Sure, we might still be 3 months away from the best time of the year – er, I mean, Halloween – but things are about to get a whole lot spookier around here. You see, this Friday is the 13th, and everyone knows that Friday the 13th is the unluckiest day of the year. To help you get in the spooky mood a little earlier than normal, here are 11 perfect reads for this Friday the 13th!
Three Days Missing by Kimberly Belle
It’s the call you never, ever want to receive if you’re a parent: your child has vanished without a trace and the police have no leads. This is exactly what happens to Kat Jenkins when she awakens to police on her doorstep, but, in a shocking twist of fate, the wrong mother gets the ransom call… Three Days Missing is a shocking, riveting thriller from the bestselling author of The Marriage Lie that is sure to keep you guessing until the final, shocking twist.
In A Cottage In A Wood by Cass Green
What do a strange encounter, an unexpected gift, and a twisted secret all have in common? We’d love to tell you, but, you know, spoilers and such…
One night, Neve comes across a troubled woman named Isabelle on a bridge who jumps to her death… but not before she gives Neve a gift. A few weeks later, Neve’s life is falling apart around her when she finds out that Isabelle left her a charming cottage in Cornwall (at this point you should be asking yourself, “wait, what?”) and Neve gets ready to make the move and start rebuilding her life. That’s about as far as we can go without ruining it for you, so please do yourself a favour and check this book out before someone spoils it for you!
The Cliff House by Amanda Jennings
If you’re a fan of books that have to do with the dark side of longing and obsession, then this is one book that should be on your radar. Tamsyn, a sixteen-year-old, watches the Davenports through her binoculars and dreams of having their idyllic life – what, with their fast cars and glamorous clothes… She wants a life as perfect as theirs. She wants Edie Davenport to be her friend. She wants to live at The Cliff House…
It All Falls Down by Sheena Kamal
So, yes, this book is a follow-up to Sheena Kamal’s KOBO Emerging Writers Award winning debut novel The Lost Ones, but It All Falls Down is too good to not include in this list. As a child, Nora Watts was raised by her father, Sam, a victim of a disastrous government policy that deeply affected his life, right up until he died by suicide. Nora chose to ignore her grief and move on with her life. A chance encounter with someone who knew her father, however, leads Nora to investigate Sam’s past, revealing all kinds of buried family secrets, and immersing Nora in a dangerous situation that she can’t even begin to anticipate.
Killing Kate by Alex Lake
What would you do if there was a serial killer on the loose, and every single victim looked exactly like you? (See below for my response…)
Unfortunately for Kate, that’s exactly what’s happening when she returns to news of a serial killer in her hometown after a post break-up holiday with her friends. Is she just imagining things? Is this all just a big coincide? Or, is she next? This is one book that will definitely keep you up at night.
The Secret Life of Bikers by Jerry Langton
Okay, so technically this one isn’t spooky, but Friday the 13th is such a monumental day for bikers that we couldn’t not include this one. Hells Angels, Bandidos, Outlaws, Vagos, whatever they called themselves in Sons of Anarchy… we know the names, but do we actually know the people? In The Secret Life of Bikers, Jerry Langton shares the stories of both the men who live the biker life and the members of law enforcement that fight them, often in their own words. These are stories of brawls, rituals, initiations, and brotherhoods that, until now, had never been told.
The Cult on Fog Island by Mariette Lindstein
Back to the spooky! Time for a pop quiz: What would you do if you met a super handsome guy after attending a lecture on a New Age movement (that said guy happens to be the leader of) and he invited you back to his *island*, which just so happens to be named Fog Island? If you said run away (see the Muppets gif above for the appropriate sense of urgency), you are one smart cookie. But, alas, you would not be Sofia, who agrees to join him on Fog Island, where things start off well enough… until all hell breaks loose and she suddenly realizes just how alone and trapped she really is.
I’ll Be Gone In The Dark by Michelle McNamara
Surely you know about this book by now, right? We’ve written about it a number of times, and it was all over the news a little while ago when they finally caught the freakin’ killer! But, for those of you who don’t know what it’s about, here’s a quick rundown: the Golden State Killer sexually assaulted over fifty women in Northern California before moving south, murdering ten people, and vanishing. Roughly thirty years later, Michelle McNamara, writer and amateur sleuth extraordinaire, decided to take up the case and try to catch this predator once and for all. Unfortunately, Michelle McNamara passed away before the completion of the book, but her story is one for the ages, and her dedication to solving this case is what makes this book an instant true crime classic.
Sister of Mine by Laurie Petrou
There’s nothing creepier than families, right? I’m not talking, like, the Brady Bunch or anything (although…), but at the heart of a lot of great horror movies is a family that’s just not right.
That’s exactly what we have in Laurie Petrou’s Sister of Mine, which tells the story of Penny and Hattie, sisters that have more skeletons in their closets than… well, this metaphor went off the rails real quick because I don’t know what to compare closet skeletons to, but the point is they’re hiding a lot of things, and they just so happen to like fire…
The Book of M by Peng Shepherd
Okay, I’ll admit something here: I seem to be the only one who appreciates the horror of this whole situation. Sure, it’s post-apocalyptic, and sure, people are doing whatever it takes to survive, but there’s so much more to this book than that. For instance, the vanishing shadows epidemic makes people forget what fire is and JUST WALK STRAIGHT INTO IT! Honestly, nothing that I say will prepare you for this novel, so just do yourself a favour and pick it up ASAP.
The Cabin at the End of the World by Paul Tremblay
In 2015, Paul Tremblay burst onto the horror scene with A Head Full of Ghosts, a pulse-pounding, straight-up-terrifying throwback to The Exorcist. Four years later, he’s back with this equally pulse-pounding novel. One day, seven-year-old Wen is outside playing when she’s approached by Leonard, a large, pleasant, friendly man, and the two strike up an innocent conversation with each other. Things turn sinister pretty quickly. The Cabin at the End of the World is a twisted, brutal book that explores family, innocence, and paranoia, and one that’s sure to make you want to read with the lights on and never answer the front door again.
So, there you have it. The perfect Friday the 13th reading list to make your July that much more spooky. It’s never too early to prepare for Halloween, right? Are there any books on here that you’ve read and loved? Did I leave anything off? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter @SavvyReader!
Stay spooky, my friends. Stay spooky.