It’s that time of year again when we celebrate the Women in Horror, and every week for the month of February I’ll share my Top 5 picks across the different mediums. Today, I’ll focus on books and here are some of my recent favourite female authors that I can assure you, will scare the pants off of you!
The Winter People by Jennifer McMaHon
West Hall, Vermont, has always been a town of strange disappearances and old legends. The most mysterious is that of Sara Harrison Shea, who, in 1908, was found dead in the field behind her house just months after the tragic death of her daughter, Gertie. Now, in present day, nineteen-year-old Ruthie lives in Sara’s farmhouse with her mother, Alice, and her younger sister, Fawn. Alice has always insisted that they live off the grid, a decision that suddenly proves perilous when Ruthie wakes up one morning to find that Alice has vanished without a trace. Searching for clues, she is startled to find a copy of Sara Harrison Shea’s diary hidden beneath the floorboards of her mother’s bedroom. As Ruthie gets sucked deeper into the mystery of Sara’s fate, she discovers that she’s not the only person who’s desperately looking for someone that they’ve lost. But she may be the only one who can stop history from repeating itself.
Children of Chicago by Cynthia Pelayo
Reminiscent of the Bloody Mary urban legend, the Pied Piper’s story can be tracked back to the deaths of children for centuries and across the world—call to him for help with your problems, but beware when he comes back asking for payment.
Chicago detective Lauren Medina’s latest call brings her to investigate a brutally murdered teenager in Humboldt Park—a crime eerily similar to the murder of her sister decades before. Unlike her straight-laced partner, she recognizes the crime, and the new graffiti popping up all over the city, for what it really means: the Pied Piper has returned.
When more children are found dead, Lauren is certain her suspicion is correct. Still reeling from the recent death of her father, she knows she must find out who has summoned him again, and why, before more people die. Lauren’s torn between protecting the city she has sworn to keep safe, and keeping a promise she made long ago with her sister’s murderer. She may have to ruin her life by exposing her secrets and lies to stop the Pied Piper before he collects.
Come Closer by Sara Gran
A recurrent, unidentifiable noise in her apartment. A memo to her boss that’s replaced by obscene insults. Amanda—a successful architect in a happy marriage—finds her life going off kilter by degrees. She starts smoking again, and one night for no reason, without even the knowledge that she’s doing it, she burns her husband with a cigarette. At night she dreams of a beautiful woman with pointed teeth on the shore of a blood-red sea.
The new voice in Amanda’s head, the one that tells her to steal things and talk to strange men in bars, is strange and frightening, and Amanda struggles to wrest back control of her life. Is she possessed by a demon, or is she simply insane?
Queen of Teeth by Hailey Piper
Within forty-eight hours, Yaya Betancourt will go from discovering teeth between her thighs to being hunted by one of the most powerful corporations in America.
She assumes the vagina dentata is a side effect of a rare genetic condition caused by AlphaBeta Pharmaceutical, decades ago, when she and several thousand others were still in the womb.
But, when ABP corporate goons upend her life, she realizes her secondary teeth might be evidence of a new experiment for which she’s the most advanced test tube . . . a situation worsened when Yaya’s condition sprouts horns, tentacles, and a mind of its own.
On the run and transforming, Yaya may be either ABP’s greatest success, or the deadliest failure science has ever created.
The Things We Say In The Dark by Kirsty Logan
A shocking collection of dark stories, ranging from chilling contemporary fairytales to disturbing supernatural fiction. Alone in a remote house in Iceland, a woman is unnerved by her isolation; another can only find respite from the clinging ghost that follows her by submerging herself in an overgrown pool. Couples wrestle with a lack of connection to their children; a schoolgirl becomes obsessed with the female anatomical models in a museum; and a cheery account of child’s day out is undercut by chilling footnotes. These dark tales explore women’s fears with electrifying honesty and invention and speak to one another about female bodies, domestic claustrophobia, desire, and violence.