Friday, October 19, 2012

Creepy Stories for Adults

Rasputin's Bastards (M)
by David Nickle

"A decade after the fall of the Soviet Union, ex-KGB agent Alexei Kilodovich is rescued from drowning by a ship helmed by Holden Gibson. Gibson is a fraud artist who, in trying to connect with the Russian crime syndicate, finds something much larger and darker. In Labrador, an old woman foresees her death and the nightmare that will follow, and, in New York City, an old soldier seeks to bring together a psychic army of young people trained in the secret City 512, deep in the Urals. These are descendents from the powerful line of Rasputin, and their destiny is to rule the world. Bram Stoker Award winner Nickle's (Eutopia) latest novel tells a complex story of supernatural horror and psychological suspense crafted with the somber foreboding of a Russian novel and the genre-breaking freedom of magical realism. VERDICT This novel is supernatural eeriness at its best, with intriguing characters, no clear heroes, and a dark passion at its heart. Horror aficionados and fans of Stephen King's larger novels should appreciate this macabre look at the aftermath of the Cold War." - Library Journal

Beckon (M)
by Tom Pawlik

"Beckon, WY, is known for the Native American legend of the soul eater. Three people travel to the town for different reasons. Jack is looking for clues to his father's disappearance. Elina seeks her missing cousin, George a cure for his wife, who suffers from Alzheimer's. Each of them finds a secret in Beckon, though it is not the answer that any of them is looking for. The question is, will any of them make it back home? VERDICT Fast-paced and violent, this creepy thriller by the Christie Award-winning author of Vanish should appeal to fans of Frank Peretti and Terri Blackstock." - Library Journal

Hell Train (M)
by Christopher Fowler

"The affection of British Fantasy Award-winner Fowler for classic Hammer Films horror movies pays off in this intricately recursive tale of terror. In London, 1966, American writer Shane Carter is given less than five days to come up with a script for Hammer's next Peter Cushing vehicle. Given only the vague guidance that the plot should have something to do with a train, Carter finds an old board game called Hell Train. The narrative shifts to a story within the story, as an unnamed young girl ignores the warning message on the same game, and then to the conceit of the game itself: a disparate group of desperate people in 1916 Carpathia board a mysterious midnight train to an unknown destination. Fowler (the Bryant and May series) neatly incorporates many of the Hammer studio's trademarks: "young lovers, fearsome creatures, a dire warning, rituals and curses, and dreadful consequences." The shocks never stop coming, bolstered by crisp writing and well-defined, sympathetic characters." - Publishers Weekly

Nocturnal: a novel (M)
by Scott Sigler

"From the author of several excellent horror novels, including Contagious (2009) and Ancestor (2010),comes another page-turner. Bryan Clauser, a San Francisco police detective investigating a series of strange killings, is shocked when his own tormented dreams seem to presage the murders. And when he discovers that the victims all appear to be connected to a deeply troubled boy, Bryan starts questioning his own sanity. But then the larger truth begins to emerge, and he realizes that he has somehow been caught up in a war between surface dwellers and the strange creatures who have, until now, remained hidden beneath. Sigler has several strong points as a storyteller, but his primary strength is his ability to create believable characters, even living in what may appear to be unbelievable worlds. Bryan Clauser feels like a real person, and we follow him into this fantastic story, buying into it because he buys into it. For Sigler's devoted following, and for fans of realistically presented horror fiction, this is a must-read." - Booklist

Red Rain (M)
by R.L. Stine

"Best known for his popular novels for children and young adults ("Goosebumps" and "Fear Street" series), Stine is back with his fourth adult novel (Superstitious; The Sitter; Eye Candy). Visiting a remote island off the South Carolina coast, travel blogger Lea Sutter witnesses a mysterious ritual thought to bring back the dead. Soon after, a devastating hurricane ravages the island. Among the few survivors, Lea finds orphaned twin boys and adopts them. Back home on Long Island, Lea's husband, Mark, and their two biological children are apprehensive about the mysterious boys. Soon a murder occurs. And then another. VERDICT Brutal and gory, with graphic language and adult content, the novel features a simple and direct style that allows the reader to visualize the action. While the subject of evil children isn't new in the horror genre, Stine's story is a creepy, fun read. Recommended for original admirers of his teen and children's books as well as fans of horror fiction." - Library Journal

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