In this article, I will be covering the best horror books of 2022. A note that the image above depicts highly anticipated books of the year – they may not all make my list!
I read a lot of horror books. I just can’t get enough of them! Horror movies as well.
Each month, I will be reading all of the latest horror books. It can be books by authors that I enjoy, or one of those books that everyone is talking about and I just HAVE to read. There’ll also be books by little-known authors out there.
I will then highlight two of them and update this article at the end of the month. This list is sorted by author’s last name.
Last Update: End of April 2022
Such a Pretty Smile by Kristi DeMeester: This was the first book I have read by Kristi. I believe she only has one novel, Beneath, prior to this. It certainly won’t be the last. Shoutout to my friend Katy for recommending this one to me!
The story jumps between two different narrators: Caroline in 2004 and Lila, her daughter, from 2019. Like mother, like daughter as both of them are dealing with horrendous nightmares which causes something to change within them. In both timelines, there is some sort of serial killer out there who tears the bodies of girls apart.
It’s one where it’s a bit hard to justify it as “horror” – that’s a very loose categorization. But there was certainly some messed-up stuff within the pages, which will stay with you!
Sometimes you read a book where you feel the author put everything they had into it and when done, simply slumped into a corner, exhausted. This was how I expect Kristi was! I really appreciate what she achieved with this novel.
Quantum of Nightmares by Charles Stross: I’m a big fan of the Laundry Files series by Charles Stross, and I thoroughly enjoyed this one.
First of all, I just love the TITLE of this book. You know exactly what you’re getting into. IT’s more of a spin-off than a sequel it feels like – no Bob Howard for example! This is technically part of the “New Management” series I believe, even though websites list it as part of the Laundry Files series.
If you didn’t hate Human Resources prior to this book you will now! Some messed up stuff! There’s so much in it that keeps you on edge like the kids who the nanny is looking after. Just be sure to read Dead Lies Dreaming prior to this one as I think you would be quite lost.
Dead Silence by S.A. Barnes: This book might make my best books of the year list in horror and sci-fi. It’s a haunted house story in the only place scarier than a haunted house: space.
The story features a long abandoned ship, think the Titanic in space, that is discovered by a salvage crew. The Aurora had been missing for over twenty years and the crew that finds it could be set-up for life with the salvage claim. It’s too hard to resist, but once they board the ship they find that something isn’t quite right.
What starts with whispers and flickers of movement, turns into a fight to hold on to her sanity for Claire. Now, she’ll need to find out what happened here before her and her crew meet the same fate.
This story really kept me on the edge of my seat, even as my stomach was turning at times!
Echo by Thomas Olde Heuvelt: This is the kind of book that creeps you out from the start, but you just keep reading it any way. After reading this one, I may never go to the mountains again. Suffice to say, I loved it!
Nick and his climbing buddy Augustin go on a trek that leaves Augustin missing and Nick in a coma. He makes up with his face wrapped in bandages and is unable to speak. Nicks tells them everyone that he has amnesia, but the truth is he remembers everything. Every terrifying detail.
When they were on the mountain it felt like they weren’t alone, that something was waiting for them. Nick can’t leave the memories behind because he now feels that something has awakened within him.
This is a dark and edgy novel that, unlike many “horror” books, is actually scary!
The Broken Room by Peter Clines: Hector was a government agent who was extremely dangerous, bringing governments to their knees, but then his own country betrayed him. He ended up going off the grid after that. Twelve-year-old Natalie doesn’t remember much of her life before her family moved to the United States, but one thing she does remember is the cages. She was apart of the Project which took young children and did nightmare experiments on them. Now, Natalie has the ghost of a dead agent in her head who tells her to call on Hector for help because there is an army of killers after her that want to bring her back to the Project.
This book was nonstop action and it just might be the best book by Peter Clines yet. The book is similar to his earlier works as it catches you early, but then manages to ramp up the creepiness as the story goes on.
What makes this book is the great characterization of Natalie and Hector as the author really gets you to root for them.
The Resting Place by Camilla Sten: This book is immediately creepy when you learn that Eleanor, the protagonist, lives with prosopagnosia, the inability to recognize a familiar person’s face. The affliction causes her stress and anxiety which gets worse when she walks in on the scene of her grandmother’s mother and comes face to face with the killer. Her grandmother leaves her a house in the will, a looming estate in the Swedish woods where her grandfather died. Eleanor, her boyfriend, her aunt, and her lawyer will go to the house looking for answers, but end up finding something far more disturbing.
This book is as chilling and haunting as Camilla’s previous book, The Lost Village, which I also enjoyed. Similar to that book, this one had me on the edge of my seat for much of the reading.
I love the way that the point of view switches between Eleanor in the present day and the home’s maid, Anushka, in the mid-1960s. Both stories are drawn well and keep you wanting more.
The Children on the Hill by Jennifer McMahon: Taking inspiration from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, McMahon’s book sees a psychiatrist named Dr. Helen Hildreth who is renowned for her work with the mentally ill. However, at home she is just Gran to her beloved grandchildren, Vi and Eric. One day Gran brings a child home to stay. Her name is Iris and she is far from a normal girl.
But Vi is happy to have a new playmate and the kids invite her to join their Monster Club where they catalogue and hunt monsters.
In 2019, Lizzy Shelley is the host of a Monsters Among Us podcast and is on her way to Vermont where a monster sighting has shaken the town. Lizzy is determined to hunt it down though because she knows just how real monsters are. Afterall, her sister is one of them.
While inspired by Frankenstein, this story is wholly unique and well written. It keeps you guessing as to what is real, what is imagination, and just what exactly is going on.
The Fervor by Alma Katsu: The author of The Hunger turns her eye to the horrors of the Japanese American internment camps in World War II. The book takes inspiration from the Japanese yokai and the jorogumo spider demon as a mysterious illness ravages the camp.
The book looks back at a difficult moment in United States history and fills it with the pain and anger that it deserves. That history alone could be considered horrific enough, but Katsu managed to ramp it up by mixing in Japanese folklore. This a creepy story made that much worse by the man made horrors of the setting.