Friday, December 14, 2018

The Year’s Best in Thrills, Chills, and Kills

Although I’ve mentioned elsewhere that my favorite book of the year was The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai, truth is that most of the books I’ve read this year fall squarely into the darker side of fiction. Horror, mysteries, and thrillers are, by far, my proverbial cup of tea. This year continued with the upswing in quality genre works—with horror continuing its meteoric rise in creativity over cliché, mysteries harkening back to the comforting familiarity of the cozy, and thrillers continuing to deliver twists and turns with whiplash speed.

Top Ten Horror Reads of 2018

This weekend, I’ll be submitting my recommendations for the prestigious Bram Stoker Award in various categories. I’ll be recommending sixteen works of horror this year that I felt rose to the level of the “superior” designation of the venerable awards program. This overall number is up slightly from the number of works I recommended last year, which I think is indicative of how far the current crop of horror writers continue to raise the bar in terms of creativity, quality, and innovation within the genre.

#10— Inhospitable by Marshall Moore

#9— The Devil and the Deep Edited by Ellen Datlow

#8— Porcelain by Nate Southard

#7— Distortion by Lee Thomas

#6— Dracul by Dacre Stoker and J.D. Barker

#5— Neverworld Wake by Marisha Pessl

#4— The Third Hotel by Laura Van Den Berg

#3— Unbury Carol by Josh Malerman

#2— The Hunger by Alma Katsu

#1— A Cabin at the End of the World by Paul Tremblay

Honorable mentions (which also garnered Stoker recommendations):

The Outsider by Stephen King

The Saturday Night Ghost Club by Craig Davidson

Of Echoes Born by ‘Nathan Burgoine

Rabid Heart by Jeremy Wagner

Scream All Night by Derek Milman

The Fives Sense of Horror Edited by Eric J. Guignard

Top Ten Mysteries/Thrillers of 2018

#10— The Surviving Girls by Katee Robert

#9— The Other Mother by Carol Goodman

#8— In Prior’s Wood by G.M. Malliet

#7— All These Beautiful Strangers by Elizabeth Klehfoth

#6— Into That Good Night by Levis Keltner

#5— The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager

#4— The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn

#3— The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware

#2— The Word Is Murder by Anthony Horowitz

#1— The 7 ½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

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