Halloween is approaching and we are all looking for the spooky read of the year. Or at least I am. Although, now that I think about it, I very much spend all year between spooky readings. Because there is only one thing better than spending an evening reading, and that is spending a whole weekend reading something that will haunt you for life (or a few days).
So, just in time for the scariest night of the year, I am making a list of books that I have thoroughly enjoyed and read in one or two sittings. But I am giving these 10 Halloween readings my personal touch and I am listing here crime books that I adore, and have something uncanny going on. There are backlisters, new releases, and classics because although I am passionate about new releases, I think it is always a pleasure to visit your local library and borrow some books. So, if you are not going out, or if you are looking for something quick and scary, here you have 10 books you on the edge of your seat:
What happens when your only way out is your worst nightmare? Daly’s latest novel dwells on the effects of the economic crisis on a single mother whose work as a physiotherapist takes a dark turn, for the worse.
Perfect if you enjoy: contemporary crime fiction, cosy readings, domestic noir.
Stay away if: you need thrill and action.
I was tempted to label this a classic, but let’s wait a few years. What happens when your wife goes missing in your native hometown and you have no idea where she is? If you haven’t read this yet. Please do.
Perfect if you enjoy: contemporary crime fiction, twists and turns.
Stay away if: you need a clear divide between good and bad.
Probably the best debut novel I have read in 2015. Luckiest Girl Alive is actually how the main character is labelled in the novel. I don’t want to spoil the fun, but turn on the news and see your worst nightmare buried under all of NYC’s glamour.
Perfect if you enjoy: contemporary crime fiction, fashion, and Gone Girl.
Stay away if: you are not a fan of Gone Girl.
The first in the Kay Scarpetta series. A ruthless killer is attacking Richmond’s young, middle-class professional women in their own houses. At night. Turn on the lights when reading this, and check all the windows and doors.
Perfect if you enjoy: CSI, Bones and anything that takes place in a laboratory or hospital.
Stay away if: the sight of blood, autopsies and medicine disgust you.
A dystopian YA novel about the obsession we have with beauty and our bodies taken to an extreme. The fright comes from the realisation that your own thoughts about your own body on a daily basis actually coincide with the novel’s discourse.
Perfect if you enjoy: feminist sci-fi.
Stay away if: you don’t like YA or stories that take place in high schools.
6. The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
I never got to review this. No actual need. The classiest read for a dark, stormy night and a must read for dog lovers.
Perfect if you enjoy: classic crime fiction, the English moors, dogs, and Sherlock!
Stay away if: you don’t like Sherlock Holmes.
7. Gone, Baby, Gone by Dennis Lehane
It took me almost five years to convince myself that I had to read this, and when I did, I couldn’t put it down. Perfect for fans of the American hard-boiled tradition.
Perfect if you enjoy: hard-boiled crime fiction, mainstream crime films.
Stay away if: you don’t like guns, shootings, and the use of strong language.
Before I read this, I thought I knew who Rebecca was. Turns out I didn’t, but I couldn’t be happier. DuMaurier’s most famous work is as good as you’ve heard. I promise.
Perfect if you enjoy: cosy, classic, psychological crime fiction.
Stay away if: you need things to happen in a modern kind of way.
Yet another classic that took me too long to read. This is a game-changer in contemporary crime fiction: can you imagine Poirot being your neighbour? The main character in this book has that pleasure!
Perfect if you enjoy: classic crime fiction, Golden Age, English country houses mysteries.
Stay away if: you need, again, a thrilling rhythm or something more modern.
10. The Turn of the Screw by Henry James
THE Halloween reading. Children. An English mansion. A governess. This is it.
Perfect if you enjoy: classic, psychological crime fiction with a little twist that will give you goosebumps, not like horror films do.
Stay away if: you want something thrilling and do not wish to pay close attention to the narration and subtext.