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.