This year I broke away from zombies and revisited many other horror sub-genres. I found numerous novels that I enjoyed, but the following five really stood out above the others:
#5 - The Girl Clay by Amy Cross has all the best elements at work in this story: horror, mystery, suspense and drama. The horror ranges from real-life issues to the supernatural.The two storylines, set ten years apart, are the perfect way to build suspense throughout the novel, until readers are finally shown all the connections. Last but not least, I loved the drama surrounding the girl Clay, specifically the detachment she maintains with everyone around her.
#4 - The 3 Egos by David Dunwoody is the author's best work. He's written a very complex novel about redemption and revenge, without overwhelming readers, and the characters are anything but typical, displaying the best and worst of human nature. Quite frankly, this is the best description of Hell that I've ever read.
#3 - Sad Wings of Destiny by Thom Brannan is one of the more unusual works of fiction that I've read. In the case of Brannan's latest masterpiece, the hook with Jacob/Stephen is one of the most exquisite character reveals that I've read in any genre. I was instantly drawn to that character, even though I had a lot of difficulty getting into the story itself. I'm not really into superheroes or supervillains in literature - movies, sure, but not when it comes to my reading material. I was rewarded with a spectacular drama that incorporates science fiction, fantasy and horror in ways I've never imagined.
#2 - Unpaved Surfaces by Joseph Souza has an extremely well-developed cast of characters, and switching between their POVs gives the readers a 360 degree view of the impact of the child abduction at the heart of the story. This novel is guaranteed to take readers on an emotional journey they will not soon forget. I think this story would also make a great movie.
The biggest surprise of all...
#1 - The Bell House by Lori Titus caught me completely off guard...I never knew what to expect at any point and that made it all the more thrilling. This is not your typical haunted house story, and the suspense is incredible. Titus does an excellent job of luring in readers with a love triangle involving brothers. The connections from one generation of the Bell family to the next added fuel to the fire, literally. Families have drama as it is, but when you involve curses and ghosts, you have the seemingly unstoppable force of the Bell house. This story is full of dark family secrets and angry spirits, pitting the living against the dead…one of the most frightening novels of 2015.