Horror reveals what truly scares us, or provides an escapism as powerful in its own way as any work of portal fantasy. See our picks for top new horror books in May 2022.
The Hacienda by Isabel Cañas
Release date: May 3
Den of Geek says: Following on the success of Mexican Gothic comes this haunted house story with a remarkable protagonist.
Publisher’s summary: During the overthrow of the Mexican government, Beatriz’s father was executed and her home destroyed. When handsome Don Rodolfo Solórzano proposes, Beatriz ignores the rumors surrounding his first wife’s sudden demise, choosing instead to seize the security that his estate in the countryside provides. She will have her own home again, no matter the cost.
But Hacienda San Isidro is not the sanctuary she imagined.
When Rodolfo returns to work in the capital, visions and voices invade Beatriz’s sleep. The weight of invisible eyes follows her every move. Rodolfo’s sister, Juana, scoffs at Beatriz’s fears—but why does she refuse to enter the house at night? Why does the cook burn copal incense at the edge of the kitchen and mark the doorway with strange symbols? What really happened to the first Doña Solórzano?
Beatriz only knows two things for certain: Something is wrong with the hacienda. And no one there will save her.
Desperate for help, she clings to the young priest, Padre Andrés, as an ally. No ordinary priest, Andrés will have to rely on his skills as a witch to fight off the malevolent presence haunting the hacienda and protect the woman for whom he feels a powerful, forbidden attraction. But even he might not be enough to battle the darkness.
Far from a refuge, San Isidro may be Beatriz’s doom.
Black Tide by K.C. Jones
Publisher: Tor Nightfire
Release date: May 31
Den of Geek says: Black Tide attracted us with its mix of horror and science fiction. What waits beneath the ocean? Is it an alien being or something even stranger?
Publisher’s summary: Mike and Beth were strangers before the night of the meteor shower. Chance made them neighbors, a bottle of champagne brought them together, and a shared need for human connection sparked something more.
Following their drunken and desperate one-night stand, the two discover the astronomical event has left widespread destruction in its wake. But the cosmic lightshow was only part of something much bigger, and far more terrifying.
When a lost car key leaves them stranded on an empty stretch of Oregon coast and inhuman screams echo from the dunes, when the rising tide reaches for their car and unspeakable horrors close in around them, these two self-destructive souls must fight to survive a nightmare of apocalyptic scale.
Just Like Mother by Anne Heltzel
Publisher: Tor Nightfire
Release date: May 17
Den of Geek says: The Rosemary’s Baby vibes are strong with this one, which has an intriguingly creepy cult concept at its heart. The cover certainly shows you what to expect.
Publisher’s summary: The last time Maeve saw her cousin was the night she escaped the cult they were raised in. For the past two decades, Maeve has worked hard to build a normal life in New York City, where she keeps everything―and everyone―at a safe distance.
When Andrea suddenly reappears, Maeve regains the only true friend she’s ever had. Soon she’s spending more time at Andrea’s remote Catskills estate than in her own cramped apartment. Maeve doesn’t even mind that her cousin’s wealthy work friends clearly disapprove of her single lifestyle. After all, Andrea has made her fortune in the fertility industry―baby fever comes with the territory.
The more Maeve immerses herself in Andrea’s world, the more disconnected she feels from her life back in the city; and the cousins’ increasing attachment triggers memories Maeve has fought hard to bury. But confronting the terrors of her childhood may be the only way for Maeve to transcend the nightmare still to come…