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May Horror Preview

Written By Rachael Conrad

Rachael Conrad is an award-winning indie bookseller with over a decade of experience in the industry. When she's not reading or writing Rachael can often be found exploring the woods and tide pools of Maine and discussing who the best Chris is (it's Pine, obviously). Her writing can be found in Tor/Reactor, Polygon, and Kirkus Reviews."

We know that April showers bring May flowers, but did you know that April showers also bring plenty of horror novels to add to your TBR pile? While these titles might have you jumping at things that go bump in the night, they’re perfect to read as the days get longer and you wait for the local pool to open again. 

This month features the return of a horror legend, questionable scientific experiments, a lamplighter fighting to clear her name after a series of disappearances, and a small, picturesque community that is definitely secretly a cult. 

Read on to find out more about May’s spookiest books! 

Mother Knows Best by Kira Peikoff

A uncanny, anxiety-inducing psychological thriller about a controversial scientific experiment involving genetic modification, Mother Knows Best is a gripping look at how far a mother will go for her children. 

After her son dies, Claire Abrams discovers that an inherited genetic mutation from her own DNA is what killed him. Determined to be a mother no matter the cost, she partners with a fertility doctor, Robert, and a young scientist, Jillian, who is determined to excel her career. Together they work to create the world’s first baby with three genetic parents, something that could remove the threat of inherited disease. Ten years later, Robert and Claire are raising their daughter, and Jillian, fresh out of prison, is determined to find her child. 

You Like it Darker by Stephen King 

The king (get it) of horror fiction returns this spring with a new collection of short stories that will have you on the edge of your seat and, clocking in at a whopping 512 pages, reading for the month of May and most of June too. The stories in You Like it Darker include a sequel to Cujo, the tale of a psychic flash that changes the course of dozens of lives, a widower who travels to Florida to collect an unexpected inheritance, and a Vietnam veteran who makes the mistake of answering a mysterious job posting. 

Necrotek by Jonathan Maberry 

Five-time Bram Stoker Award winner and author of the vampire apocalypse series, V-Wars, Jonathan Maberry returns to the worlds of science fiction and horror with his upcoming novel, Necrotek

After an experiment goes horribly awry, the crew of Asphodel Station discover that they are no longer orbiting around Jupiter. To make matters infinitely worse, the ancient eldritch creatures that live in the vast oblivion of space are now aware of the existence of planet earth, and are headed that way. With disaster on the horizon, the fate of humanity rests in the hands of a philosopher by the name of Lars Soren, expert pilot Bianca Petrescu, the High Priestess Jessica McHugh, and a ghost called Lost. 

The Witches of Bellinas by J. Nicole Jones 

A gothic tale set in a peculiar town harboring a community that might just be a cult, J.Nicole Jones’s debut novel is as entrancing as it is deeply unsettling. 

Tansy and her husband, Guy, are the latest to move to Bellinas, a small town in California that harbors a creative collective run by Guy’s cousin, Mia. Mia used to be a model, but has given up her previously hedonistic lifestyle in favor of the natural world and what it has to offer. At first glance, everything seems perfect. There’s plenty of food, plants are healthy and flowers in bloom, and wildfires seem to avoid Bellinas altogether. But the closer Tansy looks, the more she realizes that something isn’t right with her new home. 

The Lamplighter by Crystal J Bell 

A masterclass in historical fiction and gothic literature, The Lamplighter by Crystal J Bell is set in the tiny, whaling village of Warbler that is famous for its intricate and—purportedly lucky—figureheads. It falls to Temperence, a young woman who is still grieving after losing her father, to make sure that the village’s lampposts stay lit in order to keep the dark, and what lies in wait just out of sight, at bay. When two of the lamps go out and a girl—and soon more villagers—go missing, Temperence takes it upon herself to find out what happened before it’s too late. 

Supplication by Nour Abi-Nakhoul

A fever dream of a novel from start to finish, Supplication begins when the protagonist wakes up tied to a chair in a stranger’s basement. The man who kidnapped her is there too, but not for long. Free of her traumatic captivity, Abi-Nakhoul’s nameless protagonist makes her way outside only to discover a world that has descended into frightening chaos.