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Find more Top 10 Horror
Rising horror star Janz introduces penniless young ballplayer Will, possibly the least likely
person to lead his small Indiana community in a battle for their lives. In this pulpy shocker,
old-school tropes like ancient evils and serial killers are imbued with startling new lives.
The Consultant. By Bentley Little. 2015. Cemetery Dance, $25 (9781587675003).
Little’s long career hits a piercing high note with this over-the-top take on workplace-as-hell. A new
office consultant’s deluge of thousands of e-mails is worrisome enough. But the gory PowerPoints? The
rusty-knife blood drives? And let’s not even talk about “termination.”
Oates’ forays into horror are ever formidable, and this collection of six stories is a master
class in spare, noose-tightening tension. Even the titles are enough to send chills: “The Doll-Master,” “Big Mama,” “Gun Accident.” The appeal bleeds over to the Gillian Flynn crowd, too.
The Fireman. By Joe Hill. 2016. Morrow, $28.99 (9780062200631).
Hill makes a second bid to be America’s preeminent penner of horror epics with this crypt-sized take
on apocalypse. A fungus has people spontaneously combusting, and only the mysterious Fireman can help. But is his help what we think it is? Brisk, infectious, and endlessly readable.
The Gods of H.P. Lovecraft. Ed. by Aaron J. French. 2015. JournalStone, $24.95 (9781942712565).
Another Lovecraft tome? By Cthulhu’s tendrils, yes! Editor French assigned such authors as Jonathan
Maberry, Joe Lansdale, and Christopher Golden one of Lovecraft’s deities and told them to go wild.
And they did: this is rich, immersive, and often terrifying.
Mr. Splitfoot. By Samantha Hunt. 2016. Houghton, $24 (9780544526709).
Loosely based on alleged real-life mediums the Fox sisters, Hunt’s latest uses tricky,
deconstructed prose to spin the tale of two foster-home children whose staged séances lead them to a
talent agent—as well as an obsessed zealot.
My Best Friend’s Exorcism. By Grady Hendrix. 2016. Quirk, $19.99 (9781594748622).
Abby and Gretchen are 1980s teens rocking Jordache jeans (bitchin’!) when an LSD drop leads
to Gretchen being possessed by a demon (not bitchin’). Hendrix nails the stagnant air of suburbia
in this darkly funny mix of John Hughes and The Exorcist.
Pressure. By Brian Keene. 2016. St. Martin’s/Thomas Dunne, $25.99 (9781250071347).
Carrie free-dives deep underwater to help determine why the ocean floor is
collapsing. As if that’s not scary enough, she encounters a creature that destroys everything
in its path. A gory, winning horror thriller—a different kind of beach read, you might
Security. By Gina Wohlsdorf. 2016. Algonquin, $25.95 (9781616205621).
In this giallo-inspired story of the about-to-open Manderlay Resort, someone is watching—and it’s not just the murderer roaming the halls. A security camera operator is observing everything
(depicted in literary split-screen). But why isn’t he helping? A brilliant premise savagely handled.
We Eat Our Own. By Kea Wilson. Aug. 2016. Scribner, $26 (9781501128318).
Inspired by the 1980 exploitation hit Cannibal Holocaust, Wilson’s debut imagines the sweaty,
scuzzy behind-the-scenes story of the actors and crew on location in Colombia. Nonlinear chapters
viscerally bring home sickening disorientation, grueling violence, and moral quagmires.
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