Essential Horror Reads for 2020


While there is plenty to look forward to on the big and small screen horror-wise in 2020; there are so many great books coming out too.

Here are a small selection of essential reads to look forward to –

Survivor Song by Paul Tremblay

Tremblay is riding a wave of hits at the moments after last year’s Growing Things anthology and the award-winning The Cabin at the End of the World.

Here’s the blurb on Survivor Song –

In a matter of weeks, Massachusetts has been overrun by an insidious rabies-like virus that is spread by saliva. But unlike rabies, the disease has a terrifyingly short incubation period of an hour or less. Those infected quickly lose their minds and are driven to bite and infect as many others as they can before they inevitably succumb. Hospitals are inundated with the sick and dying, and hysteria has taken hold. To try to limit its spread, the commonwealth is under quarantine and curfew. But society is breaking down and the government’s emergency protocols are faltering.

Dr. Ramola “Rams” Sherman, a soft-spoken pediatrician in her mid-thirties, receives a frantic phone call from Natalie, a friend who is eight months pregnant. Natalie’s husband has been killed, viciously attacked by an infected neighbor—and in a failed attempt to save him, Natalie, too, was bitten. Natalie’s only chance of survival is to get to a hospital as quickly as possible to receive a rabies vaccine. The clock is ticking for her and for her unborn child.

Survivor Song by Paul Tremblay is released on 7th July 2020.

If It Bleeds by Stephen King

Following the smash hit The Institute, the master of horror returns with a four-story anthology which includes a follow-up to the excellent novel, The Outsider.

Newspeople have a saying: ‘If it bleeds, it leads’. And a bomb at Albert Macready Middle School is guaranteed to lead any bulletin.

Holly Gibney of the Finders Keepers detective agency is working on the case of a missing dog – and on her own need to be more assertive – when she sees the footage on TV. But when she tunes in again, to the late-night report, she realises there is something not quite right about the correspondent who was first on the scene.

So begins ‘If It Bleeds’, a stand-alone sequel to the No. 1 bestselling THE OUTSIDER featuring the incomparable Holly on her first solo case – and also the riveting title story in Stephen King’s brilliant new collection.

If It Bleeds by Stephen King is released on 5th May 2020.

Home Before Dark by Riley Sager

Sager is one of the most consistent horror writers of recent years, with a hat trick of critical acclaimed novels in the shape of Final Girls, Lock Every Door and Last Time I Lied.

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 by Riley Sager is released on 7th July 2020.

The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix

Following the superb Paperbacks from Hell and writing the screenplay for the excellent Satanic Panic, Grady Hendrix is a story pitched as Steel Magnolias and Fried Green Tomatoes meets Dracula.

Patricia Campbell’s life has never felt smaller. Her ambitious husband is too busy to kiss her good-bye in the morning, her kids are wrapped up in their own lives, and she’s always a step behind on thank-you notes and endless chores. The one thing she has to look forward to is her book club, a close-knit group of Charleston women united by their love of true crime and suspenseful fiction.

This predictable pattern is upended when Patricia is viciously attacked by an elderly neighbor, bringing the neighbor’s handsome relative, James Harris, into her life. Sensitive and well-read, James makes Patricia feel things she hasn’t felt in twenty years. But there’s something…off…and then Patricia’s senile mother-in-law insists she knew him back when she was a girl.

When local children go missing, Patricia has reason to believe that James may be more Bundy than Beatnik. But once she and the book club members investigate further, the true monster emerges—and he’s far more terrifying than any serial killer they’ve ever read about.

The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix is released on 7th April 2020.

Are there any other novels being released this year that you are looking forward to reading? Let us know in the comments.




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