Good reads: Oh, the horror!

By Diane Parfitt

Do you find the news of the day depressing? Tired of hearing about fires in California, hurricanes along the East Coast, and COVID everywhere? What better way to escape the dismal reality of our world than to read a good horror story?

  1. “My Heart Is a Chainsaw”
    by Stephen Graham Jones
    In this story, described as a love-letter to horror movies, 17-year-old misfit Jade Daniels finds that watching scary movies is her protection against the real world. She loves them so much that she uses them as themes for her homework assignments. When her writing begins to foretell actual events, the author pulls us into the world of a masked killer who seeks revenge against the world that has wronged him.
  2. “Later” by Stephen King
    This novel is told from the perspective of Jamie, a young boy with the ability to talk to dead people, but it is nothing like the 1999 Bruce Willis movie, “The Sixth Sense.” Jamie’s gift (or curse) is exploited by the adults around him, including his mother, to their own advantage. When a corrupt cop learns that Jamie’s gift is for real, she uses it to further her career with dire consequences. While others are taking advantage of Jamie’s talent, King explores what it takes to stand up to evil and the many ways we find the strength to do so.
  3. “Survive The Night”
    by Riley Sager
    College student Charlie Jordan shares a ride home with a stranger she met through the campus ride board. Both are trying to get home to Ohio – Charlie to find solace after the shocking murder of her best friend by a man known as the Campus Killer and Josh to take care of his sick father. As they talk through the night in the car on the lonely highways and back roads, Charlie begins to think Josh is not who he says he is. With nowhere to go and her imagination running wild, Charlie has to figure out how to survive the night.
  4. “The Lost Village”
    by Camilla Sten
    Alice Lindstedt, a documentary film maker, is obsessed with the decades-old story of the vanishing residents in her grandmother’s village where her entire family disappeared in a mysterious tragedy. She puts together a team to make a film in the abandoned mining village about what really happened. But when bizarre and sinister things similar to the past tragedy start to happen, Alice realizes something is going on, they are not alone and there is no turning back!
  5. “Chasing The Boogeyman” by Richard Chizmar
    When the grisly bodies of several missing girls turn up in a small town, everyone assumes a serial killer is on the loose. Then the rumors start and the townspeople begin to believe that something evil and not entirely human is stalking the local teens. The FBI is certain this is the work of a living, breathing madman, but hysteria takes over the town and the real nightmare begins. Told as a true-crime story, the author places himself in the story to tell the events as they unfold.
  6. “The Final Girl Support Group” by Grady Hendrix
    We all know that the “final girl” in horror movies is the last one standing when the credits roll. She’s the one who fought the monsters and demons, defeated the killer and avenged her friends, emerging bloodied but still alive. However, what happens to her after everyone leaves, the police file their reports, the sirens fade and the audience goes home? In this story, she joins a support group with five other “final girls” who, along with their therapist, work to put their lives back together. That is until one of the girls fails to show up for a meeting and their worst fears are realized! It seems someone knows about them and has come back determined to take their lives apart again, piece by piece.


    Diane Parfitt is a former Pediatric Nurse and Assistant Professor of Nursing Education and currently owns a bookstore. She can be reached at citycentergallerybook@gmail.com