Have a Scary, Spooky Halloween!

Nothing says “Halloween” more than spine-tingling tales of horror and suspense. Check out these new hair-raising additions to Mercer County Library’s collection:

Within These Walls by Ania Ahlborn
Within These Walls by Ania Ahlborn
With his marriage on the rocks and his life in shambles, washed up true crime writer Lucas Graham is desperate for a comeback, one more shot at the bestselling success he once enjoyed. His chance comes when he's promised exclusive access to death row inmate Jeffrey Halcomb, the notorious cult leader and mass murderer who's ready to break his silence after 30 years, and who contacted Lucas personally from his maximum security cell. With nothing less to lose, Lucas leaves New York to live in and work from the scene of the crime: a split-level farmhouse on a gray-sanded beach in Washington State whose foundation is steeped in the blood of Halcomb's diviners-- runaways who were drawn to his message of family, unity, and unconditional love. There, Lucas sets out to capture the real story of the departed faithful. Except that he's not alone. For Jeffrey Halcomb promised his devout eternal life and within these walls, they're far from dead.

The Deep by Nick Cutter
The Deep by Nick Cutter
From the acclaimed author of The Troop comes this utterly terrifying novel where The Abyss meets The Shining. A strange plague called the 'Gets is decimating humanity on a global scale. It causes people to forget—small things at first, like where they left their keys, then the not-so-small things, like how to drive or the letters of the alphabet. Their bodies forget how to function involuntarily. There is no cure. But now, far below the surface of the Pacific Ocean, deep in the Mariana Trench, a heretofore-unknown substance hailed as "ambrosia" - a universal healer, from initial reports - has been discovered. It may just be the key to eradicating the 'Gets. In order to study this phenomenon, a special research lab, the Trieste, has been built eight miles under the sea's surface. But when the station goes incommunicado, a brave few descend through the lightless fathoms in hopes of unraveling the mysteries lurking at those crushing depths...and perhaps to encounter an evil blacker than anything one could possibly imagine.

“Cutter follows up his successful horror debut (The Troop, 2014) with another story rife with dread and violence.”--Booklist

“Fans of unflinching bleakness and all-out horror will love this novel…Each new shock is freshly disturbing.” (Starred Review, Publishers Weekly)

“Some thrillers produce shivers, others trigger goose bumps; Cutter's graphic offering will have readers jumping out of their skin…intense…packs a powerful punch….Readers may wish to tackle this heart-pounding novel in highly-populated, well-lit areas--snacks optional.”—Kirkus Reviews

Best New Horror, Volume 25 edited and with an Introduction by Stephen Jones
Best New Horror, Volume 25 edited and with an Introduction by Stephen Jones
“This twenty-fifth year of gathering stories from the best English-language horror writers has come with a fitting dose of circumstance for this quarter-century milestone. Prolific anthology editor Jones has brought together a team that simply demands attention, including constant favorite fantasy and horror writer Neil Gaiman, along with wild cards such as novelist and film director and video-game designer Clive Barker. The mix is especially varied in tone as well as in length: some stories are vignettes of a couple pages of stream-of-consciousness, but British screenwriter Stephen Volk's contribution is just short of a novella. But every story writer here deeply understands what makes for the most compelling, well-remembered horror. While many horror stories focus on eliciting shock and disgust, the stories in this anthology show that the best horror comes from the constant, subtle, disquieting power of the human imagination losing itself in the unknown. Readers will hardly find anything in this collection utilizing the shock of gruesome morbidity, but any horror enthusiast picking it up will be easily drawn in and thoroughly satisfied.”—Booklist

“Jones's acclaimed contemporary horror series celebrates its quarter-century with 21 stories from newcomers and veterans - primarily British and North American - who can find equal unease in a sunny holiday, a burnt-out lot, and the floodwaters at the end of the world.”—Publishers Weekly

“The 25th anniversary edition of this anthology series (published in Britain as The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror) ranges from mildly spooky to all-out gory. Creepy children's books haunt both Joel Lane's dark story of murder, 'By Night He Could Not See,' and Reggie Oliver's 'Come Into My Parlour.' Another winner is Robert Shearman's 'The Sixteen Steps,' a story of a bed-and-breakfast that houses secrets. Some tales are brief but land with a punch, such as Neil Gaiman's 'Click-Clack the Rattlebag' or longer, yet still affecting, including Michael Marshall Smith's 'The Gist,' about a translator who learns to regret ever encountering a mysterious book.”—Library Journal

Best Horror of the Year, Volume 7, Ellen Datlow, Editor
Best Horror of the Year, Volume 7, Ellen Datlow, Editor
A sin-eater plies the tools of her dangerous trade; a jealous husband takes his rival on a hunting trip; a student torments one of his teachers; a cheap grafter is selling artifacts from hell; something is haunting the departure lounge of an airport . . . The Best Horror of the Year showcases the previous year's best offerings in short fiction horror. This edition includes award-winning and critically acclaimed authors Laird Barron, Caitlín R. Kiernan, Nathan Ballingrud, Genevieve Valentine, and more. For over three decades, award-winning editor and anthologist Ellen Datlow has had her finger on the pulse of the latest and most terrifying in horror writing.

The Devil’s Bag Man by Adam Mansbach
The Devil’s Bag Man by Adam Mansbach
In this chilling sequel to The Dead Run, New York Times bestselling author Adam Mansbach mixes horror, the supernatural and gritty suspense to deliver a high-octane, high-concept adventure filled with nasty bad guys, fearsome magic, and an unlikely hero caught in the dangerous terrain of the Tex-Mex borderland.

Locked in a Mexican jail for a crime he didn’t commit, Jess Galvan made a devil’s bargain to escape and make it back home. Now, he’s trapped in his own personal hell, his mind and body inhabited by the soul of Cucuy, a fearsome, five-hundred-year-old Aztec priest and major crime kingpin determined to bring about hell on earth. Estranged from his daughter, Sherry, and now his own body, Galvan’s every moment is a battle to keep the evil priest at bay. But there is a silver lining—his presence has endowed Galvan with superhuman strength and endurance.

Meanwhile, in the bowels of Ojos Negros prison, Cucuy’s second-in-command, Domingo Valentine, is trying to run the empire Cucuy left behind when he vanished, but the drug cartels they once controlled are at war with one another. Desperate for answers, Valentine springs the imprisoned leader of a deadly biker gang and now they’re on the hunt for Galvan—who must find a way to exorcise his inner demon and save the world from annihilation.

“An adrenaline-pumping bang teeming with vivid, violent imagery. Imagine an Indiana Jones-style story, starring the Hulk and directed by Robert Rodriquez; surely satisfying for readers craving a bloody supernatural jolt.”—Booklist

“Mansbach believably builds a scenario for the destruction of the world, showing the best and worst of humankind brought to their knees by the power of gods, and leaving the rest of us to tremble.”--Publishers Weekly

“Rarely has a writer demonstrated he’s having as much fun as Mansbach clearly is with this demented series combining contemporary crime action, Mexican mythology, irreverent comedy, and straight-up horror.”—Kirkus Reviews

The Night Sister by Jennifer McMahon
The Night Sister by Jennifer McMahon
The latest novel from the New York Times best-selling author of The Winter People Jennifer McMahon is an atmospheric, gripping, and suspenseful tale that probes the bond between sisters and the peril of keeping secrets. Once the thriving attraction of rural Vermont, the Tower Motel now stands in disrepair, alive only in the memories of Amy, Piper, and Piper's kid sister, Margot. The three played there as girls until the day that their games uncovered something dark and twisted in the motel's past, something that ruined their friendship forever. Now adult, Piper and Margot have tried to forget what they found that fateful summer, but their lives are upended when Piper receives a panicked midnight call from Margot, with news of a horrific crime for which Amy stands accused. Suddenly, Margot and Piper are forced to relive the time that they found the suitcase that once belonged to Silvie Slater, the aunt that Amy claimed had run away to Hollywood to live out her dream of becoming Hitchcock's next blonde bombshell leading lady. As Margot and Piper investigate, a cleverly woven plot unfolds--revealing the story of Sylvie and Rose, two other sisters who lived at the motel during its 1950s heyday. Each believed the other to be something truly monstrous, but only one carries the secret that would haunt the generations to come.

Black Wings of Cthulhu: Twenty-One New Tales of Lovecraftian Horror, S.T. Joshi, Editor
Black Wings of Cthulhu: Twenty-One New Tales of Lovecraftian Horror, S.T. Joshi, Editor
From the depths of R'lyeh come 21 brand-new, utterly terrifying, and thoroughly entertaining short stories of horror and the macabre!

Taking their inspiration from works by Lovecraft himself, prominent writers such as Caitlin R. Kiernan, Brian Stableford, Ramsey Campbell, Michael Shea, Darrell Schweitzer, Donald R. Burleson, and David J. Schow delve deep into the psyche, expanding on concepts H.P. Lovecraft created and taking them in new directions.

The result is stories that are wholly original, some even featuring Lovecraft himself as a character. Black Wings editor S.T. Joshi is the recognized authority on all things Lovecraftian, and is famous for his restorations of Lovecraft's original works. He has assembled a star-studded line-up in a book that is essential for every horror library.

The Scarlet Gospels by Clive Barker
The Scarlet Gospels by Clive Barker
The Scarlet Gospels takes readers back many years to the early days of two of Barker's most iconic characters in a battle of good and evil as old as time: The long-beleaguered detective Harry D'Amour, investigator of all supernatural, magical, and malevolent crimes faces off against his formidable, and intensely evil rival, Pinhead, the priest of hell. Bloody, terrifying, and brilliantly complex, fans and newcomers alike will not be disappointed by the epic, visionary tale that is The Scarlet Gospels.

“Horror master Barker brings together two of his iconic characters, Cenobite hell-priest Pinhead and occult detective Harry D'Amour, in this long-awaited epic that ranges from the dark corners of New York to the pits of hell. Barker sets the tone immediately as he launches into his unique brand of abhorrent violence, depicting Pinhead ravaging a group of human magicians to find the keys to their power. Harry D'Amour has been battling demons for 20 years, and when he is called to a hidden apartment to destroy the evidence of a dead magician, he is surprised by Pinhead, and their strange and malevolent dance begins. Pinhead kidnaps D'Amour's longtime confidant, blind psychic Norma Paine, prompting Harry and his band of cohorts to travel to hell to rescue her. This one's a must for bloodthirsty horror fans everywhere.”—Booklist

“Barker's depiction of hell is Dantesque in scope and scale, and his descriptions of its architecture and denizens form an awesomely creative display of imagination. The visceral horrors that clot nearly every page of this novel are not for the squeamish, but the reader who stomachs them to the end will be impressed by the audacity of the author's ambitions.”—Publishers Weekly

Dragonbane by Sherrilyn Kenyon
Dragonbane by Sherrilyn Kenyon
Out of all the mysterious boarders who call Sanctuary home, no one is more antisocial or withdrawn than Maxis Drago. But then, it's hard to blend in with the modern world when you have a 50-foot wingspan. Centuries ago, he was cursed by an enemy who swore to see him fall. An enemy who took everything from him and left him forever secluded. But Fate is a bitch, with a wicked sense of humor. And when she throws old enemies together and threatens the wife he thought had died centuries ago, he comes back with a vengeance. Modern day New Orleans has become a battleground for the oldest of evils. And two dragons will hold the line, or go down in flames, in Dragonbane, the next explosive Dark-Hunter novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Sherrilyn Kenyon.

-Lisa Shrager

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