It’s October, which means spooky season is here! Truthfully, I’ve never been a huge Halloween person. However, I love a good mystery/ thriller book, especially if they’re really atmospheric. Since these types of books tend to be great reads for spooky season, I figured I would make a list!
Below is a list of books that I have read in recent years that I think would make perfect reads to add to the spooky and chilling vibe of October. While I didn’t love love all of these, I still thoroughly enjoyed some or all aspects of each enough to put them on this list! Titles link to Goodreads.
The Final Girl Support Group by Grady Hendrix was not at all what I was expecting. While not perfect, it definitely had a good amount of tension and kept me engaged and turning the pages to find out what happens and who the killer is.
I absolutely loved None Shall Sleep by Ellie Marney! Quite unrealistic since it follows two teenagers interviewing teenage killers a la Mindhunters style yet it was so easy for me not to care. It’s definitely an underrated book that I hope garners some more love!
I’ll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara is the well known nonfiction centered on McNamara helping to track down the Golden State Killer. I listened to the audiobook and really enjoyed it. It definitely helped spur me into wanting to read more nonfiction true crime. I also recommend watching the documentary after reading.
The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware was very atmospheric .. definitely gave off spooky and chilly vibes without it being too intense or too dark. Exactly what I love when it comes to a mystery/thriller!
The Killing Lessons straight up terrified me and not because of the obvious reason. It was a hard book to read as a female considering what the killer does. While reading it was difficult at times, I appreciated how good of a writer Saul Black is.
The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones definitely gave off creepy vibes, but I thought that it lacked some tension to really make it engaging for me. However, I find that that is mostly reader preference as Jones is an excellent writer.
The Deep by Alma Katsu was another read where it ended up not quite what I was expecting. However, I found that it definitely delivers on the spooky vibe. I mean, it’s essentially a ghost/ haunting story.
Dark Matter by Blake Crouch, while Sci-Fi, is an excellent thriller! Before this book, I didn’t realize that Sci-Fi thrillers were a thing and were good. It’s definitely a page-turner and I loved that it was thought provoking when it comes to how certain decisions can/could have changed your life.
Another Ruth Ware book, In a Dark, Dark Wood was the first book I read of her and I loved it. This book is also really atmospheric and has this creeping feeling of something going on or about to go wrong.
Burn Our Bodies Down by Rory Power has the whole creepy thing going for it. It’s not an intense thriller or anything, but once you find out what’s really going on, you’ll definitely be creeped out. Power’s writing was also great.
Dark Places by Gillian Flynn is definitely a favorite. It’s very dark, very atmospheric, and has this slow creeping feeling throughout the whole book. It’s great. Flynn’s Gone Girl of course was also good, but I think the hype for that one made my expectations a little high and so I didn’t love it.
Final Girls by Riley Sager was also quite the ride and brings all the thriller-ness. While a modern thriller, the nod to 80’s slasher horror films is definitely felt. Definitely not perfect, but I found it engaging.
Sadie by Courtney Summers was so good! I listened to the audiobook, which I highly recommend! Having the dual timelines and one in podcast format was a huge hook for me and I thought Summers did a great job. I kept wanting to find reasons to drive so I could listen to it!
Coraline by Neil Gaiman is one that I wasn’t sure I should include. While many tagged it horror, it’s very subtle and with Gaiman’s amazing writing, I almost missed the creepy vibe. But it’s definitely there and was a great, short read.
The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides is definitely more of a slower paced thriller. While the spooky and creepy vibes aren’t necessarily really strong in this book, I definitely got some feelings, especially as you continue towards the end of the book. I also just really enjoyed this one.
What books have you read off this list? Any you’ll be adding to your TBR?
I had fun creating this list but as many of us know, there are so many books out there; many I have yet to read. So I’ll be creating a list of anticipated books/ books on my TBR that I have not read that I think would be perfect reads for October. So stay tuned for that and happy reading!