Halloween is just around the corner, and though horror movies get all the attention this time of year there is nothing like a spooky, gut-wrenching read on Halloween night to make an adult sleep with all the lights on and huddle under the blankets with all their limbs tucked in. I’m talking about the truly disturbing novels, the ones you couldn’t sleep with in your room and would creep downstairs to stow in the freezer overnight, you know, for safety purposes. Here are three of Anansi’s most sinister reads:
Walt by Russell Wangersky
Walt is a grocery store cleaner who collects the shopping lists people leave in the store and discard without thought. In his fifties, abandoned, he says, by his now-missing wife Mary, Walt is pursued by police detectives unsatisfied with the answers he’s given about her disappearance.
Almost invisible to the people who pass him every day, the grocery lists he collects, written on everything from cancelled cheques to mortgage statements to office stationary, give him a personal hold over those who both ignore him and unwittingly disclose facets of their lives to him.
When a new cold case squad is formed in St. John’s to look into Mary’s disappearance, the detectives begin to realize that Walt may be involved in more than just his wife’s disappearance.
Set in modern-day Newfoundland, after reading Walt, you’ll be sure to never let your shopping list fall to the floor ever again.
Die With Me by Elena Forbes
Die. Die with me. Be mine forever. That’s what he had said.
When fourteen-year-old Gemma Kramer’s broken body is found on the floor of St. Sebastian’s Church in a quiet London suburb, the official ruling is that she jumped to her death from the organ gallery. But when a witness claims to have seen Gemma kissing a much older man outside shortly beforehand, and a toxicology report reveals traces of a date-rape drug in the girl’s system, a murder investigation is launched.
At the helm is Mark Tartaglia, a stubborn detective known for following his hunches. It’s Tartaglia’s first time in charge, and he walks right into a political minefield as the murder squad turns up three more suspicious deaths — all originally ruled suicides — involving vulnerable young women falling from high places.
Can Tartaglia and his team connect the dots between victims in order to find a serial killer with a chilling predilection for lonely girls and deadly heights?
Weirdo by Cathi Unsworth
Weirdo is an atmospheric thriller about a teenage girl convicted of murder in a 1980s seaside town and the private investigator who reopens the case to discover that she may not have acted alone . . .
Corinne Woodrow was fifteen when she was convicted of the ritualistic murder of her classmate in a quaint seaside town. It was 1984, a year when teenagers ran wild, dressed in black, stayed out all night, and listened to music that terrified their parents. Rumours of Satanism surrounded Corinne and she was locked up indefinitely, a chilling reminder to the parents of Ernemouth to keep a watchful eye on their children.
Twenty years later, private investigator Sean Ward — whose promising career as a detective with the Metropolitan Police was cut short by a teenager with a gun — reopens the case after new forensic evidence suggests that Corinne didn’t act alone. His investigation uncovers a town full of secrets, and a community that has always looked after its own.