The best books to keep you on the edge of your seats

Patricia Marcantonio Author Of Under the Blood Moon
By Patricia Marcantonio

Who am I?

As a writer of murder mysteries, it goes without saying I’m a fan of whodunits. But I’m also a fan of horror stories and those tales that keep me turning pages and looking into the shadows. So in my newest book, I wanted to combine the two. That is, mixing scares and thrills with a whodunit and adding a big dose of Latino culture and characters. In a lot of my work, I write about the culture with which I grew up. I also love to tap into the Mexican myths and folk stories I heard as a kid then revamping and retelling them into something new.

I wrote...

Under the Blood Moon

By Patricia Marcantonio,

Book cover of Under the Blood Moon

What is my book about?

Guadalupe, New Mexico is usually a pretty quiet town. That is until everything starts going to hell with a series of bizarre murders. Not to mention, a demon gives birth at a park. A boy disappears in the middle of a swimming pool. Rattlesnakes invade the town. Asked by his best friend, the sheriff, to assist in the investigation, Prosecutor Matthew Riley suspects a high-end resort development is at the heart of the crimes. But he also discovers a conspiracy of the living has opened the door for an ancient evil seeking revenge for old and new betrayals that threaten his own family.

The books I picked & why

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Red Dragon

By Thomas Harris,

Book cover of Red Dragon

Why this book?

From the outset, this book grabs you by the throat with mystery, horror, and crime. Not necessarily in that order. The story provides plenty of scares with the twisted work of the serial killer, the Tooth Fairy. But you’re also touched by the humanity of the victims and the man trying to catch the killer and the effect the hunt has on him and his family. Additionally, we’re introduced to the unforgettable and infamous Dr. Hannibal Lecter. That alone makes it worth the read.

World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War

By Max Brooks,

Book cover of World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War

Why this book?

While zombies have become a bit commonplace these days, this novel is not. It’s written in a nonfiction style that’s even more effectively scary with its tales from around the globe of how a zombie invasion took hold of the world and how the world survived the best it could. As a result, the story comes off as real life instead of fiction, which makes it all the more terrifying. As if we are reliving the bad memories of an apocalypse.

The Graveyard Book

By Neil Gaiman, Dave McKean (illustrator),

Book cover of The Graveyard Book

Why this book?

From the starting pages of how a toddler survives the murder of his family, you won’t let loose of this book. How Nobody “Bod” Owens finds his way into a cemetery and is raised by the supernatural residents there, such as ghosts and other creatures. All the while, Bod is sought by his family’s killer. And talk about edge-of-your-seat moments, such as when Bod ventures beyond the Ghoulgate. But what also keeps you reading are the great characters and what’s going to happen to Bod next in his graveyard home. Gaiman is a master of fantasy and humanity.


By Suzanne Collins,

Book cover of Mockingjay

Why this book?

Talk about nonstop. The final book in the Hunger Game series sends Katniss Everdeen on one thrilling and scary journey after another. Through war zones, as the rebels fight Capitol forces and right into the heart of the Capitol, above and below ground. She and her crew face not only human fighters but the horrific engineered mutts and traps. Emotionally, it’s no picnic either because her Hunger Games partner Peeta has been brainwashed to kill her. Then there’s all the political intrigue. Whew. I stayed up into the night to read this because the story wouldn’t let go of me.  

30 Days Of Night

By Steve Niles,

Book cover of 30 Days Of Night

Why this book?

The graphic novel is one rush of scares and thrills. Set in the city of Barrows, Alaska where the sun doesn’t rise for thirty days during winter, the place becomes the perfect grounds (feasting, that is) for a group of vampires. And these monsters aren’t sparkling and pretty by any stretch. It’s up to Sheriff Eben Olemaun to survive with a group of townspeople, but the how and they why they do is one great story, aided by atmosphere illustrations.

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in survival, orphans, and war?

5,887 authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about survival, orphans, and war.

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And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like The War of the Worlds, The Road, and The Talented Mr. Ripley if you like this list.