Books

13 creepy Canadian books to read on Halloween

It's Halloween! Curl up with one of these Canadian books for a frightful night.

It's Halloween! Curl up with one of these 13 Canadian books for a frightfully good time.

Wherever She Goes by K.L. Armstrong

Wherever She Goes is a thriller by K.L. Armstrong. (Doubleday Canada, Kathryn Hollinrake)

Wherever She Goes is a thriller about a woman, Aubrey Finch, who sees a child being abducted. But when no one reports a kidnapping, no one believes Aubrey. Aubrey, a single mother surrounded by whispers about her past and the state of her mental well-being, decides to take matters into her own hands and solve the crime herself.

K.L. Armstrong is a pseudonym for popular fantasy and thriller writer Kelley Armstrong.

Bunny by Mona Awad

Bunny is a novel by Mona Awad. (Hamish Hamilton, Brigitte Lacombe)

In Bunny, scholarship student Samantha Heather Mackey feels like an outsider at her elite university, especially when it comes to her fiction writing class. That's where she first encounters the Bunnies, a comically tight-knit group of annoying rich girls who invite Samantha to their exclusive "Smut Salon." Against her better judgment, Samantha is drawn into the Bunnies' orbit.

Mona Award's previous novel, 13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl, won the Amazon Canada First Novel Award and was shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize.

Elevator Pitch by Linwood Barclay

Elevator Pitch is a thriller by Linwood Barclay. (Doubleday Canada, Bill Taylor)

This novel begins as four people plummet to their death in a rogue elevator in a Manhattan office building. The tragedy appears to be a random accident until the same thing happens over and over again, sending shockwaves through America's cultural and economic capital.

Barclay is an internationally bestselling author of novels for adults and children. His most recent books include the adult thriller A Noise Downstairs and award-winning middle-grade novels Escape and Chase.

When I Arrived at the Castle by Emily Carroll

When I Arrived at the Castle is a comic by Emily Carroll. (Koyama Press)

A young woman determinedly makes her way to the Countess's castle, where many have gone but never returned. When I Arrived at the Castle is a gothic horror comic from Stratford, Ont.-based artist Emily Carroll, whose first two books, Through the Woods, a collection of horror comics, and Speak, an adaptation of Laurie Halse Anderson's YA novel, were published to critical acclaim.

Taaqtumi edited by Neil Christopher

Taaqtumi is an anthology of horror stories with contributions by Aviaq Johnston (above) and Richard Van Camp. (Inhabit Media, William Au)

This anthology collects horror stories from Canada's northern writers, including Aviaq Johnston, Rachel and Sean Qitsualik-Tinsley and Richard Van Camp. Stories include a family struggling to survive on the tundra when a zombie virus breaks out, a chilling Northern community in post-apocalyptic times and a door hiding great horrors.

Neil Christopher is one of the managing partners of Inhabit Media, which is based in Nunavut.

Empire of Wild by Cherie Dimaline

Cherie Dimaline is the author of Empire of Wild. (CBC, Random House Canada)

Empire of Wild is about one woman's search for her missing husband. Though he has been missing for nearly a year, Joan hasn't given up on finding her husband Victor, who disappeared after their first serious fight. One morning, hungover Joan finds herself in a packed preacher's tent on a Walmart parking lot. The charismatic Reverend Wolff is none other than Victor, who claims to have no memory of Joan or their life together.

Cherie Dimaline is a Métis author whose novel The Marrow Thieves won the Governor General's Literary Award for Young people's literature — text and was defended by Jully Black on Canada Reads 2018.

Dream Sequence by Adam Foulds

Dream Sequence is a novel by Adam Foulds. (Biblioasis, Nigel Barklie)

Dream Sequence takes place in the alternating worlds of a celebrity and his devoted fan. Henry is a successful British television actor, consumed by the desire to land his first major role in a Spanish auteur's next film. Kristin is a recently divorced American woman convinced that she and Henry are written in the stars.

Dream Sequence, Foulds's seventh novel, was on the 2019 Scotiabank Giller Prize longlist.

Bone Black by Carol Rose GoldenEagle

Bone Black is a novel by Carol Rose Goldeneagle. (Nightwood Editions)

When her twin sister Raven goes missing, Wren StrongEagle immediately reports it to the local police. Feeling dismissed and worrying the case won't be investigated properly, Wren launches into action and decides to find justice on her own.

Carol Rose GoldenEagle is a Cree and Dene author whose books include the novel Bearskin Diary and the poetry collection Hiraeth.

Someone We Know by Shari Lapena

Someone We Know is a novel by Shari Lapena. (Doubleday Canada, Tristan Ostler)

In Someone We Know, a quiet well-to-do community in upstate New York is rocked by a series of break-ins. Somebody in their neighbourhood has not just been breaking into their homes, but their computers, and sharing the scandalous secrets they've uncovered. As tension mounts, a woman is found dead.

Shari Lapena is the author of bestselling thrillers including The Couple Next Door and A Stranger in the House.

Agnes, Murderess by Sarah Leavitt

Agnes, Murderess is a graphic novel by Sarah Leavitt. (Freehand Books, Jackie Dives)

Agnes, Murderess is inspired by the local legend of serial killer Agnes McVee, a 19th-century B.C.-based roadhouse owner who allegedly killed miners for gold during the Cariboo Gold Rush. The tale of Agnes McVee has never been verified, but in this graphic novel, her life is imagined as one filled with ghosts, betrayal, passionate love affairs and, of course, murder.

Sarah Leavitt is a Vancouver comics creator and writing teacher. Her debut book was Tangles: A Story About Alzheimer's, My Mother, and Me.

Love, Heather by Laurie Petrou

Love, Heather is a novel by Laurie Petrou. (Crooked Lane Books, www.lauriepetrou.com)

In Love, Heatherbest friends Dee and Stevie begin a series of innocent pranks on the school bullies. But things take a turn when everyone turns against Stevie, including Dee, and the cruelty at school and online starts to ramp up.

Laurie Petrou is also the author of the thriller Sister of MineShe is a professor at Ryerson University.

Moon of the Crusted by Snow by Waubgeshig Rice

Waubgeshig Rice is a novelist and host of the CBC Radio show Up North. (ECW Press)

In Moon of the Crusted Snowa northern Anishinaabe community loses power just as winter arrives and no one knows why. Panic rises as the food supply slowly runs out. Newcomers begin to arrive on the reserve and tension builds as disease begins taking lives. As chaos takes hold, a small group turns to the land and Anishinaabe tradition to start rebuilding and restoring harmony. 

Rice is also the host of the CBC Radio show Up NorthThis novel won the 2019 Evergreen Award, a prize voted on by readers from over 100 Ontario libraries.

Your Life is Mine by Nathan Ripley

Your Life is Mine is a novel by Nathan Ripley. (Simon & Schuster)

Your Life Is Mine is a page-turning thriller about Blanche, the daughter of a notorious murderer and cult leader. Her father killed himself after a shooting spree more than 20 years ago, but when Blanche learns her mother was murdered, she must return home and learns there's more to her family's story than she could have ever imagined — and that the cult her father founded might be making a comeback.

Your Life Is Mine is the second thriller from Nathan Ripley, who is also the author of Find You in the Dark.

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