile. It’s clear that something very bad has happened in this house. And something even worse is happening now. Stephanie has to find a way out, before whatever’s going on in the house finds her first.

Adam Nevill’s No One Gets Out Alive will chill you straight through to the core — a cold, merciless, fear-inducing nightmare to the last page. A word of caution, don’t read this one in the dark.

 

WHY IT’S ON MY READING WISHLIST:
Adam Nevill is a horror master, and I have no doubt this one will be terrifying.


dollcollection

The Doll Collection edited by Ellen Datlow
(Tor Books | March 10, 2015)

SYNOPSIS:

The Doll Collection is exactly what it sounds like: a treasured toy box of all-original dark stories about dolls of all types, including everything from puppets and poppets to mannequins and baby dolls.

Featuring everything from life-sized clockwork dolls to all-too-human Betsy Wetsy-type baby dolls, these stories play into the true creepiness of the doll trope, but avoid the clichés that often show up in stories of this type.Master anthologist Ellen Datlow has assembled a list of beautiful and terrifying stories from bestselling and critically acclaimed authors such as Joyce Carol Oates, Seanan McGuire, Carrie Vaughn, Pat Cadigan, Tim Lebbon, Richard Kadrey, Genevieve Valentine, and Jeffrey Ford. The collection is illustrated with photographs of dolls taken by Datlow and other devoted doll collectors from the science fiction and fantasy field. The result is a star-studded collection exploring one of the most primal fears of readers of dark fiction everywhere, and one that every reader will want to add to their own collection. Stories in this anthology by: Stephen Gallagher, Joyce Carol Oates, Gemma Files, Pat Cadigan, Lucy Sussex, Tim Lebbon, Seanan McGuire, Carrie Vaughn, Stephen Graham Jones, Miranda Siemienowicz, Mary Robinette Kowal, Richard Bowes, Genevieve Valentine, Richard Kadrey, Veronica Schanoes, John Langan, Jeffrey Ford

 

WHY IT’S ON MY READING WISHLIST:
Ellen Datlow’s collections will rarely steer you wrong, and did you get a load of that contributor list? Also, dolls. Creepy, creepy ass dolls.


withinthesewalls

Within These Walls by Ania Ahlborn
(Gallery | April 21, 2015)

SYNOPSIS:

With his marriage on the rocks and his life in shambles, washed up crime writer Lucas Graham is desperate for a comeback. So when he’s promised exclusive access to notorious cult leader and death row inmate Jeffrey Halcomb, the opportunity is too good to pass up. Lucas leaves New York for the scene of the crime—a split-level farmhouse on the gray-sanded beach of Washington State—a house whose foundation is steeped in the blood of Halcomb’s diviners; runaways who, thirty years prior, were drawn to his message of family, unity, and unconditional love. Lucas wants to tell the real story of Halcomb’s faithful departed, but when Halcomb goes back on his promise of granting Lucas exclusive information on the case, he’s left to put the story together on his own. Except he is not alone. For Jeffrey Halcomb promised his devout eternal life…and within these walls, they’re far from dead.

 

WHY IT’S ON MY READING WISHLIST:
Ania Ahlborn is one of the best kept secrets of horror, but folks are finally taking notice. It’s about damn time, because she’ll knock your socks off and scare the crap out of you at the same time.


theblondes

The Blondes by Emily Schultz
(Thomas Dunne | April 21, 2015)

SYNOPSIS:

Hazel Hayes is a grad student living in New York City. As the novel opens, she learns she is pregnant (from an affair with her married professor) at an apocalyptically bad time: random but deadly attacks on passers-by, all by blonde women, are terrorizing New Yorkers. Soon it becomes clear that the attacks are symptoms of a strange illness that is transforming blondes—whether CEOs, flight attendants, students or accountants—into rabid killers.

 

WHY IT’S ON MY READING WISHLIST:
This book is already getting great buzz from folks like Stephen King…


littlegirls

Little Girls by Ronald Malfi
(Kensington | June 30, 2015)

SYNOPSIS:

When Laurie was a little girl, she was forbidden to enter the room at the top of the stairs. It was one of many rules imposed by her cold, distant father. Now, in a final act of desparation, her father has exorcised his demons. But when Laurie returns to claim the estate with her husband and ten-year-old daughter, it’s as if the past refuses to die. She feels it lurking in the broken moldings, sees it staring from an empty picture frame, hears it laughing in the moldy greenhouse deep in the woods…

At first, Laurie thinks she’s imagining things. But when she meets her daughter’s new playmate, Abigail, she can’t help but notice her uncanny resemblence to another little girl who used to live next door. Who died next door. With each passing day, Laurie’s uneasiness grows stronger, her thoughts more disturbing. Like her father, is she slowly losing her mind? Or is something truly unspeakable happening to those sweet little girls?

 

WHY IT’S ON MY READING WISHLIST:
A new ghost story by Bram Stoker nominee Ronald Malfi? I’m in!


deadwont

The Dead Won’t Die by Joe McKinney
(Pinnacle | Sept. 29, 2015)

WHY IT’S ON MY READING WISHLIST:
No synopsis yet, but when it comes to zombies (and horror), Joe McKinney is one of the best, and the Deadlands series is fantastic. Trust me on this.

About Kristin Centorcelli (842 Articles)
Kristin Centorcelli is the Associate Editor at SF Signal, proprietor of My Bookish Ways, a reviewer for Library Journal and Publisher’s Weekly, and has also written for Crime Fiction Lover, Criminal Element, and Mystery Scene Magazine. She has been reviewing books since late 2010, in an effort to get through a rather immense personal library, while also discussing it with whoever will willingly sit still (and some that won’t).

9 Comments on 13 Horror Titles You’ll Want to Read With the Lights On in 2015

  1. What a fantastic looking collection of books! I already have the Adam Nevill UK paperback, and I was aware of the Tim Lebbon, but the others are all new to me (some new books by writers I know, and some completely new writers to me). I especially love the cover to Shutter, really hope the book lives up to that excellent design 🙂

  2. James Campbell // January 29, 2015 at 10:12 am //

    I am especially looking forward to Clive Barker’s newest title. Adam Neville’s too. I have “The Ritual” on my Kobo, but have yet to read it.

    Malfi’s book looks fantastic too, and I may just go out of my way for Ania Ahlborn’s book too – new author to me.

    One thing I am surprised with is the continuing obsession with zombie related stories. Maybe it’s just me, but I’m not a zombie guy though.

    • I totally understand “Zombie Fatigue” BUT Joe McKinney is a superb writer, and he doesn’t just write zombies, so I’m hoping that calling attention to that will direct readers to his other work, as well…because all of it is fantastic! 😀

    • Literature is funny. Not all zombie stories are “Night of the Living Dead”. There’s a wide range of stories that qualify as zombie fiction. Check out THE LIVING DEAD anthologies from John Joseph Adams, or the novels THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS by M.R. Carey or RAISING STONY MAYHALL by Daryl Gregory. Stefan Petrucha’s DEAD MANN series looks like cool zombie detective noir fiction, as another example.

      Hmmm…I think I see another Mind meld topic 🙂

  3. The Tim Lebbon looks great.

    BTW, though, The Blondes is actually three years old. It actually came out as a more mainstream literary book in April 2012. Reviews on Goodreads look pretty middle of the road.

  4. How about “The Border” by Robert McCammon, coming out May 31st and marking McCammon’s return to the Horror genre?

    From Amazon.com: World Fantasy award-winning, bestselling author Robert McCammon makes a triumphant return to the epic horror and apocalyptic tone reminiscent of his books ”Swan Song” and ”Stinger” in this gripping new novel, ”The Border”, a saga of an Earth devastated by a war between two marauding alien civilizations.

    But it is not just the living ships of the monstrous Gorgons or the motion-blurred shock troops of the armored Cyphers that endanger the holdouts in the human bastion of Panther Ridge. The world itself has turned against the handful of survivors, as one by one they succumb to despair and suicide or, even worse, are transformed by otherworldly pollution into hideous Gray Men, cannibalistic mutants driven by insatiable hunger. Into these desperate circumstances comes an amnesiac teenaged boy who names himself Ethan–a boy who must overcome mistrust and suspicion to master unknowable powers that may prove to be the last hope for humanity’s salvation. Those same powers make Ethan a threat to the warring aliens, long used to fearing only each other, and thrust him and his comrades into ever more perilous circumstances.

    A major new novel from the unparalleled imagination of Robert McCammon, this dark epic of survival will both thrill readers and make them fall in love with his work all over again.

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