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Rob's Featured Nightmares

 

Here you'll find our horror expert Rob's favorite frightful reads.

R.J. Crowther Jr. is a horror connoisseur, SF fan, writer, and long-time bookseller with a special place in his haunted heart for the strange, baroque and bizarre.

 

 

 

Books: 
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The Fervor By Alma Katsu Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780593328330
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons - April 26th, 2022

THE FERVOR by Alma Katsu

Master storyteller Alma Katsu (THE HUNGER, THE DEEP), spins a scintillating web of terror in her new historical horror novel, THE FERVOR. Demons from Japanese folklore, and a seething plague of spiders that drive you mad, pale before the evils of the internment camps, where 120,000 Americans of Japanese descent were incarcerated during WWII. A thrilling, must-read for horror fans, chilling reminder of the real, persistent horrors of racism, and a testament to the healing power of compassion and empathy. The past was never more now. - R.J. Crowther Jr.


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The Only Good Indians: A Novel By Stephen Graham Jones Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781982136468
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Gallery / Saga Press - January 26th, 2021

THE ONLY GOOD INDIANS by Stephen Graham Jones

A blood-curdling creature feature, revenge tale, and meditation on the clash between Native American “old ways” and modern pressures, THE ONLY GOOD INDIANS is one of the best horror novels I’ve ever read. Four friends from the Blackfeet Tribe break the taboo of hunting Elk on land reserved for their tribal elders, and desecrate the hunt by killing a pregnant cow. Ten years later, a vision foretells the savage retribution that will come in the form of the Elk Head Woman, who wreaks revenge through physical and psychological trauma. Beyond the gore, it’s a heart-wrenching tale of guilt, regret, and what it means to be a man and a “good Indian.” Outstanding! – R.J. Crowther Jr.


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Goblin: A Novel in Six Novellas By Josh Malerman Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780593237823
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Del Rey - January 11th, 2022

GOBLIN by Josh Malerman

In the grand tradition of Ray Bradbury’s THE OCTOBER COUNTRY, six tales of terror and wonder await you in the town of GOBLIN. You’ll visit the house of a ghost hunter where the greatest fear is fear itself, and it just might be the death of you, a zoo where the zookeeper gets in touch with his inner animal, a magic show where the price of admission is…everything, and a hedge maze grown on sorrow with a secret heart. These and other tourist attractions are guaranteed to delight even the most discriminating voyeurs of damnation. Come on in! People are dying to stay here. -- R.J. Crowther Jr.


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The Hunger By Alma Katsu Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780735212534
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons - March 5th, 2019

THE HUNGER by Alma Katsu

Alma Katsu serves up a gourmet meal of historical horror in her chilling novel, THE HUNGER. An uninvited guest will join you and the Donner Party, feeding on your isolation, despair, and suffering. Make sure you sample the cold cuts marinated in fear, and save room for dessert, which of course is you. Beautifully told and impeccably researched, THE HUNGER will have you scrambling for more of Katsu’s savory tales. - Rob


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The Loop By Jeremy Robert Johnson Cover Image
$26.99
Currently unavailable, email or call for more information.
ISBN: 9781534454293
Published: Gallery / Saga Press - September 29th, 2020

THE LOOP by Jeremy Robert Johnson

THE LOOP is mind-blowing body horror amped up to max. It’s Cronenberg meets Halloween III with a philosophy. Lucy, an adopted kid from Peru, and Bucket, a Pakistani immigrant, find kinship as outcasts in a small white town. After they witness a shocking act of violence in their classroom, they discover that the enhancement chips in the brains of privileged kids have been hacked by a psychotic test subject. A signal activates the chips, triggering savage outbursts, while causing tumors that invade the brains of the hosts. The grotesque, infectious mutations cause a bio-apocalypse, and as the horror hurricane hits Category 5, Lucy has an epiphany born of trauma and desperation – what good is survival if you lose your humanity? – R.J. Crowther Jr.


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The Bright Lands By John Fram Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9781335836625
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Hanover Square Press - July 7th, 2020

THE BRIGHT LANDS by John Fram

The small town of Bentley, Texas is built on cults – the cult of football with its high school gods beneath the stadium lights, the cult of masculinity bleached a sickly white, and an older cult that has made a bargain with a beast. Joel, the former quarterback, fled Bentley in shame after suffering humiliation when he was outed as gay, but is forced to return when his younger brother, Dylan, goes missing. After Dylan is found brutally murdered, Joel discovers it’s just the tip of a supernatural iceberg - a secret the town patriarchs will kill to protect. Something has been feeding on Bentley’s boys for generations, growing fat on hatred, shame, and sexual predation. As the book roars to its shocking conclusion, Joel must solve a riddle we must ask ourselves - how do you defeat a demon nursed on the monsters in us all? A riveting debut. Highly recommended! – R.J. Crowther Jr.


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The Deep By Alma Katsu Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780525537922
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons - February 23rd, 2021

THE DEEP by Alma Katsu

In Alma Katsu’s riveting historical horror novel, THE HUNGER, she took readers on a trail of terror with the Donner Party. Now, in THE DEEP, Katsu goes full steam into the Titanic disaster, conjuring up the haunting tale of survivor, Annie Hebbley, who spent four years in an insane asylum after the tragedy. Peel back the gilt, elegant veneer of the Titanic’s opulence, and you’ll find a beautifully written Gothic novel, with all the heartache and chilling atmosphere of Wuthering Heights. A voice from the sea sings to passengers, luring them to their death. A spiritualist believes an evil presence wants to destroy the ship. Doomed love resurfaces in impossible resurrections, with Annie at the center of the supernatural maelstrom. Drifting through the story like ice bergs with so much beneath the surface are the very real horrors of PTSD, the terrible bias against women when it comes to mental health, and the evil of unbridled egos that value their inflated image more than human lives. A mesmerizing tale of the terrible things we do for love. Five White Stars!  – R.J. Crowther Jr.


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Survivor Song: A Novel By Paul Tremblay Cover Image
$30.79
ISBN: 9780062679161
Availability: Not in Stock, Available for Special Order
Published: William Morrow - July 7th, 2020

SURVIVOR SONG by Paul Tremblay 

After a lifetime of saturating my brain with horror stories and movies, it takes a vivid, intimate tale to dig into my vitals. Paul Tremblay's SURVIVOR SONG did that in spades, and there were many times while reading this eerily prescient novel (which was written a year before the coronavirus outbreak) that my heart was pounding against my ribs from the relentless tension, and I had to get up and walk around to keep my nerves from fraying. A not-zombie novel about a pandemic caused by a rabies-like virus, which turns the infected into raging berserkers, the power of the story lies not in the gore, but in its agonizing immediacy. When Natalie, who is eight-and-a-half months pregnant, gets bitten and infected, she enlists the help of her best friend, Dr. Ramola (Rams) Sherman, who was her college roommate before becoming a pediatrician. We join the race to save Natalie's baby as the world implodes around them, and eavesdrop on the voice log Natalie records so her child will know who she was in case she doesn't survive. The heartbreaking recordings provide a soundtrack for the end of the world, and confront us with terrible questions – how bad does it have to get before bringing a child into the world is an act of cruelty? How does hope measure against the inability to protect them? Natalie and Rams are richly nuanced and live and breathe on the page, making all they suffer gnaw on your heart. While bleak, there is hope, but for a terrible price. "Give 'til it hurts" isn't a catchphrase, it's the prix fixe.  – R.J. Crowther Jr.


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Trick 'r Treat Omnibus By Michael Dougherty Cover Image
$29.99
ISBN: 9781681160436
Availability: Backordered
Published: Legendary Comics - September 22nd, 2020

TRICK 'R TREAT: Sam's 10th Anniversary Collection 

Michael Dougherty's "Trick 'r Treat" is arguably the greatest horror anthology movie since Stephen King's "Creepshow," and Sam (Samhain), the monstrous little trickster and enforcer of the rules of Halloween, has become a modern horror icon. Ten years after it was first released, the art in this graphic novel adaptation has been gloriously restored, and collected in a beautiful new hardcover edition, which also includes all the later tales of Sam's wicked adventures. The black-humored, twisted tales are reminiscent of EC Comics' "Tales from the Crypt," where well-deserved revenge is a dish best served cold, and undead trick-or-treaters, werewolves, and Sam all feast on the meal. I've waited years for this collection to rise from the grave, and the magnificent result was well worth the wait. It's perfect for those who keep Halloween in their hearts all year long!  – R.J. Crowther Jr.


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The Deep By Alma Katsu Cover Image
$27.00
Currently unavailable, email or call for more information.
ISBN: 9780525537908
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons - March 10th, 2020

THE DEEP by Alma Katsu

In Alma Katsu’s riveting historical horror novel, THE HUNGER, she took readers on a trail of terror with the Donner Party. Now, in THE DEEP, Katsu goes full steam into the Titanic disaster, conjuring up the haunting tale of survivor, Annie Hebbley, who spent four years in an insane asylum after the tragedy. Peel back the gilt, elegant veneer of the Titanic’s opulence, and you’ll find a beautifully written Gothic novel, with all the heartache and chilling atmosphere of Wuthering Heights. A voice from the sea sings to passengers, luring them to their death. A spiritualist believes an evil presence wants to destroy the ship. Doomed love resurfaces in impossible resurrections, with Annie at the center of the supernatural maelstrom. Drifting through the story like ice bergs with so much beneath the surface are the very real horrors of PTSD, the terrible bias against women when it comes to mental health, and the evil of unbridled egos that value their inflated image more than human lives. A mesmerizing tale of the terrible things we do for love. Five White Stars!  – R.J. Crowther Jr.


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The Hiding Place: A Novel By C. J. Tudor Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781524761028
Availability: Not in Stock, Available for Special Order
Published: Ballantine Books - January 14th, 2020

THE HIDING PLACE by C.J. Tudor

There's a new dark star among the authors of psychological thrillers. Her name is C.J. Tudor, and The Hiding Place is killer. If Jim Thompson and Shirley Jackson had a love child, it might look like this hardboiled, Gothic-suspense nightmare, white-knuckled and swaddled in dreadful atmosphere. Summoned by a message that "it's happening again," Joe returns to the small town of his childhood, seeking revenge against the forces that destroyed his kid sister. He moves into a house where a mother killed her son before taking her own life, scrawling "Not my son" in blood after murdering the boy. Joe knows a new generation of kids will share his sister's fate if he can't defeat the darkness of the hiding place. Complicating matters is, Gloria, a blonde bombshell enforcer, who's tracked Joe down to ruthlessly collect his gambling debts, and picks off Joe's enemies to save him for herself. A pit of lies swallows Joe as he fights to stop history from repeating itself, but the lies he tells himself are the blackest hole of all. Thriller and horror fans will love this gripping tale, which packs a chilling double-twist that ties it like a bow. -- R.J. Crowther Jr.


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The Cabin at the End of the World: A Novel By Paul Tremblay Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780062679116
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: William Morrow Paperbacks - July 2nd, 2019

THE CABIN AT THE END OF THE WORLD by Paul Tremblay

Terror goes domestic in this gripping home-invasion thriller from the Bram Stoker Award-winning author of HEAD FULL OF GHOSTS. When the four cultists of the apocalypse capture seven-year-old Wen and her two fathers, they give the family a horrifying ultimatum: sacrifice one of their own, or the world will end. The reluctant captors, brought together by cataclysmic visions, compulsively check death-watches that count down to extinction. The invaders are all-too human, desperate and frayed, trapped like Abraham and Isaac in the Biblical tale. Pressure-cooker tension builds as the family fights to survive, forcing the cultists to appease God with gruesome determination. A television reveals the horrors unleashed upon the world, but is the family’s defiance of God breaking the seven seals, or is awful coincidence greasing the cultists’ wheels? Would you sacrifice your family to save the world, if refusal meant there’d be no world to save at all? Tremblay is a master of ambiguity, and if you like safe books, this one’s not for you. CABIN AT THE END OF THE WORLD is a gut-punch of a novel, where believing is seeing, not the other way around. -- R.J. Crowther Jr.


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The Chalk Man: A Novel By C. J. Tudor Cover Image
$8.99
ISBN: 9780593359013
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ballantine Books - May 25th, 2021

THE CHALK MAN by C.J. Tudor

A grisly murder in the past draws a chalk line around the future of four twelve-year-old boys, and Nicky, the only girl in their “Losers’ Club.” In this stunning debut thriller by C.J. Tudor, Eddie (Munster) meets the “Chalk Man” in 1986. The teacher, who suffers from albinism, helps Eddie save a girl’s life after a horrific accident at an amusement park, and inspires a secret code of chalk stick-figure men. When a series of chalk man clues lead to the dismembered body of a girl in the woods, the Chalk Man is assumed to be the killer. But thirty years later, the fab five are brought together by letters containing chalk figures that suggest the wrong man paid for the crime, and as Eddie tells us, children have their secrets. Fans of Stephen King’s “The Body” (Stand by Me), IT, and S.E. Hinton’s THE OUTSIDERS, will love the intimate characterization of the kids. Eddie’s hoarding and fetishism as an adult, show how PTSD can blossom into a poisoned garden. The grue is thick, the plot riveting. This haunting book will linger on the blackboard of your mind.  – R.J. Crowther Jr.


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Sleeping Beauties: A Novel By Stephen King, Owen King Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781501163418
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Gallery Books - September 18th, 2018

SLEEPING BEAUTIES by Stephen King and Owen King

The Aurora virus sweeps across the world like a sleeping curse of apocalyptic scale, leaving only the men awake to fend for themselves. Strange cocoons enshroud the women struck by the curse, and woe to the man who tries to free them from their pupal state. If disturbed, the infected women attack in savage rage. Evie Black, imprisoned for murder, is immune to the curse, can communicate with animals, and exhale magic moths. Some men view her as a savior, others as witch, who religious zealots cannot suffer to live. Is Evie (the dark Eve) Maleficent or Moses, as she offers women a promised land free of toxic masculinity?  A vicious, timely fairy tale that will keep you up at night. -- R.J. Crowther Jr.


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Ararat: A Novel By Christopher Golden Cover Image
$20.89
Currently unavailable, email or call for more information.
ISBN: 9781250181343
Published: St. Martin's Griffin - August 21st, 2018

ARARAT by Christopher Golden

Christopher Golden reminds readers that some mysteries are best left unsolved, as his adventurous reality television power couple and their team investigate a significant and controversial discovery on the infamous site of Mt. Ararat. With Ararat, Chris has crafted a high-adrenaline tale that combines archaeology, a locked room puzzle, and mythical horrors made manifest, that left me breathless and chilled -- and not just from the descriptions of the extreme storm conditions

— From Nifty Novels and More from Maryelizabeth


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Secrets of the Weird By Chad Stroup, Anthony Rivera (Editor) Cover Image
$20.85
ISBN: 9781940658803
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
(This book cannot be returned.)
Published: Grey Matter Press - July 11th, 2017

SECRETS OF THE WEIRD by Chad Stroup

If Clive Barker and William S. Burroughs spawned a love child, you’d discover her secret self in SECRETS OF THE WEIRD. We meet Trixie, a transgender woman on the streets of Sweetville, desperate to earn enough cash to finish her transition. The city Trixie haunts is a nightmare Pleasure Island, roamed by punks, prostitutes, and neo-Nazis, frosted with a heavy dose of the drug, Sweet Candy. A hive-mind of gaunt mutants, nicknamed Withering Wyldes, whose sexless husks emerge from chemical cocoons, take obsession with body image to morbid extremes. The Angelghoul leads a cannibal cult to “Consumption Enlightement,”holding up a black mirror to mindless consumerism. Identical twin narcissists with an investment empire, turn their appetites on each other like a self-consuming snake. In this funhouse of mirrors, Trixie finds true love, falling for a straight-edge punk who wants to save the world. She hides the flesh she loathes from him, fearing rejection. When a dwarf surgeon offers Trixie her final solution, she’ll have to decide if the knife is her friend or foe.  Stroup’s writing is beautiful; his visons dangerous. “Reassign, realign, redefine.”  -- R.J. Crowther Jr.


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Little Heaven: A Novel By Nick Cutter Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781501104237
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Gallery Books - July 11th, 2017

LITTLE HEAVEN by Nick Cutter

Cormac McCarthy meets Stephen King in Nick Cutter’s off-the-rails fourth horror thriller, set in the backwoods of New Mexico. In 1965, an assassin, a bounty hunter, and a hired-gun named Micah, made an unholy truce in lieu of killing each other, and went to rescue an abducted child from a religious cult. In Little Haven, the evil they faced was both human and monstrous, including a preacher like Jim Jones channeling the Old Ones, and an eldritch Big Bad stitched from carcasses. The trio of rescuers were cursed by what they found there, echoing the horrors of “The Monkey’s Paw.” Fifteen years later, Micah’s daughter goes missing, forcing him to reunite with his partners in perdition, and return to Little Haven for a final showdown. A gruesome, poetic yarn with a rip-roaring finish.  -- R.J. Crowther Jr.


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Mapping the Interior: A Tor.com Original By Stephen Graham Jones Cover Image
$11.99
ISBN: 9780765395108
Availability: Not in Stock, Available for Special Order
Published: Tordotcom - June 20th, 2017

MAPPING THE INTERIOR by Stephen Graham Jones

Junior is his father’s son, and that’s a tragedy, in this terrifying and heart-wrenching story, which serves as a dark mirror to Native American culture, and the living-dead casualties of reservation life.  After the death of his father, twelve-year-old Junior helps his mother raise his mentally disabled brother, and struggles to be a man as only a child can. In fugue states, he is visited by the ghost of his father, a fancydancer adorned with feathers and a porcupine quill bustle. But heritage can be a prison as well a skin, and a terrible resurrection isn’t far behind. The living feed the dead by repeating their sins. A legacy of addiction gives birth to a monster. As Junior becomes the suspect of unnatural crimes, he will have to choose whose skin he’s willing to walk in. This brilliant story cut deep and made me shed some tears.  -- R.J. Crowther Jr.


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Six Wakes By Mur Lafferty Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780316389686
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Orbit - January 31st, 2017

SIX WAKES by Mur Lafferty

And Then There Were None meets Alien in this locked-room, SF-thriller, which grips you from the first scene in the frozen depths of space. On the generational starship, Dormire, Maria bolts awake in a cloning vat, her core-self freshly imprinted after she was killed. Five other crewmates have been brutally murdered, and their new incarnations awake near their own floating corpses. The artificial gravity is off, the ship is far off course, and the A.I. that runs the ship is starting to reboot. The cloning machine that saved Maria has been sabotaged, so if someone kills her now, there’s no coming back. One of the Dormire’s crew is the murderer; problem is, all of them have blood on their hands. Two thousand hibernating souls will never revive if she doesn’t stop the killer before she dies again. -- R.J. Crowther Jr.


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The Deep: A Novel By Nick Cutter Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781501144837
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Gallery Books - August 16th, 2016

THE DEEP BY Nick Cutter

What Ridley Scott did for outer space, Nick Cutter does for the ocean, in his iron lung of a horror novel, The Deep. A devastating plague is ravaging humanity, scarring its victims’ skin with ulcers like mold spots before eroding their minds like Alzheimer’s disease. Eight miles down in the Mariana trench, a research station built to harvest a “miracle cure” goes silent. A submersible rises to the surface, containing the partially regenerated body of a mutilated scientist. Luke Nelson takes the plunge to investigate what happened to the research team, which was headed by his brilliant, narcissistic brother. We descend with Luke into a permanent midnight of relentless claustrophobia, body horror and madness, hitting bottom in a monster maelstrom where regenerative medicine is the disease. Fans of hardcore horror—this grue is for you. -- R.J. Crowther Jr.


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The Deep: A Novel By Nick Cutter Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781501144837
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Gallery Books - August 16th, 2016

THE DEEP BY Nick Cutter

What Ridley Scott did for outer space, Nick Cutter does for the ocean, in his iron lung of a horror novel, The Deep. A devastating plague is ravaging humanity, scarring its victims’ skin with ulcers like mold spots before eroding their minds like Alzheimer’s disease. Eight miles down in the Mariana trench, a research station built to harvest a “miracle cure” goes silent. A submersible rises to the surface, containing the partially regenerated body of a mutilated scientist. Luke Nelson takes the plunge to investigate what happened to the research team, which was headed by his brilliant, narcissistic brother. We descend with Luke into a permanent midnight of relentless claustrophobia, body horror and madness, hitting bottom in a monster maelstrom where regenerative medicine is the disease. Fans of hardcore horror—this grue is for you. -- R.J. Crowther Jr.