If you miss Stephen King‘s writing, do not fear, there are plenty of great horror novels coming out in 2017, including a book from the King of Horror, himself! From old favorites like Dean Koontz to debut authors, these reads are not to be missed. Publishers’ descriptions included.
Little Heaven by Nick Cutter
An all-new epic tale of terror and redemption set in the hinterlands of midcentury New Mexico from the acclaimed author of The Troop — which Stephen King raved “scared the hell out of me and I couldn’t put it down… old-school horror at its best.”
From electrifying horror author Nick Cutter comes a haunting new novel, reminiscent of Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian and Stephen King’s It, in which a trio of mismatched mercenaries is hired by a young woman for a deceptively simple task: check in on her nephew, who may have been taken against his will to a remote New Mexico backwoods settlement called Little Heaven. Shortly after they arrive, things begin to turn ominous. Stirrings in the woods and over the treetops — the brooding shape of a monolith known as the Black Rock casts its terrible pall. Paranoia and distrust grips the settlement. The escape routes are gradually cut off as events spiral towards madness. Hell — or the closest thing to it — invades Little Heaven. The remaining occupants are forced to take a stand and fight back, but whatever has cast its dark eye on Little Heaven is now marshaling its powers… and it wants them all.
Release date: Out now
Fever Dream by Samanta Schweblin
A young woman named Amanda lies dying in a rural hospital clinic. A boy named David sits beside her. She’s not his mother. He’s not her child. Together, they tell a haunting story of broken souls, toxins, and the power and desperation of family.
Fever Dream is a nightmare come to life, a ghost story for the real world, a love story and a cautionary tale. One of the freshest new voices to come out of the Spanish language and translated into English for the first time, Samanta Schweblin creates an aura of strange psychological menace and otherworldly reality in this absorbing, unsettling, taut novel.
Release date: Out now
The River at Night by Erica Ferencik
A high stakes drama set against the harsh beauty of the Maine wilderness, charting the journey of four friends as they fight to survive the aftermath of a white water rafting accident, The River at Night is a nonstop and unforgettable thriller by a stunning new voice in fiction.
Winifred Allen needs a vacation.
Stifled by a soul-crushing job, devastated by the death of her beloved brother, and lonely after the end of a 15-year marriage, Wini is feeling vulnerable. So when her three best friends insist on a high-octane getaway for their annual girls’ trip, she signs on, despite her misgivings.
What starts out as an invigorating hiking and rafting excursion in the remote Allagash Wilderness soon becomes an all-too-real nightmare: A freak accident leaves the women stranded, separating them from their raft and everything they need to survive. When night descends, a fire on the mountainside lures them to a ramshackle camp that appears to be their lifeline. But as Wini and her friends grasp the true intent of their supposed saviors, long buried secrets emerge and lifelong allegiances are put to the test. To survive, Wini must reach beyond the world she knows to harness an inner strength she never knew she possessed.
With intimately observed characters, visceral prose, and pacing as ruthless as the river itself, The River at Night is a dark exploration of creatures — both friend and foe — that you won’t soon forget.
Release date: Out now
Under a Watchful Eye by Adam Nevill
Under a Watchful Eye by Adam Nevill is a supernatural thriller from the award-winning writer of The Ritual and Last Days. Seb Logan is being watched. He just doesn’t know by whom. When the sudden appearance of a dark figure shatters his idyllic coastal life, he soon realizes that the murky past he thought he’d left behind has far from forgotten him. What’s more unsettling is the strange atmosphere that engulfs him at every sighting, plunging his mind into a terrifying paranoia. To be a victim without knowing the tormentor. To be despised without knowing the offense caused. To be seen by what nobody else can see. These are the thoughts which plague his every waking moment. Imprisoned by despair, Seb fears his stalker is not working alone, but rather is involved in a wider conspiracy that threatens everything he has worked for. For there are doors in this world that open into unknown places. Places used by the worst kind of people to achieve their own ends. And once his investigation leads him to stray across the line and into mortal danger, he risks becoming another fatality in a long line of victims.
Release date: January 12
Lucidity by David Carnoy
After his “gripping thriller debut” Knife Music and sophomore “page turner” The Big Exit, David Carnoy’s Detective Hank Madden returns in this bicoastal caper that pits dreams against reality, where nothing can be taken at face value. Twenty years after the unsolved case of Stacey Walker’s disappearance went cold, a Silicone Valley executive hires the retired Menlo Park Police Detective Hank Madden to find her body and track down her missing husband, the prime suspect in her unsolved murder. Four months later, author Candace Epstein is pushed in front of a car near Central Park. Her editor Max Fremmer becomes entangled into the investigation of her attempted murder, though he is adamant that he is uninvolved. As he digs into Candace’s background to clear his own name, Fremmer grows suspicious of his client’s connection to a nefarious institute for lucid dreaming on the Upper East Side and its staff whose stories never seem to add up — all while an unexpected link emerges to Detective Madden’s investigation in California. As similarities arise between the cases on each coast, Detective Madden and Fremmer forge an unlikely partnership to expose what misconduct lurks beneath the facade of the Lucidity Center — but can they unravel the secret that links their investigations together in time, or are they only dreaming? Carnoy’s Lucidity stuns with complex detail that will keep readers guessing until the final, satisfying jolt.
Release date: February 7
Universal Harvester by John Darnielle
Jeremy works at the Video Hut in Nevada, Iowa. It’s a small town in the center of the state — the first a in Nevada pronounced ay. This is the late 1990s, and even if the Hollywood Video in Ames poses an existential threat to Video Hut, there are still regular customers, a rush in the late afternoon. It’s good enough for Jeremy: It’s a job, quiet and predictable, and it gets him out of the house, where he lives with his dad and where they both try to avoid missing Mom, who died six years ago in a car wreck.
But when a local schoolteacher comes in to return her copy of Targets — an old movie, starring Boris Karloff, one Jeremy himself had ordered for the store — she has an odd complaint: “There’s something on it,” she says, but doesn’t elaborate. Two days later, a different customer returns a different tape, a new release, and says it’s not defective, exactly, but altered: “There’s another movie on this tape.”
Jeremy doesn’t want to be curious, but he brings the movies home to take a look. And, indeed, in the middle of each movie, the screen blinks dark for a moment and the movie is replaced by a few minutes of jagged, poorly lit home video. The scenes are odd and sometimes violent, dark, and deeply disquieting. There are no identifiable faces, no dialogue or explanation — the first video has just the faint sound of someone breathing — but there are some recognizable landmarks. These have been shot just outside of town.
So begins John Darnielle’s haunting and masterfully unsettling Universal Harvester: the once placid Iowa fields and farmhouses now sinister and imbued with loss and instability and profound foreboding. The novel will take Jeremy and those around him deeper into this landscape than they have ever expected to go. They will become part of a story that unfolds years into the past and years into the future, part of an impossible search for something someone once lost that they would do anything to regain.
Release date: February 7
The Devil Crept In by Ania Ahlborn
An unforgettable horror novel from bestselling sensation Ania Ahlborn — hailed as a writer of “some of the most promising horror I’ve encountered in years” (New York Times bestselling author Seanan McGuire) — in which a small-town boy investigates the mysterious disappearance of his cousin and uncovers a terrifying secret kept hidden for years.
Young Jude Brighton has been missing for three days, and while the search for him is in full swing in the small town of Deer Valley, Oregon, the locals are starting to lose hope. They’re well aware that the first 48 hours are critical and after that, the odds usually point to a worst-case scenario. And despite Stevie Clark’s youth, he knows that, too; he’s seen the cop shows. He knows what each ticking moment may mean for Jude, his cousin and best friend.
That, and there was that boy, Max Larsen… the one from years ago, found dead after also disappearing under mysterious circumstances. And then there were the animals: pets gone missing out of yards. For years, the residents of Deer Valley have murmured about these unsolved crimes… and that a killer may still be lurking around their quiet town. Now, fear is reborn — and for Stevie, who is determined to find out what really happened to Jude, the awful truth may be too horrifying to imagine.
Release date: February 7
The Awakening by Amanda Stevens
Shush… lest she awaken…
My name is Amelia Gray, a cemetery restorer who lives with the dead. An anonymous donor has hired me to restore Woodbine Cemetery, a place where the rich and powerful bury their secrets. Forty years ago, a child disappeared without a trace and now her ghost has awakened, demanding that I find out the truth about her death. Only I know that she was murdered. Only I can bring her killer to justice. But the clues that I follow — a haunting melody and an unnamed baby’s grave — lead me to a series of disturbing suspects.
For generations, The Devlins have been members of Charleston’s elite. John Devlin once turned his back on the traditions and expectations that came with his birthright, but now he has seemingly accepted his rightful place. His family’s secrets make him a questionable ally. When my investigation brings me to the gates of his family’s palatial home, I have to wonder if he is about to become my mortal enemy.
Release date: March 28
The First City by Joe Hart
In the thrilling conclusion to Joe Hart’s Dominion trilogy, Zoey discovers who she truly is — and who she must become.
Zoey has only ever known a world with few women and a society capable of unimaginable evil. Now she’s about to learn she may be the only hope it has for salvation.
After she and her companions flee a vicious attack, barely escaping with their lives, Zoey finds herself faced with a new threat: video evidence suggesting she is the mother of an unborn baby girl — and the key to mankind’s survival. Knowing that her former captors will stop at nothing to control the power that lies within her, Zoey sets out on her own for the last American city, Seattle, in search of answers. But a new enemy awaits her there, and the truth she seeks may lead to her destruction as well as that of all humankind.
This stunning finale, hailed by bestselling author Blake Crouch as a “rapturous, thought-provoking, [and] impossible-to-put-down thriller,” begs us all to consider what we would do when asked to choose between humanity’s survival—and our own.
Release date: March 28
Untitled Jack Sparks Sequel by Jason Arnopp
From the author of The Last Days of Jack Sparks comes a chilling new thriller that will have you triple-locking your door at night…
Your front door key is not unique.
If a homicidal maniac walked from house to house for long enough, trying the same key in each front door, he might eventually open yours.
Six-year-old Emilee finds this out the hard way when a smiling stranger coolly unlocks her suburban front door. He walks in and brutally attacks her family, then seems to vanish into thin air.
Fourteen years later, the traumatic event haunts both Emilee and Gabriella, the homicide detective who handled the case. Together, they discover that similar home invasions have happened across America for decades. And when they launch a hunt for the ‘key killer,’ they start to wonder if unnatural forces could be at work…
Discover the jaw-dropping, chilling and thoroughly gripping new thriller from Jason Arnopp.
Release date: May 23
The Silent Corner by Dean Koontz
“I very much need to be dead.”
These are the chilling words left behind by a man who had everything to live for — but took his own life. In the aftermath, his widow, Jane Hawk, does what all her grief, fear, and fury demands: Find the truth, no matter what.
People of talent and accomplishment, people admired and happy and sound of mind, have been committing suicide in surprising numbers. When Jane seeks to learn why, she becomes the most-wanted fugitive in America. Her powerful enemies are protecting a secret so important — so terrifying — that they will exterminate anyone in their way.
But all their power and viciousness may not be enough to stop a woman as clever as they are cold-blooded, as relentless as they are ruthless — and who is driven by a righteous rage they can never comprehend. Because it is born of love.
Release date: June 6
Final Girls by Riley Sager
Ten years ago, college student Quincy Carpenter went on vacation with five friends and came back alone, the only survivor of a horror movie-scale massacre. In an instant, she became a member of a club no one wants to belong to — a group of similar survivors known in the press as the Final Girls. Lisa, who lost nine sorority sisters to a college dropout’s knife; Sam, who went up against the Sack Man during her shift at the Nightlight Inn; and now Quincy, who ran bleeding through the woods to escape Pine Cottage and the man she refers to only as Him. The three girls are all attempting to put their nightmares behind them, and, with that, one another. Despite the media’s attempts, they never meet.
Now, Quincy is doing well — maybe even great, thanks to her Xanax prescription. She has a caring almost-fiancé, Jeff; a popular baking blog; a beautiful apartment; and a therapeutic presence in Coop, the police officer who saved her life all those years ago. Her memory won’t even allow her to recall the events of that night; the past is in the past.
That is, until Lisa, the first Final Girl, is found dead in her bathtub, wrists slit, and Sam, the second, appears on Quincy’s doorstep. Blowing through Quincy’s life like a whirlwind, Sam seems intent on making Quincy relive the past, with increasingly dire consequences, all of which makes Quincy question why Sam is really seeking her out. And when new details about Lisa’s death come to light, Quincy’s life becomes a race against time as she tries to unravel Sam’s truths from her lies, evade the police and hungry reporters, and, most crucially, remember what really happened at Pine Cottage, before what was started 10 years ago is finished.
Release date: July 11
Sleeping Beauties by Stephen King
In a December Facebook post about what fans can look forward to in 2017, King mentioned that Sleeping Beauties, a book he wrote with his son Owen, will be out this year.
Which of these books are you excited to read? Tell us in the comments!
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