Books, Pop Culture

What to read when you are too afraid to fall asleep tonight

Halloween: the one time you actually feel guilty for not freaking yourself out with a good old horror film.

But you can’t help it: you hate scary movies! You still want to fulfill the craving of being scared, but with what?

Good news! We’ve gone through the same predicament, and books are the perfect substitute. Behold: four books to keep you up and aware of the shadows.

In a Dark, Dark Wood, by Ruth Ware

‘In a Dark, Dark Wood’ is a psychological thriller with a bite. When reclusive crime writer Leanora receives an invitation from a friend she hasn’t seen or spoken to for years to a weekend away in an eerie glass house deep in the English countryside, she reluctantly accepts. Forty eight hours later she wakes up in a hospital bed injured, but alive, with the knowledge that someone is dead. Wondering not “what happened?” but “what have I done?”, Leonora tries to piece together the past weekend.
Ahhhh, good old horror stories. This one has taught us all a valuable lesson: don’t visit people you haven’t seen or talked to in ages.

The Doll Maker, by Richard Montanari


Detectives Byrne and Balzano return to the streets of Philadelphia to put an end to a macabre succession of murdered children.
A quiet Philadelphia suburb. A woman cycles past a train depot with her young daughter. There she finds a murdered girl posed on a newly painted bench. Beside her is a formal invitation to a tea dance in a week’s time. Seven days later, two more young victims are discovered in an abandoned house, posed on painted swings. At the scene is an identical invitation. This time, though, there is something extra waiting for Detectives Kevin Byrne and Jessica Balzano: a delicate porcelain doll.

It’s a message. And a threat. With the killers at large, the detectives have just seven more days to find the link between the murders before another innocent child is snatched from the streets.

I cannot stress this enough. If you don’t want to sleep for about a week, this is the book for you. Creepy dolls? Weirded out story? Even better. This book is perfect for even the most hardened horror story addict.

So You Don’t Get Lost in the Neighborhood, by Patrick Modiano


In the stillness of his Paris apartment, Jean Daragane has built a life of total solitude. Then a surprising phone call shatters the silence of an unusually hot September, and the threatening voice on the other end of the line leaves Daragane wary but irresistibly curious. Almost at once, he finds himself entangled with a shady gambler and a beautiful, fragile young woman, who draw Daragane into the mystery of a decades-old murder. The investigation will force him to confront the memory of a trauma he had all but buried.

The Dead House, by Dawn Kurtagich


Twenty-five years ago, Elmbridge High burned down. Three people were killed and one pupil, Carly Johnson, disappeared. Now a diary has been found in the ruins of the school. The diary belongs to Kaitlyn Johnson, Carly’s identical twin sister. But Carly didn’t have a twin . . .

Re-opened police records, psychiatric reports, transcripts of video footage and fragments of diary reveal a web of deceit and intrigue, violence and murder, raising a whole lot more questions than it answers.

Who was Kaitlyn and why did she only appear at night? Did she really exist or was she a figment of a disturbed mind? What were the illicit rituals taking place at the school? And just what did happen at Elmbridge in the events leading up to ‘the Johnson Incident’?

So, yeah, you might not sleep again, but this time it’ll be worth it.