A group blog featuring an international array of killer mystery, suspense, and romantic suspense writers. With premises and story lines different from your run-of-the-mill whodunits, we tend to write outside the box. We blog several times a week on all topics relating to romantic suspense and mystery, our writing, and our readers. We welcome all comments and often have guest bloggers. All our authors can be contacted separately, too, using their own social media links.

We find our genre delightfully, dangerously, and deliciously exciting - join us here, if you do too!

Julie Moffet . Cathy Perkins . Jean Harrington . Daryl Anderson . Nico Rosso . Maureen A Miller . Sandy Parks . Lisa Q Mathews . Sharon Calvin . Lynne Connolly . Janis Patterson . Vanessa Keir . Tonya Kappes . Julie Rowe . Joni M Fisher . Leslie Langtry

Monday, October 16, 2017

Some Scary Reads!

In a couple of weeks the ghost and goblins will be flying so it's the perfect time for a scary read.

 In the spirit of the season, here are three of my favorite mystery series with a supernatural twist.

First on the list are the Charlie Parker novels by John Connolly. 

The latest Charlie Parker novel

Connolly's debut novel, Every Dead Thing, introduced the character of Charlie Parker. Haunted by the brutal murders of his wife and daughter, former detective Parker hunts for their killer. On the surface, this sounds like boilerplate crime fiction, but as the events of the novel play out, the reader begins to suspect that there there is a lot more going beneath the surface. By the end of the novel, this suspicion becomes a certainty. Thus, Connolly gives us our first glimpse of the honeycomb world, a shadowland that exists beneath our own.

In the 14 novels that follow, Connolly builds a rich mythology that is mysterious and compelling. In the latest book in the series A Game of Ghosts Parker continues on his dark journey.

Another series I enjoy are the AXL Pendergast novels by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child. 

FBI Special Agent Aloysius Xingu Leng Pendergast first appeared as a supporting character in their first novel, Relic, and in its sequel Reliquary, before taking charge as protagonist in The Cabinet of Curiosities.

Pendergast is a man of rare ability, learning, and taste. He might come off as a snob save for his commitment to fighting evil. Unlike the supernatural world of Charlie Parker, Pendergast exists in a place neared to our own. As a consequence, fully enjoying these novels  requires a total suspension of disbelief--and I mean total!

For example, one of Pendergast's more outlandish talents is his Chongg Ran practice, which he learned from the monks of the Gsalrig Chongg monastery. Basically, this involves building a memory palace which enables Pendergast to visualize a memory or a historical event in his mind as if he were actually there. The resourceful FBI agent has used this technique for solving several mysteries.

I know it all sounds cockamamie, but I go along with the game. Chongg Ran is just a modern incarnation of the ancient Greek deus ex machina, in which the god in the machine (usually a crane) arrives to move the plot along. Bottom line, the Pendergast  novels are so much fun that I don't sweat the details--or the Chongg Ran.

Two of the creepiest AXL Pendergast novels are Cemetary Dance (zombies) and Cabinet of Curiosities (mad scientist), either of which would serve as a fine introduction to the series.

My final pick is the Bill Hodges Trilogy by America's foremost author Stephen King.

The real drive of the series is the cat-and-mouse game between retired detective Bill Hodges and mass murderer Brady Hartsfield, who's known as Mr. Mercedes after driving a stolen Mercedes into a crowd of hopeful job-seekers at a job fair.

Mr. Mercedes starts out firmly in crime fiction territory, but as the series progresses, moves into the speculative. This is driving suspense with memorable characters as well as a startling amount of sweetness.

But because this is Stephen King, there is also horror, and for my money, Brady Hartsfield is one of King's most memorable monsters, partly because he is so frighteningly human. If you haven't read this trilogy, what are you waiting for?

So if you're looking for a fright or two this Halloween, treat yourself to one of these books!


Julie Moffett said...

Ooooooh!!! I LOVE scary books. Just not scary movies. Lol!! Thanks for the great post and the recommendations. :)

Maureen A. Miller said...

I admit I have crept back into my childhood horror fix. And you're right. This is the time of year to delve in. Time to don the blanket over our heads and bring out the flashlight!

Sandy Parks said...

I'll have to check John Connolly out. Stephen King can be just a tad too spooky for me. Appreciated the list of suggested reads for Halloween.

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