2014 has been a funny old year, one which has seen a lot of mediocre books get way more praise and attention than they really deserved. I have no idea why this is, have we the readers been browbeaten into accepting anything that rises above the vast dung heap of poorly written horror as something that requires heaps of praise? Or have I just become jaded with the whole genre, or maybe it's just me maybe I can't see what everyone else is seeing. Whatever the reason, this was the year I almost gave up on the genre, something I thought I would never do. Thankfully though there were a few shining lights that were published this year that kept me from leaving the genre. While some of these may or may not be true horror these are the books and stories that made my year.
For a long time I thought horror had lost it's power to scare and intimidate me, well Adam Nevill's dark and brutal ghost story crept up behind me and restored my faith in horror fiction. Brutal, shocking, scary and unnerving, No One Gets Out Alive is the best haunted house story I have read in long time.
THE END BY GARY MCMAHON
Tying with Adam Nevill's book for my read of the year is this powerhouse of a novel from Gary McMahon. The End like NOGOA is one of those books that define perfectly what great horror is. It takes a lot to make this man cry, and the ending to this deeply emotional story did just that. Some writers just write, others like McMahon put their heart and soul onto the page to produce a body of work that defines a genre.
HORRORSTOR BY GRADY HENDRIX
The first two books on this list are brutal books, but the one of joys of the horror genre is the wide range of books that can be classed as horror. Horrorstor is a genuinely clever and funny book, taking it's style from an Ikea catalogue this is perfect coffee table book for a horror fan.
DRIVE BY MARK WEST
While this is strictly not horror, Drive by Mark West is still a brilliant tense and fast paced story of urban horror. The terror of the chase is captured perfectly within the pages of this punchy novella.
THE HAMMER OF DR VALENTINE
Once again John Llewellyn Probert pulls of a masterstroke of gloriously fun horror. A direct sequel to The Nine Deaths of Dr Valentine this book ramps up the fun factor to unheard of heights. Remember the glory days of camp horror? Well this book is a must read for you.
I'm keeping it to five books as for me this hasn't been a bumper year. You might disagree, and if you do please leave a comment below. I've also been mulling over adding these two books as they were both written by members of the Ginger Nuts of Horror Team, but you know what sod it they are both great books. The Weight of The Ocean by Paul M. Feeney andLifeline by Kit Power And if you haven't read these books please pick up a copy from the link below, or by clicking on the cover of The Hammer (it's not on Amazon yet)