Who says beach reads need to be light and fluffy? Sometimes there’s nothing better than feeling the chill of a spooky book on a hot summer day.
Jaws sets the standard, of course, but here’s five others to make this summer a little creepier.
1. Gotta start with the King. Bag of Bones is, for some reason, extremely underrated. I’ve never understood that, since it’s one of my all-time favourites. Mike Noonan, a best-selling novelist, suffers from writer’s block after his wife dies and decides to spend the summer at their lake house. He soon realizes the house has its fair share of ghosts, and that his wife’s death may not have been so natural after all.
2. If you haven’t read Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier yet, there’s no better time to discover this wonderfully atmospheric thriller. A young woman agrees to marry a much older man, only to discover the lingering ghost of her husband’s first wife and a sinister housekeeper are part of the deal. This is as good as ghost stories get.
3. Patricia V. Davis’s Cooking for Ghosts blends real ghost stories from the Queen Mary, California’s legendary haunted ship, with a tale of four women who start a café together. It’s a great ode to female friendship, with plenty of paranormal action to keep the spook quotient high.
4. Also set in California, Stephen Blackmoore’s Dead Things features a sarcastic, world-weary, heavily tattooed necromancer who must solve the mystery of his sister’s death and get revenge on her killers. Blackmoore’s novel lures you in from the first page with an anti-hero you can’t help rooting for.
5. Hunter Shea’s latest, Just Add Water, is retro horror at its best. Inspired by those sea monkey ads at the back of ’80s comic books, this novel is the perfect creature feature. Shea also has one of the most entertaining newsletters of all time. When you sign up, you get Dark Master, a free alien abduction story.
What are your favourite books to read on the beach? Do you have any planned reads this summer? What are your top picks for spooky beach books?
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