In our rundown of this week’s best new books, we look at eerie reads for dark winter nights…
As the night draws in, snuggle up with a spooky tale or a chilling yarn.
Just don’t have nightmares…
Starve Acre, by Andrew Michael Hurley
In this eerie, atmospheric novel, Richard and Juliette leave Leeds to move to Richard’s childhood home on the desolate Yorkshire moors. When their increasingly troubled five-year-old son Ewan suddenly dies, Juliette cannot cope and spends sleepless nights trying to record his presence on an old tape recorder.
But Richard channels his devastation into excavating a field where
three lads were once hanged. They committed crimes under orders of a sinister supernatural figure known as Jack Grey – who also featured in Ewan’s nightmares.
The atmosphere becomes even more foreboding when Richard digs up the skeleton of a hare. In his study, it slowly transforms into a living creature.
You feel the evil in this Gothic tale that blends horror and superstition.
John Murray, £12.99
Bone China, by Laura Purcell
Hester Why has a hasty temper, a murky past, and a penchant for laudanum and gin. She becomes a companion to Miss Pinecroft who sits silently in a freezing parlour, surrounded by blue and white bowls and vases, in a creepy house that hides secrets and hidden miseries.
A Cornish landscape, consumptive convicts, changelings and the macabre creation of a bone china tea set make for a chilling and melodramatic read.
Raven Books, £12.99
Impossible Causes, by Julie Mayhew
Viola, 16, her depressed mother and a new teacher move to the isle of Lark.
There, a group of girls embrace the island’s pagan past and its rituals. A man is murdered and the rumour mill becomes ruthless as the killer is sought.
Lark is often cut off from the British mainland and fog-bound for six months a year, making it an ideal setting for a story of suspicion and superstition in a religious community.
Raven Books, £12.99
The Wayward Girls, by Amanda Mason
It’s 1976 and the family of sisters Bee and Loo have moved to an isolated farm. But they hear loud knocks, and furniture moves of its own accord.
After Loo channels someone else’s voice, paranormal investigators arrive – with disastrous results.
In the present day, Loo returns to the farm with a paranormal society, while her mother tries to make sense of their tragic past.
A chillingly claustrophobic read.