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7 Paul Tremblay-Approved Books for Brave Thriller Readers

November 15 2022
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In the market for some non-stop thrilling reads? Look no further! We’ve got a collection of certified fresh fiction novels that will keep you on the edge of your seat and out of breath until the very last page.

What’s more, they’re all recommended by a bestselling author of genre: Paul Tremblay. With the Bram Stoker and British Fantasy awards to his name, you can trust that this list of thrillers is worth your time and potential nightmares. Best of luck!

A History of Fear
by Luke Dumas

"A HISTORY OF FEAR is a disorienting, creepy, paranoia-inducing reimagining of the devil-made-me-do-it tale. A clever, twisty novel, imbued with emotional and psychological insight. Luke's vision of Old Scratch left me thrilled and looking over my shoulder."

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A History of Fear
Luke Dumas

“Readers, beware: this novel is not safe and will have you questioning what’s real for many sleepless nights to come.” —Clay McLeod Chapman, author of The Remaking

“A disorienting, creepy, paranoia-inducing reimagining of the devil-made-me-do-it tale” (Paul Tremblay, author of The Cabin at the End of the World) following the harrowing downfall of a tortured graduate student arrested for murder.

The Devil is in Scotland.

Grayson Hale, the most infamous murderer in Scotland, is better known by a different name: the Devil’s Advocate. The twenty-five-year-old American grad student rose to instant notoriety when he confessed to the slaughter of his classmate Liam Stewart, claiming the Devil made him do it.

When Hale is found hanged in his prison cell, officers uncover a handwritten manuscript that promises to answer the question that’s haunted the nation for years: was Hale a lunatic, or had he been telling the truth all along?

Unnervingly, Hale doesn’t fit the bill of a killer. The first-person narrative that centers this novel reveals an acerbic young atheist, newly enrolled at the University of Edinburgh to carry on the legacy of his recently deceased father. In need of cash, he takes a job ghostwriting a mysterious book for a dark stranger, but has misgivings when the project begins to reawaken his satanophobia, a rare condition that causes him to live in terror that the Devil is after him. As he struggles to disentangle fact from fear, Grayson’s world is turned upside-down after events force him to confront his growing suspicion that he’s working for the one he has feared all this time—and that the book is only the beginning of their partnership.​​

A History of Fear is a propulsive foray into the darkness of the human psyche, marrying dread-inducing atmosphere and heart-palpitating storytelling.

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In The Night Wood
by Dale Bailey

“Dale Bailey has written a literary puzzle box that deftly mixes the scary, nasty folktales of the 19th century and Daphne du Maurier’s classic DON’T LOOK NOW. IN THE NIGHT WOOD is an affecting, weighty, and haunting book about the shackles of grief.”

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In The Night Wood
Dale Bailey

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Good Neighbors
by Sarah Langan

"GOOD NEIGHBORS is a riveting critique of American suburbia. Langan deftly confronts social mores and beliefs as she tears all the ugliness down to make something dangerous and beautiful. The monsters of Maple Street have never been so us.” 

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Good Neighbors
Sarah Langan

Celeste Ng and Liane Moriarty’s enthralling dissection of suburbia meets Shirley Jackson’s creeping dread in this “wickedly funny, unnerving puzzle box of a novel” (Dan Chaon, author of Ill Will) about the downward spiral of a Long Island community after a tragedy exposes its residents’ depths of deception.

Welcome to Maple Street, a picture-perfect slice of suburban Long Island, its residents bound by their children, their work, and their illusion of safety in a rapidly changing world.

But menace skulks among this exclusive enclave. When the Wilde family arrive, they trigger their neighbors’ worst fears. Dad Arlo’s a gruff has-been rock star with track marks. Mom Gertie’s got a thick Brooklyn accent, with high heels and tube tops to match. Their weird kids cuss like sailors. They don’t fit with the way Maple Street sees itself.

Maple Street’s Queen Bee, Rhea Schroeder—a lonely professor repressing a dark past—initially welcomed Gertie, but relations plummeted during one summer evening, when the new best friends shared too much, too soon. By the time the story opens, the Wildes are outcasts.

As tensions mount, a sinkhole opens in a nearby park, and Rhea’s daughter Shelly falls inside. The search for Shelly brings a shocking accusation against the Wildes. Suddenly, it is one mom’s word against the other’s in a court of public opinion that can end only in blood.

Riveting and ruthless, Good Neighbors is “a chilling, compulsively readable novel that looks toward the future in order to help us understand how we live now” (Kevin Wilson, author of Nothing to See Here).

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The Only Good Indians
by Stephen Graham Jones

"THE ONLY GOOD INDIANS is a masterpiece. Intimate, devastating, brutal, terrifying, yet warm and heartbreaking in the best way, Stephen Graham Jones has written a horror novel about injustice and, ultimately, about hope. Not a false, sentimental hope, but the real one, the one that some of us survive and keeps the rest of us going. And it gives me hope that this book exists and is now in your hands."

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The Only Good Indians
Stephen Graham Jones

A USA TODAY BESTSELLER
A Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year

In this latest novel from Stephen Graham Jones comes a “heartbreakingly beautiful story” (Library Journal, starred review) of revenge, cultural identity, and the cost of breaking from tradition.

Seamlessly blending classic horror and a dramatic narrative with sharp social commentary, The Only Good Indians is “a masterpiece. Intimate, devastating, brutal, terrifying, warm, and heartbreaking in the best way” (Paul Tremblay, author of A Head Full of Ghosts). This novel follows four American Indian men after a disturbing event from their youth puts them in a desperate struggle for their lives. Tracked by an entity bent on revenge, these childhood friends are helpless as the culture and traditions they left behind catch up to them in violent, vengeful ways. Labeled “one of 2020’s buzziest horror novels” (Entertainment Weekly), this is a remarkable horror story “will give you nightmares—the good kind of course” (BuzzFeed).

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Abigale Hall
by Lauren A. Forry

“I mean, come on, who doesn't love an atmospheric, creepy-as-hell Gothic novel featuring two tormented sisters? ABIGALE HALL recalls the classics of the genre while smartly pushing and prodding at the genre boundaries as well as the discomfort level of the reader.”

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Abigale Hall
Lauren A. Forry

Amid the terror of the Second World War, seventeen-year-old Eliza and her troubled little sister Rebecca have had their share of tragedy, having lost their mother to the Blitz and their father to suicide. Forced to leave London to work for the mysterious Mr. Brownwell at Abigale Hall, they soon learn that the worst is yet to come. The vicious housekeeper, Mrs. Pollard, seems hell-bent on keeping the ghostly secrets of the house away from the sisters and forbids them from entering the surrounding town—and from the rumors that circulate about Abigale Hall. When Eliza uncovers some blood-splattered books, ominous photographs, and portraits of a mysterious woman, she begins to unravel the mysteries of the house, but with Rebecca falling under Mrs. Pollard’s spell, she must act quickly to save her sister, and herself, from certain doom.

Perfect for readers who hunger for the strange, Abigale Hall is an atmospheric debut novel where the threat of death looms just beyond the edge of every page. Lauren A. Forry has created a historical ghost story where the setting is as alive as the characters who inhabit it and a resonant family drama of trust, loyalty, and salvation.

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MENTIONED IN:

7 Paul Tremblay-Approved Books for Brave Thriller Readers

By Off the Shelf Staff | November 15, 2022

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Ocean State
by Stewart O'Nan

“In the opening paragraph Marie (who would be right at home in a Shirley Jackson novel) tells us the awful thing that’s going to happen, but of course, she doesn’t reveal the whole mesmerizing, devastating story. O’Nan has the integrity to not flinch, not even once, while expertly imbuing his characters with empathy, insight and authenticity. A uniquely 21st Century American tragedy, OCEAN STATE wraps its hand around your heart and squeezes.”

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Ocean State
Stewart O'Nan

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MENTIONED IN:

7 Paul Tremblay-Approved Books for Brave Thriller Readers

By Off the Shelf Staff | November 15, 2022

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The Deep
by Alma Katsu

“THE DEEP deftly mashes up spellbinding historical fiction, adroit commentary on class and gender, and a classic yet surprising ghost story. Annie’s tale is truly haunting.”

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The Deep
Alma Katsu

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MENTIONED IN:

7 Paul Tremblay-Approved Books for Brave Thriller Readers

By Off the Shelf Staff | November 15, 2022

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