The New Girl
This debut thriller reads like The Devil Wears Prada. When glamorous Margot Jones, the fashion editor at glossy magazine Haute, goes on maternity leave, Maggie, a freelance journalist, takes over her job temporarily. Not long after, Margot begins to wonder, what happens when Margot is ready to return to her old life—especially if Maggie doesn’t want to leave?
The Mother Code
The year is 2049. When a deadly non-viral agent intended for biowarfare spreads out of control, scientists must scramble to ensure the survival of the human race. They turn to their last resort, a plan to place genetically-engineered children inside the cocoons of large-scale robots—to be incubated, birthed, and raised by machines. But there is yet one hope of preserving the human order: an intelligence programmed into these machines that renders each unique in its own right—the Mother Code. Set in a future that could be our own, The Mother Code explores what truly makes us human—and the tenuous nature of the boundaries between us and the machines we create.
Set in glamorous 1950s Mexico, Mexican Gothic is perfect for fans of classic novels like Jane Eyre and Rebecca. After receiving a frantic letter from her newly-wed cousin begging for someone to save her from a mysterious doom, Noemí Taboada heads to High Place, a distant house in the Mexican countryside. She’s not sure what she will find—her cousin’s husband, a handsome Englishman, is a stranger, and Noemí knows little about the region. Noemi is tough—she’s not afraid of her cousin’s new husband, who is both menacing and alluring, or his father, the ancient patriarch who seems to be fascinated by Noemí; and not even of the house itself, which begins to invade Noemi’s dreams with visions of blood and doom. Soon, she is mesmerized by the terrifying yet seductive world of High Place, may soon find it impossible to ever leave this enigmatic house behind.
Home Before Dark
In the latest thriller from New York Times bestseller Riley Sager, a woman returns to the house made famous by her father’s bestselling horror memoir. Is the place really haunted by evil forces, as her father claimed? Or are there more earthbound—and dangerous—secrets hidden within its walls? Home Before Dark is the story of a house with long-buried secrets and a woman’s quest to uncover them—even if the truth is far more terrifying than any haunting.
Calla knows how the lottery works. Everyone does. On the day of your first bleed, you report to the station to learn what kind of woman you will be. A white ticket grants you marriage and children. A blue ticket grants you a career and freedom. You are relieved of the terrible burden of choice. And once you’ve taken your ticket, there is no going back. But what if the life you’re given is the wrong one? An urgent inquiry into free will, social expectation, and the fraught space of motherhood, Blue Ticket is electrifying in its raw evocation of desire and riveting in its undeniable familiarity.
White is for Witching
There’s something strange about the Silver family house in the closed-off town of Dover, England. Grand and cavernous with hidden passages and buried secrets, it’s been home to four generations of Silver women—Anna, Jennifer, Lily, and now Miranda, who has lived in the house with her twin brother, Eliot, ever since their father converted it to a bed-and-breakfast. The Silver women have always had a strong connection, a pull over one another that reaches across time and space, and when Lily, Miranda’s mother, passes away suddenly while on a trip abroad, Miranda begins suffering strange ailments. An eating disorder starves her. She begins hearing voices. When she brings a friend home, Dover’s hostility toward outsiders physically manifests within the four walls of the Silver house, and the lives of everyone inside are irrevocably changed.
Death in Her Hands
From one of our most ceaselessly provocative literary talents, this novel of haunting metaphysical suspense is about an elderly widow whose life is upturned when she finds an ominous note on a walk in the woods. A triumphant blend of horror, suspense, and pitch-black comedy, Death in Her Hands asks us to consider how the stories we tell ourselves both reflect the truth and keep us blind to it. Once again, we are in the hands of a narrator whose unreliability is well earned, and the stakes have never been higher.
The End of Her
Stephanie and Patrick are adjusting to life with their colicky twin girls. The babies are a handful, but even as Stephanie struggles with the disorientation of sleep deprivation, there’s one thing she’s sure of: she has all she ever wanted. Then Erica, a woman from Patrick’s past, appears and makes a disturbing accusation. Patrick had always said his first wife’s death was an accident, but now Erica claims it was murder. Patrick insists he’s innocent, that this is nothing but a blackmail attempt. Still, Erica knows things about Patrick–things that make Stephanie begin to question her husband. Is Patrick who he says he is? Or has Stephanie made a terrible mistake?
Octavia E. Butler
Fledgling, Octavia Butler’s last novel, is the story of an apparently young, amnesiac girl whose alarmingly un-human needs and abilities lead her to a startling conclusion: she is in fact a genetically modified, 53-year-old vampire. Forced to discover what she can about her stolen former life, she must at the same time learn who wanted—and still wants—to destroy her and those she cares for, and how she can save herself. Fledgling is a captivating novel that tests the limits of “otherness” and questions what it means to be truly human.
Nina once bought into the idea that her fancy liberal arts degree would lead to a fulfilling career. When that dream crashed, she turned to stealing from rich kids in L.A. alongside her wily Irish boyfriend, Lachlan. Vanessa is a privileged young heiress who wanted to make her mark in the world. Instead she becomes an Instagram influencer—traveling the globe, receiving free clothes and products, and posing for pictures in exotic locales. But behind the covetable façade is a life marked by tragedy. Nina’s, Vanessa’s, and Lachlan’s paths collide on the cold shores of Lake Tahoe, where their intertwined lives give way to a winter of aspiration and desire, duplicity and revenge.
By the bestselling author of A Beautiful, Terrible Thing, this haunting thriller is about a mother and daughter who must draw strength from each other when they find themselves trapped in a cabin with a stranger who wants to either control them–or kill them. It brings to life one of the scariest truths of all: that people’s inner monsters come in various forms, some more recognizable than others, and that we are all one random encounter away from tragedy.
When her elderly mother is hospitalized unexpectedly, Vicki Laveau-Harvie and her sister travel to their parents’ ranch home in Alberta, Canada, to help their father. Estranged from their parents for many years, they are horrified by what they discover on their arrival. For years, their mother has camouflaged her manic delusions and savage unpredictability, and over the decades she has managed to shut herself and her husband away from the outside world, systematically starving him and making him a virtual prisoner in his own home. In this award-winning memoir, the sisters reckon with the decline and death of their outlandishly tyrannical mother and with the care of their psychologically terrorized father, all with dark humor and brutal honesty.
Something in the Water
Passionately in love, a couple embarks on a dream honeymoon to the tropical island of Bora Bora, where they enjoy the sun, the sand, and each other. Then, while scuba diving in the crystal blue sea, they find something in the water. Suddenly the newlyweds must make a dangerous choice: to speak out or to protect their secret. After all, if no one else knows, who would be hurt? Their decision will trigger a devastating chain of events.
In a quest for a simpler life, Helen and Nate have abandoned the comforts of suburbia to take up residence on forty-four acres of rural land where they will begin the ultimate, aspirational do-it-yourself project: building the house of their dreams. When they discover that this beautiful property has a dark and violent past, Helen, a former history teacher, becomes consumed by the local legend of Hattie Breckenridge, a woman who lived and died there a century ago. With her passion for artifacts, Helen finds special materials to incorporate into the house. As the building project progresses, the house will become a place of menace and unfinished business: a new home, now haunted, that beckons its owners and their neighbors toward unimaginable danger.
Sometimes, we need a scary read. Why do we love them? Well for one, “when we get scared, we experience a rush of adrenaline and a release of endorphins and dopamine.” So, it makes us feel good. Also, curiosity makes us want to experience things that we’ve never seen (or read) before—dark, wild things. Weird, but true.
If you, like us, love diving into creepy, grim, horror-filled worlds (that are reminiscent of our own), this list is for you. Give yourself a thrill this summer with one of these books.