Happy Thursday All
It’s hard to believe we are half way through October already. Which of course means that Halloween is only around the corner. Apart from all the dressing up and enough sweets and chocolate to bring on a diabetic coma, it’s a good time to fit in some books that will give you a scare. Normally I find that Horror is one of those genres that is more visual, so works best through film and TV. But every now and again I’ve come across a book that genuinely made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. Here’s 3 I’d recommend you check out this month.
The Woman in Black by Susan Hill
A book that’s short but definitely not sweet is The Woman in Black by Susan Hill. Released in 1983, the story takes place in the coastal town of Crythin Gifford in England. Arthur Kipps, a junior solicitor is called to the town to handle the affairs of the recently deceased Alice Drablow, who lives a secluded life in the eerie Eel Marsh House on the outskirts of the town, which has been marred by tragedy. From the moment he arrives, Kipps senses hostility from the locals. He soon learns of the legend of the mysterious ‘Woman in Black’, who all in Crythin Gifford live in fear of, as her appearance signals the death of a child. As he carries out his work at the house, Kipps begins to unravel the story behind the mysterious woman and the deadly curse that hangs over the town. The book has been successfully adapted into stage plays and a movie in 2012 staring Daniel Radcliffe as Arthur Kipps. It’s so well written, I got goose bumps on a number of occasions reading it. Once you’ve read it, check out the movie, as it is really well done, and I think it is probably one of the best horrors that has been made in the last decade.
And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
This is one of my all-time favourite reads by the great Agatha Christie, and it’s nothing short of a masterpiece. The plot revolves around a group of people being lured to a secluded island off the coast of England by way of invitation to an exclusive dinner party. Once there, a mysterious gramophone message accuses all of them of a crime which they escaped justice for committing. The group plan to leave the island by boat immediately after the message is played, but a combination of the distance from the mainland and a huge storm mean escape is impossible. One by one, the group are killed off in brutal fashion, with each death appearing to mirror that of the nursery rhyme, Ten Little Soldiers. As the death count rises, the group begin to turn on each other. The book is so cleverly written that you won’t know who the killer is until the very end, and it has some nice little details to it that add to the creepy atmosphere when reading it. This has also been adapted several times over the years, and the most recent (if I’m correct) aired in 2015 on the BBC, staring a host of big names including Aidan Turner, Charles Dance and Miranda Richardson. It’s really worth a watch once you have a read of the book, because they did a faithful adaptation of the story.
The Three by Sarah Lotz
This is probably the least well know of my three recommendations, but that doesn’t mean it is less worthy of a read. Released in 2014, The Three begins when four planes crash simultaneously at different points around the globe on the 12th of January 2012. Only 3 survivors are recorded. All are children, each found in the wreckage of a different plane, and all have survived unscathed. They are later christened The Three by the world’s media. The Three are seen by some as the harbingers of the apocalypse, a theory that is only fuelled by the various creepy things that happen to them and the people around them. The book takes the form of notes made by a journalist researching the events of January 12th, and their aftermath, as told by the people closest to The Three. This books strength is that it is written in such a way as it is up to you to determine who – or in fact what – the children actually are, and it is definitely an unsettling read.