A part of focusing on the pleasures of autumn is of course making a list of suitably dark and spooky novels to enjoy throughout October. Unlike last year, I’m going to stay away from overambitious plans, even if sometimes they’re their own reward. Instead I thought I’d just share a brief list of mostly recent library finds that seem to fit the bill. It’s only looking at them now that I realise most of the covers have a similar sort of feel, which I think is a good visual representation of what I’m in the mood for around this time of year.
Lucas is lonely. Orphaned and sent to live with his formidable guardian in a vast mansion, he longs for a friend. Then Anna-Marie arrives. She's spoilt and wilful - and practically half his age. Lucas feels more alone than ever. But one night something terrible happens. Lucas and Anna-Marie face a terrifying and treacherous ordeal, alone in the hostile city streets. Together, they must fight to survive...
You are about to discover the secrets of The Quick –
But first, reader, you must travel to Victorian England, and there, in the wilds of Yorkshire, meet a brother and sister alone in the world, a pair bound by tragedy. You will, in time, enter the rooms of London’s mysterious Aegolius Club – a society of the richest, most powerful men in England. And at some point – we cannot say when – these worlds will collide.
It is then, and only then, that a new world emerges, a world of romance, adventure and the most delicious of horrors – and the secrets of The Quick are revealed.
A woman sits at her father's bedside watching the clock tick away the last hours of his life. Her brothers and sisters - all traumatised in their own ways, their bonds fragile - have been there for the past week, but now she is alone.
And that's always when it comes.
As the clock ticks in the darkness, she can only wait for it to find her...
When he was twelve years old, Adam Ryan went playing in the woods with his two best friends. He never saw them again. Their bodies were never found, and Adam himself was discovered with his back pressed against an oak tree and his shoes filled with blood. He had no memory of what had happened.
Twenty years on, Rob Ryan - the child who came back - is a detective in the Dublin police force. He's changed his name. No one knows about his past. Then a little girl's body is found at the site of the old tragedy and Rob is drawn back into the mystery. Knowing that he would be thrown off the case if his past were revealed, Rob takes a fateful decision to keep quiet but hope that he might also solve the twenty-year-old mystery of the woods.
Ever since his father disappeared when he was nine years old, Ian Kennedy has had a penchant for stories about missing people - and a knack for finding them. Now he's a private investigator with an impressive track record. But when a woman enters his office and asks him to find her lost daughter, Ian faces a case he fears he cannot solve.
Laura Lensky's stunning twenty-one-year-old daughter, Peri, has been missing for over two years - a lifetime, under the circumstances. But when Ian learns the details of her disappearance, he discovers eerie parallels to an obscure Celtic myth - and to the haunting case that launched his career, an early success he's never fully been able to explain...
How about you? Any October reading plans? And any strategies to stay cheerful during the cold, dark months?