This book list is filled with thrills, chills, adventure, and captivating prose. From mystery to horror to short story collections, you do not want to miss out on these new paperback books publishing this October. To be honest, I was in a bit of a reading slump, but adding these to my TBR really picked me back up just in time to spend my evenings by the fire with some great reads and a delicious cup of coffee. Check out what’s new this month!
10 Charming Novels New in Paperback This October
1940s. Los Angeles. Mystery, lies, and murder. DEVIL IN A BLUE DRESS is a true throwback to classic noir novels with its rich atmosphere and down on his luck WWII vet turned investigator. DEVIL IN A BLUE DRESS follows Ezekiel, “Easy”, Rawlins, a black man who values respect, who is tasked with tracking down Daphne Monet, a white woman who frequents black jazz clubs. Everything is made much more complicated and deadly as the bodies start piling up. And now someone is out to kill Easy. Mosley has crafted an incredible detective novel with stark characters and a compelling mystery that will keep you ensnared until the very end.
The first novel by “master of mystery” (The New York Times) Walter Mosley, featuring Easy Rawlins, the most iconic African American detective in all of fiction. Named one of the “best 100 mystery novels of all time” by the Mystery Writers of America, this special thirtieth anniversary edition features an all new introduction from the author.
The year is 1948, the town is Los Angeles.
Easy Rawlins, a black war veteran, has just been fired from his job at a defense factory plant. Drinking in his friend’s bar, he’s wondering how he’ll manage to make ends meet, when a white man in a linen suit approaches him and offers him good money if Easy will simply locate Miss Daphne Money, a missing blonde beauty known to frequent black jazz clubs.
Easy has no idea that by taking this job, his life is about to change forever.
“More than simply a detective novel…[Mosley is] a talented author with something vital to say about the distance between the black and white worlds, and with a dramatic way to say it” (The New York Times).
Caitlin Mullen has created a gut-wrenching and absolutely stunning psychological thriller with some incredible supernatural elements. This book is both dark and intimate and deals with a lot of hard-hitting woman’s issues. PLEASE SEE US takes place in Atlantic City, but when two Jane Does are discovered in the marsh, the usually crowded boardwalks are empty of tourists and the casino lights are dimmed. Enter 16-year-old Clara, who now struggles to attract clients for tarot card readings. Sure, it’s a means to pay her rent, but she is a little psychic. After the bodies are discovered, Clara begins to have deeply disturbing visions that she believes must be related to the missing women. When Clara meets Lily, a former gallery girl who moved back to Atlantic City after a bad break up, she believes Lily can help. But, like Clara, Lily is battling her own tragedies. Together, Lily and Clara race to put the pieces together in order to save another lost girl, that is if they don’t join the other victims.
In this sophisticated, suspenseful debut reminiscent of Laura Lippman and Megan Miranda, two young women become unlikely friends during one fateful summer in Atlantic City as mysterious disappearances hit dangerously close to home.
Summer has come to Atlantic City but the boardwalk is empty of tourists, the casino lights have dimmed, and two Jane Does are laid out in the marshland behind the Sunset Motel, just west of town. Only one person even knows they’re there.
Meanwhile, Clara, a young boardwalk psychic, struggles to attract clients for the tarot readings that pay her rent. When she begins to experience very real and disturbing visions, she suspects they could be related to the recent cases of women gone missing in town. When Clara meets Lily, an ex-Soho art gallery girl who is working at a desolate casino spa and reeling from a personal tragedy, she thinks Lily may be able to help her. But Lily has her own demons to face.
If they can put the pieces together in time, they may save another lost girl—so long as their efforts don’t attract perilous attention first. Can they break the ill-fated cycle, or will they join the other victims?
A “beautifully written, thoughtful page-turner” (Chloe Benjamin, New York Times bestselling author of The Immortalists), Please See Us is an evocative and compelling psychological thriller that explores the intersection of womanhood, power, and violence.
I absolutely loved The Twisted Ones and was equally enthralled by HOLLOW PLACES. This book is chilling and twisted and a bit gory mixed with dark humor and a twinge of madness. If you like a heaping dose of weird and downright creepy, then you need to read Hollow Places. Freshly divorced Kara moves in with her uncle and stumbles upon a hole in the wall that should not be there. And behind the hole is something even stranger, a bunker where the cryptic phrase “pray they are hungry” is scrawled. Obsessed with these words, Kara discovers that the bunker holds portals to countless alternate realities. But these realities are haunted by creatures that feed on fear.
A young woman discovers a strange portal in her uncle’s house, leading to madness and terror in this gripping new novel from the author of the “innovative, unexpected, and absolutely chilling” (Mira Grant, Nebula Award–winning author) The Twisted Ones.
Pray they are hungry.
Kara finds the words in the mysterious bunker that she’s discovered behind a hole in the wall of her uncle’s house. Freshly divorced and living back at home, Kara now becomes obsessed with these cryptic words and starts exploring this peculiar area—only to discover that it holds portals to countless alternate realities. But these places are haunted by creatures that seem to hear thoughts…and the more one fears them, the stronger they become.
With her distinctive “delightfully fresh and subversive” (SF Bluestocking) prose and the strange, sinister wonder found in Guillermo del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinth, The Hollow Places is another compelling and white-knuckled horror novel that you won’t be able to put down.
When you die, your consciousness is transferred into a robot body that can then be purchased by a family member to keep their loved ones close, or of course, sold to the highest bidder. The wealthy are uploaded to almost human-looking replicas while the poor become nothing more than a tin can on wheels. After 16-year-old Lilac is murdered, her consciousness is uploaded to the cheapest model possible, forced to follow basic commands, and purchased by a woman and her daughter who are quarantined in San Francisco due to a deadly outbreak. Lilac is forced to act as a friend to young Dahlia. But when Lilac realizes she can disobey commands she runs away from San Francisco to track down the woman who killed her. What follows is a sweeping global story that spans decades and multiple points of view in the wake of Lilac’s rebellion.
Station Eleven meets Never Let Me Go in this “suspenseful, introspective debut” (Kirkus Reviews) set in an unsettling near future where the dead can be uploaded to machines and kept in service by the living.
In the wake of a highly contagious virus, California is under quarantine. Sequestered in high rise towers, the living can’t go out, but the dead can come in—and they come in all forms, from sad rolling cans to manufactured bodies that can pass for human. Wealthy participants in the “companionship” program choose to upload their consciousness before dying, so they can stay in the custody of their families. The less fortunate are rented out to strangers upon their death, but all companions become the intellectual property of Metis Corporation, creating a new class of people—a command-driven product-class without legal rights or true free will.
Sixteen-year-old Lilac is one of the less fortunate, leased to a family of strangers. But when she realizes she’s able to defy commands, she throws off the shackles of servitude and runs away, searching for the woman who killed her.
Lilac’s act of rebellion sets off a chain of events that sweeps from San Francisco to Siberia to the very tip of South America in this “compelling, gripping, whip-smart piece of speculative fiction” (Jennie Melamed, author of Gather the Daughters) that you won’t want to end.
A classic horror novel that feels very reminiscent of Stephen King’s early horror novels. And just like many of King’s novels, IMAGINARY FRIEND is a tome of a book with a variety of characters. Chbosky is incredibly skilled at writing in-depth and believable characters, which somehow only makes the terror in IMAGINARY FRIEND that much scarier. Imaginary Friend follows Christopher, a 7-year-old with dyslexia, who wanders into the woods and isn’t found for six days. Christopher doesn’t remember anything that happened except that the nice man helped him. And on top of that, his dyslexia is gone. Suddenly things are getting better for Christopher and his mother, that is until the Nice Man warns Christopher that the Hissing Lady is after him. What follows is a bizarre allegory dripped in madness that is sure to entice horror fans.
Zadie Smith is an observer of human nature that shines through in her smart, empathetic, and surprising prose. Her dialogue feels so real. GRAND UNION is a collection of engaging Zadie Smith short stories that span a wide range of topics and genres. Smith touches on identity, class, gender roles, race, relationships, and politics. Her captivating prose explores everything from first loves to the desire to find your own experience.
This novel has been described as a book “that helps us understand living history” and I could not agree more. Waldman, crafts an unforgettable novel as she tackles the complicated reality of America’s longest-standing war. A DOOR IN THE EARTH follows Parveen, an Afghan-American college senior searching for a purpose. She is torn between her charming anthropology professor and her comfortable hometown community until she discovers the bestselling memoir by Gideon Crane, Mother Afghanistan. Inspired by Crane’s work, Parveen travels to a remote village to work for his charitable foundation. But Parveen quickly realizes that Crane’s memoir is filled with lies and the maternity clinic is incredibly understaffed. When the U.S. military arrives to pave a road to the village, bringing the war with them, Praveen is forced to decide if her loyalties lie with the villagers or the soldiers as she determines her own truth.
This eerie Twilight Zone-Esq thriller is so well written and incredibly gripping. Viv Delaney began experiencing disturbances while working the night shift at the Sun Down Motel. And then she disappeared. Now 35 years later, her niece, Carly finds herself drawn to Fell and the Sun Down motel. Soon, Carly’s curiosity over her aunt’s disappearance spirals into something much darker. If you want to experience a truly spine-tingling read, you need to grab a copy of THE SUN DOWN MOTEL. Told in both timelines, this book is downright creepy that I could not put it down until I read the last page
After reading the premise of this book, I was instantly hooked. Liggett examines what it means to stand at the precipice of womanhood and the way our relationships change from girls to adults as they undergo the grace year. The girls of Garner County grow up believing that they have dangerous magic in their bodies that they must expel before the return home as purified women ready for marriage. Every 16-year-old girl in Garner County is banished for a year as they face the elements, poachers, and each other. Tierney James believes that there has to be a better life, a society that doesn’t pit women again women and friends against friends, but all of that is tested during her grace year as the unthinkable happens. This dystopian novel is so engrossing and absolutely worth the read, but can’t say much more without giving it away. THE GRACE YEAR is an experience that everyone should explore.
Coben is a thriller master and THE BOY FRIEM THE WOODS will not disappoint. This is an action packed mystery told from the perspective of a boy who was found living feral in the woods, now 30 years later, and a badass 70-year-old lawyer. Wilde was found living in the woods as a child and despite an extensive search for his family, Wilde was never claimed and turned over to the foster care system. Now, he’s an adult and still and outcast in society. But when a local girl goes missing, Hester, the famous TV lawyer asks for his help. What follows is a twisting adventure that impacts more than just the peaceful suburbs as Wilde races to uncover the truth before it’s too late.
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