Friday, October 24, 2008

If you are having trouble sleeping . . .

. . .these books won't really help :)

There is very little that I like better that a good scary book, except maybe a good historical fiction, but for our purposes here it will be GrEaT scary books!

I have been reading THE BEST series of books by Daniel Hecht featuring parapsychologist Cree Black.  After experiencing a harrowing paranormal event, Cree went on to become a parapsychologist so that she could help others deal with paranormal phenomenon.  In the first book, City of Masks, Cree investigates sinister goings-on in an old family mansion in the Garden District of New Orleans.  Darkened hallways, sinister shadows, and terrifying (and traumatic) encounters are numerous and nerve-wracking.  The second in the series, Land of Echoes, finds Cree seeking answers in the case of a possibly-possessed teenage boy on a Navajo reservation in New Mexico.  Haunted canyons, unexplained strobing lights, and a vengeful ghost work to round out this harrowing tale.  The latest in the series to be published, Bones of the Barbary Coast, is a much more introspective novel than the other two.  I am over halfway through it now and can hardly put it down.  In addition to the aforementioned bones, relationships and family dynamics are coming unraveled and making this investigation one of the toughest yet for Cree.  This entry in the series seems much more interested in the dark places of the human soul rather than an exploration of the undead, but the creep-out moments are still there, still striking.  Unfortunately I can’t find any information on when the next in this series will be published, but Daniel Hecht does have some stand-alone novels that I plan on checking out soon: Puppets, Skull Session, and The Babel Effect.

Dean Koontz’s The Taking is another favorite of mine that gave me a serious case of the fantods, especially when I had to go home to a dark house!  When the book first began, based on the behavior of the characters (both human and not), I was SURE I knew what was going on.  I didn’t know.  One of the scariest parts doesn’t even take place on the planet, reinforced what I was already thinking, and then turned my whole hypothesis on its head.  I listened to this after I read it and the audiobook (narrated by Ari Meyers) is OuTsTaNdInG!  I now own a copy of the audio that I like to listen to while I cook.  On the weekend.  In broad daylight only. 

I have to bring up one of my personal favorites, and also an audio that I own and listen to while I cook and that is Richard Matheson’s I Am Legend.  I admit up front that I really enjoy dystopian (and postapocalyptic) fiction and film.  Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, Jim Crace’s The Pesthouse, Robert O’Brien’s Z is for Zachariah, Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale, Robert Kirkman’s graphic series The Walking Dead, P.D. James’ The Children of Men (and its film adaptation), 28 Days Later, Doomsday, Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, Waterworld, Reign of Fire, Day After Tomorrow, the Terminator franchise…well, I could go on and on but you get the point.  Matheson’s chilling tale relates the end of days for Robert Neville, the last man left on earth after the planet has succumbed to an unknown toxin causing vampirism.  It is bleak, gritty, and morose and the reader may be tempted to share Neville’s deepening depression.  Going back to my penchant for cooking while I listen…I have burned my food because I was listening instead of tending my dinner!  I have seen the first film adaptation of the book, The Last Man on Earth (starring Vincent Price), but not The Omega Man (starring Charleton Heston) or the latest adaptation (starring Will Smith).

So, those are just a few of the books I’m reading (or rereading!) this fall, how about you? 

Happy Reading!

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