Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. CreateSpace (November 12, 2008).
From the back cover: Mary Shelley's Frankenstein is one of the masterpieces of nineteenth-century Gothicism. While stay-ing in the Swiss Alps in 1816 with her lover Percy Shelley, Lord Byron, and others, Mary, then eighteen, began to concoct the story of Dr. Victor Frankenstein and the monster he brings to life by electricity. Written in a time of great personal tragedy, it is a subversive and morbid story warning against the dehumanization of art and the corrupting influence of science. Packed with allusions and literary references, it is also one of the best thrillers ever written. Frankenstein; Or, the Modern Prometheus was an instant bestseller on publication in 1818. The prototype of the science fiction novel, it has spawned countless imitations and adaptations but retains its original power.
This Modern Library edition includes a new Introduction by Wendy Steiner, the chair of the English department at the University of Pennsylvania and author of The Scandal of Pleasure. Mary Shelley was born Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin in 1797 in London. She eloped to France with Shelley, whom she married in 1816. After Frankenstein, she wrote several novels, including Valperga and Falkner, and edited editions of the poetry of Shelley, who had died in 1822. Mary Shelley died in London in 1851
For a free electronic copy of Frankenstein go to Google Books
Autumn by David Moody. Infected Books, 2005.
From the publisher: In less than twenty-four hours a vicious and virulent disease destroys virtually all of the population. Billions are killed. Thousands die every second.
There are no symptoms and no warnings. Within moments of infection each victim suffers a violent and agonizing death. Only a handful of survivors remain. By the end of the first day those survivors wish they were dead.
Then the disease strikes again, and all hell breaks loose...The classic free underground novel finally bursts into the mainstream. Cold, dark, relentless and uncomfortably plausible. A Night of the Living Dead for the 21st Century.
The Woman in Black: A Ghost Story by Susan Hill. David R Godine, 2002.
From the publisher: What real reader does not yearn, somewhere in the recesses of his or her heart, for a really literate, first-class thriller - one that chills the body with foreboding of dark deeds to come, but warms the soul with perceptions and language at once astute and vivid? In other words, a ghost story by Jane Austen.
Austen we cannot, alas, give you, but Susan Hill's remarkable Woman In Black comes as close as the late twentieth century is likely to provide. Set on the obligatory English moor, on an isolated causeway, the story has as its hero one Arthur Kipps, an up-and-coming young solicitor who has come north to attend the funeral and settle the estate of Mrs. Alice Drablow of Eel Marsh House. The routine formalities he anticipates give way to a tumble of events and secrets more sinister and terrifying than any nightmare: the rocking chair in the nursery of the deserted Eel Marsh House, the eerie sound of pony and trap, a child's scream in the fog, and, most dreadfully, and for Kipps most tragically, the woman in black.
The Woman In Black is both a brilliant exercise in atmosphere and controlled horror and a delicious spine-tingler - proof positive that that neglected genre, the ghost story, isn't dead after all.
Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill. Harper, 2008.
From the publisher: Judas Coyne is a collector of the macabre: a cookbook for cannibals . . . a used hangman's noose . . . a snuff film. An aging death-metal rock god, his taste for the unnatural is as widely known to his legions of fans as the notorious excesses of his youth. But nothing he possesses is as unlikely or as dreadful as his latest discovery, an item for sale on the Internet, a thing so terribly strange, Jude can't help but reach for his wallet.
I will "sell" my stepfather's ghost to the highest bidder. . . .
For a thousand dollars, Jude will become the proud owner of a dead man's suit, said to be haunted by a restless spirit. He isn't afraid. He has spent a lifetime coping with ghosts—of an abusive father, of the lovers he callously abandoned, of the bandmates he betrayed. What's one more?
But what UPS delivers to his door in a black heart-shaped box is no imaginary or metaphorical ghost, no benign conversation piece. It's the real thing.
And suddenly the suit's previous owner is everywhere: behind the bedroom door . . . seated in Jude's restored vintage Mustang . . . standing outside his window . . . staring out from his widescreen TV. Waiting—with a gleaming razor blade on a chain dangling from one bony hand...
A multiple-award winner for his short fiction, author Joe Hill immediately vaults into the top echelon of dark fantasists with a blood-chilling roller-coaster ride of a novel, a masterwork brimming with relentless thrills and acid terror.
Dark Places by Linda Ladd. Pinnacle, 2007.
From the publisher: Missouri detective Claire Morgan is eager to get back to work after recuperating from injuries sustained on her last job. But the missing persons case that welcomes her home in the dead of winter soon turns more twisted and treacherous than Lake of the Ozarks' icy mountain roads...The woman's body is found suspended from a tree overlooking a local school. She is bleeding from the head, still alive - but not for long. Someone wanted Professor Simone Classon to suffer as much as possible before she died, making sure the victim had a perfect view of her colleagues and students on the campus below as she succumbed to the slow-working poison in her veins...Frigid temperatures and punishing snows only make the investigation more difficult. And then the death threats begin - unnerving incidents orchestrated to send Claire a deadly message. Now, as she edges closer to the truth, Claire risks becoming entangled in a maniac's web - and the stuff of her own worst nightmares...