Becky Spratford

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Best Horror of 2023

LJ Talks with Jenny Kiefer, Author of ‘This Wretched Valley’


Midnight on Beacon Street

Verona’s debut is a riveting thriller and a thoughtful love letter to horror films. It will find its most enthusiastic audience with fans of the babysitter final girl trope from any medium, such as the movie Halloween and the novel The Babysitter Lives by Stephen Graham Jones.

The House of Last Resort

Golden is already a library favorite, and his latest will be eagerly devoured. This title would make a great suggestion for fans of The Ancestor by Danielle Trussoni or Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia.

A Light Most Hateful

A stunning novel that purposefully plays with genre conventions and centers love, even as it actively terrifies readers to their core, much like recent novels from Victor LaValle, Rachel Eve Moulton, and Chuck Tingle.

Where the Dead Wait

Fans of the historical horror Alma Katsu or polar exploration nonfiction, such as In the Kingdom of Ice by Hampton Sides, will rejoice, but the intense psychological horror and isolation will also appeal to those who enjoy space horror similar to Dead Silence by S.A. Barnes.


In his debut novel, Rebelein confidently writes in a sardonic tone, mixing humor with over-the-top cosmic horror, a combination that will appeal greatly to fans of We Sold Our Souls by Grady Hendrix, but don’t sleep on the academic aspects, as also seen in Catherine House by Elisabeth Thomas.

Womb City

Tsamaase, like Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki, is a rising star in African speculative fiction whose work will appeal to readers from across the globe, especially fans of Philip K. Dick, Margaret Atwood, and Blake Crouch.

Your Shadow Half Remains

Creepy from its first lines, this deceptively quiet roller-coaster of intense unease, palpable emotional trauma, and engrossing menace will appeal to a wide swath of readers.

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