Ten Summer Reads On My Radar

In my part of Michigan, we went from winter and straight into the hottest days of summer, bypassing spring altogether. Because of this, some of the books listed here are not officially summer reads by way of the calendar - the first day of summer isn't until June 21 - but since we've already had a streak of 90 degree days before May was even over, and the summer movie season now seems to kick off in late April, I figure they're fair game! That said, here's some of the forthcoming releases that have caught my eye.

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The Woman In the Woods by John Connolly

June 12, 2018 | Atria/Emily Bestler Books

From internationally bestselling author and “creative genius who has few equals in either horror fiction or the mystery genre” (New York Journal of Books) comes a gripping thriller starring Private Investigator Charlie Parker. When the body of a woman—who apparently died in childbirth—is discovered, Parker is hired to track down both her identity and her missing child.

In the beautiful Maine woods, a partly preserved body is discovered. Investigators realize that the dead young woman gave birth shortly before her death. But there is no sign of a baby.

Private detective Charlie Parker is hired by a lawyer to shadow the police investigation and find the infant but Parker is not the only searcher. Someone else is following the trail left by the woman, someone with an interest in much more than a missing child…someone prepared to leave bodies in his wake.

And in a house by the woods, a toy telephone begins to ring and a young boy is about to receive a call from a dead woman.

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Jurassic Florida by Hunter Shea

June 19, 2018 | Kensington

FLORIDA. IT’S WHERE YOU GO TO DIE.
Welcome to Polo Springs, a sleepy little town on Florida’s Gulf Coast. It’s a great place to live—if you don’t mind the hurricanes. Or the flooding. Or the unusual wildlife . . .
 
IGUANAS. THEY’RE EVERYWHERE. 
Maybe it’s the weather. But the whole town is overrun with the little green bastards this year. They’re causing a lot of damage. They’re eating everything in sight. And they’re just the babies . . .
 
HUMANS. THEY’RE WHAT’S FOR DINNER.
The mayor wants to address the iguana problem. But when Hurricane Ramona slams the coast, the town has a bigger problem on their hands. Bigger iguanas. Bigger than a double-wide. Unleashed by the storm, this razor-toothed horde of prehistoric predators rises up from the depths—and descends on the town like retirees at an early bird special. Except humans are on the menu. And it’s all you can eat . . .

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Providence by Caroline Kepnes

June 19, 2018 | Random House

Best friends in small-town New Hampshire, Jon and Chloe share a bond so intense that it borders on the mystical. But before Jon can declare his love for his soul mate, he is kidnapped, his plans for a normal life permanently dashed.

Four years later, Chloe has finally given up hope of ever seeing Jon again. Then, a few months before graduation, Jon reappears. But he is different now: bigger, stronger, and with no memory of the time he was gone. Jon wants to pick up where he and Chloe left off . . . until the horrifying instant he realizes that he possesses strange powers that pose a grave threat to everyone he cares for. Afraid of hurting Chloe, Jon runs away, embarking on a journey for answers.

Meanwhile, in Providence, Rhode Island, healthy college students and townies with no connection to one another are suddenly, inexplicably dropping dead. A troubled detective prone to unexplainable hunches, Charles “Eggs” DeBenedictus suspects there’s a serial killer at work. But when he starts asking questions, Eggs is plunged into a whodunit worthy of his most outlandish obsessions.

In this dazzling new novel—and with an intense, mesmerizing voice—Caroline Kepnes makes keen and powerful observations about human connection and how love and identity can dangerously blur together.

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Devil Sharks by Chris Jameson

June 26, 2018 | St. Martin's

A pleasure cruise in Paradise leads a group of friends to a shark-infested Hell in Chris Jameson's Devil Sharks. . .

When Alex Simmons is invited to a college reunion in the Hawaiian islands aboard the private yacht of his old pal Harry Curtis, he is not sure what to expect. The two men had a falling-out years ago over the suicide of one of their friends. Could this be Harry’s way of making amends? Or is something more sinister in store?

The crew sets sail and arrives at Orchid Atoll, the site of a deserted former Coast Guard station. But they are far from alone. Out here, three hundred miles from civilization, Alex and his friends are about to encounter two very different brands of evil―one human, the other with fins―unlike anything they could have possibly imagined. They have entered a place where there’s no law, no mercy. . .and no way out.

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The Cabin At The End Of The World by Paul Tremblay

June 26, 2018 | William Morrow

“A tremendous book―thought-provoking and terrifying, with tension that winds up like a chain. The Cabin at the End of the World is Tremblay’s personal best. It’s that good.” — Stephen King

The Bram Stoker Award-winning author of A Head Full of Ghosts adds an inventive twist to the home invasion horror story in a heart-palpitating novel of psychological suspense that recalls Stephen King’s Misery, Ruth Ware’s In a Dark, Dark Wood, and Jack Ketchum’s cult hit The Girl Next Door.

Seven-year-old Wen and her parents, Eric and Andrew, are vacationing at a remote cabin on a quiet New Hampshire lake. Their closest neighbors are more than two miles in either direction along a rutted dirt road.

One afternoon, as Wen catches grasshoppers in the front yard, a stranger unexpectedly appears in the driveway. Leonard is the largest man Wen has ever seen but he is young, friendly, and he wins her over almost instantly. Leonard and Wen talk and play until Leonard abruptly apologizes and tells Wen, "None of what’s going to happen is your fault". Three more strangers then arrive at the cabin carrying unidentifiable, menacing objects. As Wen sprints inside to warn her parents, Leonard calls out: "Your dads won’t want to let us in, Wen. But they have to. We need your help to save the world."

Thus begins an unbearably tense, gripping tale of paranoia, sacrifice, apocalypse, and survival that escalates to a shattering conclusion, one in which the fate of a loving family and quite possibly all of humanity are entwined. The Cabin at the End of the World is a masterpiece of terror and suspense from the fantastically fertile imagination of Paul Tremblay.

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Halcyon by Rio Youers

July 10, 2018 | St. Martin's Press

HALCYON is the answer for all Americans who want to escape, but paradise isn't what it seems. A beautiful island in the middle of Lake Ontario—a self-sustaining community made up of people who want to live without fear, crime, or greed. Halcyon is run by Valerie Kemp, aka Mother Moon, benevolent and altruistic on the outside, but hiding an unimaginable darkness inside. She has dedicated her life to the pursuit of Glam Moon, a place of eternal beauty and healing. And she believes the pathway there can only be found at the end of pleasure.

On the heels of tragedy, Martin Lovegrove moves his family to Halcyon. A couple of months, he tells himself, to retreat from the chaos and grind. He soon begins to suspect there is something beneath Halcyon’s perfect veneer and sets out to discover the truth—however terrible it might be—behind the island and its mysterious founder, Mother Moon.

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Behind the Door by Mary SanGiovanni

August 28, 2018 | Kensington

FIRST IN A NEW SERIES!

Occult specialist Kathy Ryan returns in this thrilling novel of paranormal horror from Mary SanGiovanni, the author of Chills . . .

 
Some doors should never be opened . . .
 
In the rural town of Zarepath, deep in the woods on the border of New Jersey and Pennsylvania, stands the Door. No one knows where it came from, and no one knows where it leads. For generations, folks have come to the Door seeking solace or forgiveness. They deliver a handwritten letter asking for some emotional burden to be lifted, sealed with a mixture of wax and their own blood, and slide it beneath the Door. Three days later, their wish is answered—for better or worse. 
 
Kari is a single mother, grieving over the suicide of her teenage daughter. She made a terrible mistake, asking the powers beyond the Door to erase the memories of her lost child. And when she opened the Door to retrieve her letter, she unleashed every sin, secret, and spirit ever trapped on the other side.
 
Now, it falls to occultist Kathy Ryan to seal the door before Zarepath becomes hell on earth . . .

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Epidemic of the Living Dead by John Russo

August 28, 2018 | Kensington

From the screenwriter of the original 1968  Night of the Living Dead comes a shocking new wave of zombie mayhem to devour your dreams—and feed your nightmares . . .
 
THEY ARE WHAT THEY EAT
It starts with infected needles. It spreads like a plague. Soon the town of Chapel Grove, Pennsylvania, is overrun with cannibalistic corpses. Some are taken down with a bullet to the brain. Others, torched like kindling. But a few have survived—inside a maternity ward . . .
 
THEY’RE EATING FOR TWO NOW
Detective Bill Curtis manages to rescue his pregnant wife Lauren from the ward in the nick of time. But the other pregnant women are not so lucky. Some of them have been bitten—and infected. Now it’s anyone’s guess what’s growing inside them . . .
 
THEY’RE THE NEXT GENERATION
But the nightmare isn’t over yet. The infected mothers’ newborns appear to be normal. But as the years go by, Bill and Lauren Curtis begin to worry about their beautiful, healthy daughter Jodie. Jodie is drawn to the town’s “special” children, the ones whose mothers were bitten. They’re reaching adolescence now. Their hormones are raging. And they’re starting to possess strange appetitites . . .
 
If you thought millenials werea pain, just wait until you meet Generation Z.

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Our Lady of the Inferno by Preston Fassel

September 11, 2018 | Cinestate

FANGORIA PRESENTS #1, COMING THIS SEPTEMBER!

Spring, 1983. Sally Ride is about to go into space. Flashdance is a cultural phenomenon. And in Times Square, two very deadly women are on a collision course with destiny-- and each other. 

At twenty-one, Ginny Kurva is already legendary on 42nd Street. To the pimp for whom she works, she's the perfect weapon-- a martial artist capable of taking down men twice her size. To the girls in her stable, she's mother, teacher, and protector. To the little sister she cares for, she's a hero. Yet Ginny's bravado and icy confidence hide a mind at the breaking point, her sanity slowly slipping away as both her addictions and the sins of her past catch up with her... 

At thirty-seven, Nicolette Aster is the most respected woman at the Staten Island Landfill. Quiet and competent, she's admired by the secretaries and trusted by her supervisors. Yet those around her have no idea how Nicolette spends her nights-- when the hateful madness she keeps repressed by day finally emerges, and she turns the dump into a hunting ground to engage in a nightmarish blood sport...

In the Spring of 1983, neither Ginny nor Nicolette knows the other exists. By the time Summer rolls around, one of them will be dead.

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We Sold Our Souls by Grady Hendrix

September 18, 2018 | Quirk Books

Faust meets rock/heavy metal in this new novel of supernatural horror (and pop culture) by the author of HORRORSTOR, MY BEST FRIEND'S EXORCISM, and PAPERBACKS FROM HELL.   

In the 1990s, heavy metal band Dürt Würk was poised for breakout success -- but then lead singer Terry Hunt embarked on a solo career and rocketed to stardom as Koffin, leaving his fellow bandmates to rot in rural Pennsylvania. Two decades later, former guitarist Kris Pulaski works as the night manager of a Best Western - she's tired, broke, and unhappy. Everything changes when she discovers a shocking secret from her heavy metal past: Turns out that Terry's meteoric rise to success may have come at the price of Kris's very soul.

This revelation prompts Kris to hit the road, reunite with the rest of her bandmates, and confront the man who ruined her life. It's a journey that will take her from the Pennsylvania rust belt to a Satanic rehab center and finally to a Las Vegas music festival that's darker than any Mordor Tolkien could imagine. A furious power ballad about never giving up, even in the face of overwhelming odds, We Sold Our Souls is an epic journey into the heart of a conspiracy-crazed, paranoid country that seems to have lost its very soul...where only a girl with a guitar can save us all.

Michael Patrick Hicks

Michael Patrick Hicks is the author of the science fiction novels Convergence, an Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award 2013 Quarter-Finalist, and Emergence. His work has appeared in several anthologies, and he has written for the websites Graphic Novel Reporter and Audiobook Reviewer. In between compulsively buying books and adding titles that he does not have time for to his Netflix queue, he is hard at work on his next story.


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