BEST HORROR BOOKS OF 2012
As a reviewer and lover of all things horror, I am immersed in the genre on an almost daily basis. I had the pleasure of reading eighty-seven books last year and these are my picks for the top ten out of all those books, in no particular order.
1. The Wind Through the Keyhole by Stephen King (Gallery Books 2012) You do not have to read the Dark Tower series to read this book, even it fits nicely between books 4 and 5. It is a side story about a young gunslinger in a world that is moving on who tries to discover the identity of a killer shapeshifter.
2. Tribesman by Adam Cesare (Ravenous Shadows 2012) If you like 1970’s explotation films then this book is definitely for you. It tells the tragic and disturbing story of a small film crew on a supposedly deserted island and the ghosts that are very real.
3. Blood Related by William Cook (Black Bed Sheet Books 2012) This is the story of a family of serial killers that once again poses the question of nature versus nurture in a very gruesome manner.
4. Hammered: Memoirs of an Addict by G.N. Braun (Legume Man Books 2012) While not horror fiction, Braun gives us an unflinching look at the life—his life—of an addict. He lays it out while seeking no sympathy.
5. Cannibal Corpse, MC by Tim Curran (Permuted Press 2012) One of my favorite writers, Tim Curran manages to elicit a visceral and physical response out of me with this post-apocalyptic tale. It’s chock full of the stuff of nightmares—zombies, parasitic worms, mutations caused by radiation, and the devil himself.
6. Your House is on Fire, Your Children All Gone by Stefan Kiesbye (Penguin Books 2012) I read some great things about this book and couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. I was not disappointed. It is a chilling look at the lives of childhood friends growing up in a small town in Germany some years after the war. Each deals with tragedy in their own way. The novel reads like Southern Gothic horror and is quietly disturbing.
7. The Awakening by Brett McBean (Tasmaniac Publications 2012) A fantastic novel that revolves around thirteen-year-old Toby and his brutal attack that left his best friend dead. It also tells of the friendship between Toby and Mr. Joseph, a strange old man that the town seems to fear and hate for no other reason than they do not know him. It is poignant and sad, yet horrifying in its depiction of how Mr. Joseph is treated for most of his life….and it includes Haitian zombies.
8. Last Stand in a Dead Land by Eric S. Brown (Grand Mal Press 2011) I only read this novella in 2012 so I’m including it here. Eric Brown is another favorite author of mine. His stories get right into the action and continue on at break-neck speed that leaves you gasping until the very bleak end. This is apocalyptic fiction that throws in zombies, Bigfoot and aliens but it all works beautifully.
9. Antibacterial Pope and Other Incongruous Stories by Nick Cato (Novello Publishers 2012) This is a collection of short stories and even shorter flash fiction pieces that had me disturbed and laughing my ass off at the same time. A nice combination of horror and bizarro fiction, and a great introduction if you’ve never read bizarro before.
10. The Return Man by V.M. Zito (Hodder &Stoughton Ltd. 2012) It’s a post-apocalyptic zombie novel with a nice twist. A man lives in the zombie-infested Western United States and gets paid to ensure that clients’ loved ones are put out of their misery. He is then forced to find someone by the government. What can I say, I love zombies.
It was tough to keep it to just ten books. Some other really great books that you might want to check out include What Fears Become edited by Jeani Rector, Life Rage by L.L. Soares, Rotter World by Scott M. Baker, and The Devoted by Eric Shapiro.