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The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

Reviewed by Jade Crabtree

First published in 1959, Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House has been called a perfect work of unnerving terror.

Hill House has stood for eighty years, the last twenty of them empty. It has long said to be haunted, but is there truth to the rumors? Are some houses just bad? Can a house itself be mentally unstable?

In The Haunting of Hill House four people spend time in the mansion trying to see if they can find proof of the supernatural. Dr. Montague, an occult scholar looking for solid evidence of a “haunting,” is the leader of the group; Theodora an aloof woman with some psychic abilities; Eleanor, a friendless, fragile young woman who has spent her adult life caring for her invalid mother and has encountered poltergeists; and Luke, the future heir of Hill House. At first, their stay seems destined to be merely a spooky encounter with inexplicable phenomena. But Hill House is gathering its powers—and soon it will choose one of them to make its own.

Available at TCPL: Book

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Disappearance at Devil’s Rock by Paul Tremblay

Reviewed by Cassie Ogle

devils-rock

Stand By Me, Paranormal Activity, Insidious, and 16th Century Folk Lore rolled into one to tell the story of a mother’s worst nightmare; a child goes missing. Elizabeth gets the dreaded call in the middle of the night that her son did not return from the woods with his friends. As days pass and the search continues, mysterious notes begin appearing that seem to be from the missing Tommy. The more Elizabeth learns about her teenage son’s life, the less things make sense to her and the rest of the family. Why was Tommy in the woods in the middle of the night? Why did his friends make it back home but he didn’t? Who is the strange man that Tommy writes about? This books dances on the edge of supernatural and harsh reality in a brilliantly creepy way.

Available at TCPL: Book

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The Shining by Stephen King

Reviewed by Gloria Goins

The Shining

After being fired from his previous line of work, Jack Torrance has finally caught a break in the job hunt. He’s been offered the winter caretaker position at the Overlook Hotel where he, his wife, and his son will stay entirely alone and isolated for several months. Complete bliss, right? Not quite. The Overlook has a haunting past that will eventually be the cause of detriment to the Torrance family. A detriment that only Jack’s five year old son, Danny, could possibly prevent. The Shining is a timeless horror novel  and a must read.

Available at TCPL: Book | Overdrive eBook | Overdrive eAudiobook

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Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King

Reviewed by Jade Crabtree

Mr Mercedes book cover

In a distressed American city a crowd of people were waiting for the opening of a job fair when a stolen Mercedes emerged from the early morning fog. The car plowed throw the crowd then backed up and plowed through them again killing eight and leaving many more injured before speeding off. Bill Hodges was the lead detective on the case until he retired a few months ago. Now he spends his days eating, watching T.V. and thinking about ending it all. At least he was, until he received a letter from someone claiming to be the killer that the press has dubbed Mr. Mercedes.

Brady Hartsfield is a forgettable person. A young twenty-something man living with his mother and working two jobs to keep their little family afloat. He is also hiding a few scary secrets. The biggest one is that he is Mr. Mercedes. He writes to the retired detective hoping to engage in a very satisfying game of cat and mouse; but when his plans start to go awry he decides he needs a big finish. Brady is going to go out in a blaze of glory and he means to take as many people with him as he can. It is up to Bill Hodges and his two unusual companions to stop him before his grand finale.

Available at TCPL: Book | Large Print | Audiobook | Overdrive eAudiobook

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Amity by Micol Ostow

Reviewed by Cassie Ogle

Amity Book Cover

Amity is a house nestled on the bank of the Concord River.  This book follows the story of two different families who have resided in Amity a decade apart.  Two children, Gwen and Connor, plagued by the same nightmares, find out that Amity is much more than just a house; she is an evil force.  Amity wants to use Gwen and Connor to do her work.

The book skips back and forth between present time and ten years ago to follow the creepy occurrences that happen to both families.  The book is loosely based on the Amityville Horror movie series but is not a retelling of the film’s story.

Available at TCPL: Book

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Dracula, My Love: The Secret Journals of Mina Harker by Syrie James

Reviewed by Circulation Specialist Kim Alcorn-Howell

Dracula My Love book cover

This novel follows the original plot of the classic Dracula by Bram Stoker, but offers the story from Mina’s perspective and shows the emotional turmoil she experiences as she falls in love with Nicolae Dracula at the same time her husband and group of friends are trying to destroy him.  Whereas in Stoker’s original telling, Dracula is portrayed solely as a monstrous, unfeeling demon and Mina as a pious, devoted wife who wants nothing more than to help Jonathan (her husband) destroy Dracula, James’ novel shows the human, sensitive side of Dracula; she paints him not as a monster, but as a misunderstood and misplaced romantic who has actually fallen in love with Mina and wants to spend eternity with her.  And Mina, though she loves Jonathan deeply, cannot resist Dracula’s mesmerizing charm and the forbidden romance blossoming between them.

Being a huge fan of the original Dracula novel, I was very excited to read this book and had very high hopes for it.  (And I was not disappointed!)  Syrie James does a wonderful job of telling the story we already know and love while giving it a completely new and fresh perspective.  Her novel involves all of the original characters including Jonathan and Mina Harker, Lucy Westenra, Dr. Van Helsing, and of course, Dracula himself.  Unfortunately, this book is not part of a series, but James does have two other series out: The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen, and The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Bronte.

Books similar to this one: Dracula by Bram Stoker, Dracula the Un-dead by Dacre Stoker, Dracula in Love by Karen Essex, and Dracula the Undead by Freda Warrington.

Available at TCPL: Book

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