• Marina Rose

Chills & Thrills: Spooky Books of 2019

Updated: Nov 27, 2019

With Halloween and Día de los Muertos just around the corner, I thought I’d share some of the scariest books that have been released this year. Are you ready for psychological thrillers, dystopian settings, and seriously chilling stories? If not, take a bathroom break, mentally prepare yourself, and come back for a seriously twisted book recommendation.

Wanderers by Chuck Wendig

One morning, Shana wakes up and notices something strange – her little sister appears to be sleepwalking, unable to be woken. Even more disturbing is Shana’s sister seems to be walking toward an unknown destination. Concerned for her sibling, Shana follows to make sure she remains unharmed. Before long Shana and her sister are joined by other sleepwalkers and their caretakers – “shepherds” – all walking toward the same unknown destination. But mass sleepwalking isn’t the only strange thing about this new world – an ultraviolent military has sprung up targeting the sleepwalkers. It’s up to the sleepwalkers and shepherds to figure out the cause and cure for this epidemic.

Five Midnights by Ann Davila Cardinal

At the beginning of the summer, Lupe arrives in Puerto Rico to spend time with her Uncle Javier, the local police chief. The two don’t always get along, but when Javier’s friends start dying in gruesome ways, Javier and Lupe must work together to solve the mystery. Some claim it’s el Cuco, a mythical beast, but could it be human? Javier and Lupe step into the shadows hoping to find answers.


The Luminous Dead by Caitlin Starling

Gyre Price is desperate to find her mother, so she has no trouble lying her way into a high-paying cave-diving job off-planet. What could go wrong? Perhaps minor gear-malfunctions, but she’ll have a highly skilled surface team monitoring her right? Unfortunately, Gyre is paired with Em. Em has questionable morals when it comes to caring for her employee, using drugs to control Gyre and withholding information about the expedition. Problems start surfacing as Gyre moves deeper underground. Tensions between Gyre and Em force them apart, and when Gyre finds herself lost in the cavernous depths, she must find a way to overcome the terrain, a creature called the Tunneler, and the ghosts within her own mind.

She Lies in Wait by Gytha Lodge

It’s a hot summer night in the early 1980s – the perfect night for a campout. A group of bright teenagers heads to the woods for an evening of fun and adventure beneath the stars. Throughout the night the teens drink, dance, sneak off to kiss, and explore. It's a typical night until the next morning when the teens discover the youngest member of their group – Aurora – is missing. Local police launch an investigation, but no one can find Aurora. The book skips forward 30 years when Aurora’s body is finally found buried in a hiding place only known to the original group of teens. Jonah Sheens, a local police officer who started with the force over 30 years ago, takes charge of the case. He knows all the players involved and is determined to find out what happened the night Aurora went missing. Confronting the past proves difficult for everyone involved, and the future isn’t looking good for the perpetrators.

Spare Room by Dreda Say Mitchell

Lisa is troubled, but she’s trying to improve her life, which is why she’s ecstatic to find an affordable room for rent in a beautiful home. The owners are welcoming and easy-going. Everything seems to be great until Lisa finds a suicide note from the previous tenant hidden in her room. Even more disturbing is the owner’s reaction to the note; they claim Lisa is the first and only occupant. Lisa has doubts about her mental state but is determined to find out more about the note writer, the man who lived in the room before her. As she delves further into her research, strange and terrifying things start happening. Finding herself trapped in a hall of mirrors, Lisa tries desperately to hold onto her sanity and find the truth.


Did you like this list? Want more book recommendations? Let us know at infolibrary@cityofcaldwell.org

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