Whether it’s stormy weather or Halloween being around the corner, many of us don’t need any such excuse to dive into a crime thriller or a Gothic drama – after all, they’re the sort of unputdownable books that can completely transport you to a different place and time for a weekend. Keep reading for a fresh selection of thrilling reads to sink your teeth into this month…
The Haunting of Alma Fielding by Kate Summerscale
London, 1938. In the suburbs of the city, an ordinary young housewife has become the eye in a storm of chaos. In Alma Fielding’s modest home, china flies off the shelves, eggs fly through the air; stolen jewellery appears on her fingers, white mice crawl out of her handbag, beetles appear from under her gloves. Nandor Fodor reads of the case, and hastens to the scene of the haunting. But when Fodor starts his scrupulous investigation, he discovers that the case is even stranger than it seems. With rigour, daring and insight, the award-winning Kate Summerscale shadows Fodor’s enquiry, delving into long-hidden archives to find the human story behind a very modern haunting.
Hag by various authors
A collection of forgotten folk tales retold by authors including Eimear McBride, Daisy Johnson, Kirsty Logan, Liv Little and Imogen Hermes Gower. Here are sisters fighting for the love of the same woman, a pregnant archaeologist unearthing impossible bones and lost children following you home. A panther runs through the forests of England and pixies prey upon violent men. From the islands of Scotland to the coast of Cornwall, the mountains of Galway to the depths of the Fens, these forgotten folktales howl, cackle and sing their way into the 21st century, wildly reimagined by some of the most exciting women writing in Britain and Ireland today.
The July Girls by Phoebe Lock
Every year, on the same night in July, a woman is taken from the streets of London; snatched by a killer who moves through the city like a ghost. Addie has a secret. On the morning of her tenth birthday, four bombs were detonated across the capital. That night her dad came home covered in blood. She thought he was hurt in the attacks – but then her sister Jessie found a missing woman’s purse hidden in his room. Jessie says they mustn’t tell. She says there’s nothing to worry about. But when she takes a job looking after the woman’s baby daughter, Addie starts to realise that her big sister doesn’t always tell her the whole story. And that the secrets they’re keeping may start costing lives…
Silent Night by Nell Pattison
What happened while they were sleeping? A school for the deaf takes an overnight trip to the snowy woods. Five teenagers go to sleep, but only four wake up. Leon is missing, and a teacher’s body is found in the forest… Sign language interpreter Paige Northwood is brought in to help with interrogations. Everyone at the school has a motive for murder – but they all have an alibi. As Paige becomes increasingly involved, she suspects there’s something sinister going on. With the clock ticking to find Leon, only one thing is certain: the killer is among them, and ready to strike again…
The New Abject by various authors
An anthology of modern horror stories that respond to the psychoanalytic theory of the abject, written by both acclaimed and exciting debut authors such as Mark Haddon, Lucie McKnight-Hardy, Ramsey Campbell, Lara Williams and many more. This is the sequel to Comma’s sell-out horror anthology The New Uncanny, winner of the Shirley Jackson Award (2008).
The Silent Companions by Laura Purcell
Newly married, newly widowed Elsie is sent to see out her pregnancy at her late husband’s crumbling country estate, The Bridge. With her new servants resentful and the local villagers actively hostile, Elsie only has her husband’s awkward cousin for company. Or so she thinks. For inside her new home lies a locked room, and beyond that door lies a two-hundred-year-old diary and a deeply unsettling painted wooden figure – a Silent Companion – that bears a striking resemblance to Elsie herself…