Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Thrills and Chills for October

I am not a big reader of scary books.  In high school, I read Stephen King's Salem's Lot and that gave me nightmares for life!  I remember that my parents were out when I was finishing the book at night.  I kept reading despite my fear, hoping there would be a "happy ending."  I know, silly me.

Despite my fear of the supernatural, I have read several books in the past year that would be perfect for anyone looking for some seasonal scares.

Last October, the Mansfield Library Book Club was lucky enough to win the chance to Skpye with author John Searles as part of his "50 Book Clubs, 50 States" challenge.  We had a wonderful discussion with John and met his dog Ruby, the cutest dog on Earth!  It turned out that one of our members actually grew up in the same town as John - small world.  I would highly recommend Help for the Haunted.

I admit that I was scared to read this book at night, but I loved it. It combines mystery, the supernatural and a coming of age novel. Sylvia has been searching for answers about the deaths of her parents - so called demonologists. Her older sister, Rose, is her legal guardian and they live in their family home where the basement holds their parents' collection of items from the " haunted." These include Penny, a large Raggedy Ann doll who is locked in a cage. So scary! Sylvia begins writing in a journal as she searches for the truth of what she saw the night her parents were murdered. Lots of twists and scares, as well as a story about families and belief. I read it in one sitting!

Another psychological thriller is The Ice Twins by S.K. Tremayn.

A spooky atmospheric thriller set on a small island off the coast of Scotland.  Sarah and Angus have moved to Thunder Island after the death of one of their twin daughters.  Lydia and Kirstie were completely identical twins.  The accidental death of Lydia has brought psychological damage to her parents and surviving twin.   But, was it really Lydia who died?  Why is Kirstie suddenly acting like her sister?  Did they make a huge mistake?  Meanwhile, Kirstie tells her parents that her twin is still with them and that she can see her in mirrors.  Scottish lore has it that Thunder Island is a thin place between spirit world - has a twin returned and which one is it?

Finally, there is A Pleasure and a Calling by Phil Hogan.  

What a brilliantly creepy novel! Mr. Heming is a realtor in a small town who tries his best to blend into the background. This comes in handy because he keeps copies of the keys to all the houses he has sold and will drop in from time to time...while the owners are out - or not! Mr. Heming is a bit of an unreliable narrator, having a tendency to scatter important facts here and there. We learn about his childhood, but only what and when he wants us to know. He seems content to live through the lives of others and sees himself as a benevolent god looking over his people. From time to time, however, he becomes embroiled in situations that result in violence. Surprisingly, I found myself hoping Mr. Heming did not get caught. This one is hard to put down and will make you immediately change the locks on your home!

I hope you'll enjoy these titles - read them with the lights on!!