Dark and Gritty Fiction for Fall

Fall is finally here, which means it is the perfect time to break out the hot cocoa and thick sweaters and curl up with a haunting story.  Although I enjoy reading books like this all year, I find them best when the darkness lasts a little longer and the wind through the trees sound more like whispers. If this sounds like the ideal evening and setting for you, here are some dark and disturbing reads perfect for fall. Warning: most of these novels are very graphic in subject matter and could be triggering for some. Please read with caution.

Allegedly  A baby is dead and nine-year-old Mary is responsible, yet she won’t say a word. The media stirred up hate in the community that demanded Mary’s conviction, all the while forgetting Mary was a just a traumatized child herself. Six years later, Mary is out of “baby jail” and in a group home that is anything but safe for her… and her unborn child. After her secret gets out and the authorities promise put her child up for adoption, Mary is forced to speak up and find out what really happened that night by confronting her unpredictable Momma to get to the truth. This debut novel grips you right from the beginning and whips you around until its disturbing conclusion.

The Truth Is A Cave in the Black Mountains  Together, master storyteller Neil Gaiman and artist Eddie Campbell weave this short but dark tale of revenge.  A dwarf seeks the help of a somber man who knows the whereabouts of a dark cave that holds an alluring treasure, one many men have died to find.  From the very beginning, it is clear that there are more secrets and danger present than the journey and the cave itself. How far would a person go to right a wrong?

And the Trees Crept in  Silla and her mute younger sister Nori are no stranger to the evils of the world. They’ve run away from their traumatic past to seek refuge at the ancestral family manor with their Aunt Cath. Strange and estranged, Aunt Cath insists that the girls never go into the trees because “the Creeper Man” awaits them, a guardian created to protect the home from evil. Finally, Cath’s stability completely shatters and she disappears into the attic, never to come out again; now Silla must ensure they do not starve while they wait for help that they are not sure is coming. The sisters begin to hear voices and see people in the house, and realize the foreboding trees are moving closer and closer to the house, yet how is this possible? The story’s twists and turns are unpredictable, and Kurtagich’s writing style brings you to the brink of madness right along with the characters.  

Pretty Girls  Sisters Claire and Lydia once shared a bond that was shattered by the disappearance of their sister Julia twenty years ago. Now, their lives could not be more different: Lydia is a single mother trying to stay afloat and sober, while Claire lives the plush life of an Atlanta millionaire’s wife.  One day Claire’s husband is brutally murdered in an alley and dies in her arms, a traumatic event that reunites her, although unhappily, with Lydia. As the police and FBI begin to investigate the murder, the sisters realize that there is a shocking and disturbing connection to the disappearance of their sister. Be forewarned: this book features very dark and graphic subject matter, so please read with caution.

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