Essential Contemporary (Mostly) Horror Novels

Enter, Night - Michael Rowe Sweetheart, Sweetheart - Bernard Taylor, Michael Rowe When Darkness Loves Us - Elizabeth Engstrom Figures Unseen: Selected Stories - Steve Rasnic Tem, Matt Godfrey The Lesser Dead - Christopher Buehlman The Listener - Robert R. McCammon Darkest Hours - Mike Thorn The Secret of Ventriloquism - Jon Padgett The Thicket - Joe R. Lansdale Ghost Story - Peter Straub

Enter, Night - Michael Rowe

 

 By the wonderful Michael Rowe. A contemporary Salem's Lot of sorts. 

 

Sweetheart, Sweetheart - Bernard Taylor,Michael Rowe 

A beautifully written ghost story with a beautiful introduction written by the above-referenced Michael Rowe.

 

When Darkness Loves Us - Elizabeth Engstrom 

 

Two novellas about two very different women.

 

Figures Unseen: Selected Stories - Steve Rasnic Tem,Matt Godfrey 

 

A collection of stories that still haunt me. I've been reading this author since my teens, and he has my undying admiration.

 

The Lesser Dead - Christopher Buehlman 

 

I recommend this one on audiobook because the performance is so damn good. 

 

The Listener - Robert R. McCammon 

 

He has two books on my 25 Essential Reads list, but this one needed to be listed somewhere because it's such a compelling story. 

 

Darkest Hours - Mike Thorn 

 

A debut collection from an author I'll be keeping an eye on.

 

The Secret of Ventriloquism - Jon Padgett 

 

See my comment above. These stories are somewhat connected and that makes the whole book even more impressive. 

 

The Thicket - Joe R. Lansdale 

 

Joe Lansdale is a genre unto himself. This western is simply wonderful. (And funny, because it's Joe Lansdale.) 

 

Ghost Story - Peter Straub 

 

This was my favorite book for many years. I finally re-read it this year, and was happy to find that it still holds up. It's a story within a story within a story.