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Chapter 44 - The Monster At the End of the Book


I have never been a big horror story fan, I don't read every book that Stephen King has put out, nor have I gotten into H.P. Lovecraft, Dean Koontz, or Anne Rice. But ever so often I feel the need to read something spooky. There is lots of psychological discussion around why people read horror stories. Some claim it is for the adrenalin rush, others say it is because the it makes the world seem less scary, and still others say it is to prove that good can conquer evil.


Mostly I like psychological thrillers but sometimes I have to read something a little more visceral. Somehow, though, October just screams spooky to me. Maybe it is because of shorter days and more darkness, maybe it is just the wind blowing through the dangling Spanish Moss but October is my scary book month. Here then are my picks for thrillers in October.


Dracula by Bram Stoker - If you've never read this book, you don't know what you are missing and no movie has ever done it justice. Jonathan Harker has been commissioned by a Count in Transylvania to buy property in England. He journeys to the Count's domain to find village people who live in fear and strange happenings at the castle. The book is written in a series of diary entries, letters, and narrative. It has strong characters and a good ending.


The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova - A young woman discovers secrets about her family which involve a Transylvanian count from the 15th century. The book has been described as a combination of thriller, history and romance and is very much worth reading.


Horrorstor by Grady Hendrix - The book, Horrostor, is modeled after a well known Scandinavian furniture catalog. Something strange is happening at the Orsk Furniture store in Cleveland, Ohio. Every morning employees come in to find broken bookcases and smashed goblets. Sales are down, management is frustrated, yet security cameras show nothing. Three employees volunteer to spend the night to try to unravel the mystery and that's when the trouble begins.


The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty - Highly controversial when originally published in 1971, The Exorcist is based on the true story of a young girl believed to be possessed in the 1940's. The book's revelation of evil can cause the reader to forget that it is just a story. Read this with all the lights on or, better yet, in bright sunlight.


The Shadows by Alex North - Growing up Paul knew a boy with a dark imagination, a sinister smile, and a vicious streak, Charlie Crabtree. Twenty-five years ago Charlie killed Paul's friend and has never been seen since then. Except now there seem to be copycat murders in Paul's hometown where he must return to take care of his mother. This is a gripping psychological thriller.


Do you have any good scary reads for October? Let me know.