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Our Favorite Halloween Reads: 7 Chilling & Thrilling Books to Add to Your TBR

by  | October 25

Haunted houses and scary movies are all well and good, but we bibliophiles know that nothing can top books for chills and thrills at Halloween. A good scary story is an immersive experience that will haunt you long after you’ve turned that last page…and checked to make sure all your doors are locked. From psychological thrillers and horror novels to true crime tales and paranormal romances, there’s a broad range of books to help get you into the spirit this spooky season. Looking for your next hair-raising read? Here are a few of our top picks to add to your Halloween TBR pile….

The Turn of the Key

The Turn of the Key

by Ruth Ware

Saimah’s Pick #1: 

Halloween is just around the corner, which means that all my favorite spooky movies are playing on repeat. But when I am able to pull myself away from my movie marathon, I love to dive into a thriller that will keep me turning the pages late into the night. So, if you are a fan of frightening mysteries like me, you won’t want to miss the latest from Ruth Ware. The Turn of the Key begins with Rowan Caine writing to her lawyer from a jail cell…because she’s been arrested and is awaiting trial for the murder of a child. Through her letter Rowan shares the events that led to her being in prison. She had been working as a live-in nanny for a “picture-perfect” family in their smart-tech home in the Scottish Highlands…but when the tech surrounding her seems to go haywire, she starts to realize it’s not a dream job after all, but rather a freaking nightmare! Is the house haunted? Is someone hacking

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Hex Your Ex

Hex Your Ex

by Adams Media

Saimah’s Pick #2: 

While I may be a Gryffindor (according to Pottermore), I definitely have some tendencies that make me more of a Slytherin…. If you’re like me, you may have cursed the fates who led you to fall for that one jackass. And a thought may have crossed your mind about putting a hex on that person who crushed your heart. Whether you want to find a way to jinx him so his pants drop down anytime he tries to flirt with someone new, or if you just want to find a magical balm to soothe your heartbreak, you should pick up Hex Your Ex. It has 100 edgy spells and rituals to help you execute your revengeful thoughts—or find a way to get past them and move on to your next chapter.

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A Longer Fall

A Longer Fall

by Charlaine Harris

LJ’s Pick: 

Would the United States have survived if Franklin Roosevelt had been assassinated before leading the country out of the Great Depression, or would we be living in a whole other world? Charlaine Harris, the New York Times bestselling author of the Sookie Stackhouse mysteries (adapted into the HBO show True Blood), answers this question in her latest novel, A Longer Fall. The second installment of her Gunnie Rose series, A Longer Fall is an alternate history novel, but with a weird Western twist. The series chronicles the adventures of gunslinger Lizbeth Rose in the fractured countries and territories that once made up the United States of America. An adventurous mystery with detective skills needed for anyone who reaches for sleuthing over horror at Halloween.

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The Institute

The Institute

by Stephen King

Sienna’s Pick: 

If you love Stranger Things and Stephen King’s It (both the film and the book), then you’re going to be obsessed with Stephen King’s The Institute. It has it all. Children who band together to fight evil. Check! Children with other worldly powers. Check! After Luke Ellis is kidnapped from his home in the middle of the night—and his parents are murdered—he wakes up at The Institute. The room he’s living in looks just like his bedroom at home, except for no windows (and he is far from home). He’s been placed in some kind of facility that houses children like him with telepathic and telekinetic powers. Luke also finds out that the staff at The Institute is attempting to harness and drain the collective powers of the kids. But for what nefarious reasons and can they make it out alive?

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Demon from the Dark

Demon from the Dark

by Kresley Cole

Heather’s Pick #1: 

What’s Halloween without a paranormal romance? I honestly couldn’t say, because for me, the duo go together like chocolate and peanut butter (mmmm...). Kresley Cole’s Demon from the Dark introduces us to outcast demon Malkom, who’s been poisoned with vampire blood and suffers from vampiric hunger, and spirited witch Carrow, whose party-girl reputation masks her own sadness. The sparks fly between these total opposites from the moment they meet, which just so happens to be when Carrow is forced to try to lure Malkom into a trap...and they wind up being caught and imprisoned together instead. Now, they have to team up to escape a horrible fate, and decide if they really want to resist the intense passion and longing they both feel for each other.

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The Stranger Beside Me

The Stranger Beside Me

by Ann Rule

Heather’s Pick #2: 

There’s nothing more frightening to me than knowing that real-life monsters stalk our streets, so I’d be remiss if I didn’t include Ann Rule’s shudder-inducing The Stranger Beside Me as one of my go-to Halloween reads. In her chilling first book, the now legendary true crime author Ann Rule grapples with a question that clearly haunts her: How could I not know I was friends with a serial killer? Sharing parts of her own personal life along with the facts of the case, Rule reveals how she came to know a young, handsome, ambitious Ted Bundy and why she had such a hard time accepting his guilt even as the evidence against him mounted. You may think you know the story of Ted Bundy, but the snippets of his letters from prison and the insights into his endless manipulation of women offered up in this book must be read to be believed.

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The Twisted Ones

The Twisted Ones

by T. Kingfisher

Linda’s Pick: 

The folktales of the American South draw up visions of haunted mountains, long-suffering swamps, and spooky creatures just waiting to find you in the holler. The Twisted Ones by T. Kingfisher brings old legends into a very real, terrifyingly scary North Carolina valley.

In this psychological thriller-meets-monster tale, a young woman named Mouse returns to her Grandmother’s hoarded-out home, where she must clear it of clutter and get it ready to sell or demo. While there, she comes across a strange boulder in the front lawn, which bears carvings that appear to be moving. The house, imbued with the presence of her semi-evil grandmother, also hosts the last work of her step-grandfather, a kindly old man who kept a journal of his recollections of an encounter with the mythological Welsh Pale People. Encounters which strangely and spookily mirror the same visions Mouse has been experiencing. As she works to clear out the old house’s clutter, Mouse feels like she’s being hunted, watched, and harassed. A perfect read for spook season, The Twisted Ones will leave you on edge and shivering, holding your dog close and double-checking the locks on your doors.

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