It is undeniably winter now with the first snow on the ground and a storm forecast for tomorrow. I can only hope that there is a good slate of books coming in December to give me something to pass the hours of the cold, dark days of December.
A glance at the independent press is a bit bleak with neither DarkFuse nor ChiZine Publications listing any releases for December. Head of Zeus comes through with “Taken for Dead” by Graham Masterton to help offset this hole in the calendar. The fourth book in the Katie Maguire series has Katie on the trail of a group called The High Kings of Erin who is not afraid to do anything it has to in order to further its cause including torture and murder. Unfortunately for Katie, the group seems to always be one step ahead of her investigation and the victims keep piling up. As with the other books in the series, this is a mystery/thriller with an edge by a writer who has proven that he knows how to write much more than just horror. I am about halfway through this book as I write this and it is very, very good.
Samhain Publications has five horror offerings in December. “A Penny Saved” by Sephera Giron is the story of a woman’s obsession with pennies summons a demon who demands much more than loose change. Another novella, “Twelfth Krampus Night” by Matt Manochio, is a seasonal story about Santa’s demonic helper as he battles for the soul of a peasant woman. “The Rats of Midnight” by Sean Munger brings the reader deep into the dark world of one of the oldest secret societies in the world. “Wolf’s Blind” by W.D. Gagliani continues the adventures of Nick Lupo. Lastly, John Everson’s short story collection, “Sacrificing Virgins,” gives the reader 25 bite-sized treats from one of my favorite horror authors.
December 1st brings the further adventures of Jack Ryan with Mark Greaney’s “Tom Clancy Commander in Chief.” Dean Koontz’s “Ashley Bell” hits bookshelves on December 8th in this haunting story of a woman battling a rare cancer and so much more. James Rollins bring us “Bone Labyrinth,” the 10th Sigma Force novel, on December 15th. The year then goes out quietly with no other books on the publishing schedule that catch my attention.
My one book to read is a toss-up between “Taken for Dead” or “Sacrificing Virgins” so I am going to take a cop-out this month and recommend both. You cannot go wrong with either.
That puts a wrap on 2015. Here’s hoping that there will be even more great books waiting for us once 2016 rolls around.