The best horror/thriller books about characters wronged and getting revenge

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m mostly known for my zombie/post-apocalypse novels and being a prepper. So why did I choose the revenge topic and what qualifies me as an expert? Zombies and apocalypse storytelling were never my first love. My first has always been reading stories of revenge both true-life and fictional. This helped inspire and drive me as a writer in my early days in this genre. The stories by the authors I have listed here not only influenced me in my writing style but also fueled me to write my own revenge story anthology. But mostly, I have a very twisted mind!


I wrote...

Sometimes They Come Back

By TS Alan, Kevin Fern (editor),

Book cover of Sometimes They Come Back

What is my book about?

A collection of five twisted tales of revenge from beyond the grave with stories set in the 1800s, 1960s, 1980s, and present day.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of Carrie

TS Alan Why did I love this book?

Most horror fans have either seen or heard about the movie Carrie, and are aware of the final blood-soaked scene. However, the movie is far less graphic than the novel. Carrie White goes through a lot of physical trauma and mental torture, not only by her abusive mother but also her sadistic classmates, until she finally snaps – exacting revenge on those who tormented her by using her newly found telekinetic powers.

Stephen King’s description of Carrie’s tormentors and his in-depth character development of the repressed, friendless Carrie makes for an intense read, and really makes you want her to exact bloody revenge on all of those who have wronged her. The book, during the 1990s, was often banned in schools around the United States because of its violence, profanity, underage sex, and negative view of religion. This still stands up today as one powerful horror revenge book and one of King’s best works.

By Stephen King,

Why should I read it?

10 authors picked Carrie as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Stephen King's legendary debut, about a teenage outcast and the revenge she enacts on her classmates, is a Classic. CARRIE is the novel which set him on the road to the Number One bestselling author King is today.

Carrie White is no ordinary girl.

Carrie White has the gift of telekinesis.

To be invited to Prom Night by Tommy Ross is a dream come true for Carrie - the first
step towards social acceptance by her high school colleagues.

But events will take a decidedly macabre turn on that horrifying and endless night as she
is forced to exercise her…


Book cover of Prodigal Son

TS Alan Why did I love this book?

As a reader of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, I believed when the Creature drifted away on an ice raft and was never to be seen again, the Creature did not die. I even thought about writing a sequel myself. Well, Dean Koontz beat me to it in 2004 with the first novel of his Frankenstein trilogy. 

This is a modern update and sequel to Shelly’s book that uses elements of not only horror but also fantasy and science fiction. The novel is set in present-day New Orleans and follows the activities of Victor Frankenstein, now going by the name of Victor Helios, who is using modern technology to create more creatures. Unbeknownst to Victor, his original Creature is still alive and looking for revenge.

Dean Koontz is the King of Exposition and in-depth storytelling. If you like an imaginative, updated take on a classic horror tale with detailed plots and great character development, you’ll love this book. Koontz has been a huge influence on my writing.

By Dean Koontz, Kevin J. Anderson,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Prodigal Son as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the celebrated imagination of Dean Koontz comes a powerful reworking of one of the classic stories of all time. If you think you know the legend, you know only half the truth. Here is the mystery, the myth, the terror, and the magic of . . .

Every city has its secrets. But none as terrible as this. He is Deucalion, a tattooed man of mysterious origin, a sleight-of-reality artist who has traveled the centuries with a secret worse than death. He arrives in New Orleans as a serial killer stalks the streets, a killer who carefully selects his…


Book cover of Guy de Maupassant's Tales of Revenge - A Collection of Short Stories

TS Alan Why did I love this book?

The two most influential writers of the 19th Century, who perfected the art of writing revenge stories were French-born Guy de Maupassant and American Edgar Allan Poe. Maupassant is the quintessential go-to Gothic storyteller for revenge and considered the greatest master of the short story in world literature. This collection has all his classic tales like “La Vendetta,” a tale about a grieving mother’s need for revenge, and my favorite, “The Hand,” about an avenging appendage. Plus, many more tales. 

By Guy de Maupassant,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Guy de Maupassant's Tales of Revenge - A Collection of Short Stories as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

These early works by Guy de Maupassant were originally published in the 1880's. As a collection of short stories, this represents Maupassant's tales of revenge, and includes 'A Vendetta', 'Father Milon', 'Mother Sauvage', 'The Corsican Bandit', 'The Hand', and 'The Lancer's Wife'. Guy de Maupassant was born in 1850 at the Château de Miromesnil, near Dieppe, France. He came from a prosperous family, but when Maupassant was eleven, his mother risked social disgrace by trying to secure a legal separation from her husband. After the split, Maupassant lived with his mother till he was thirteen, and inherited her love of…


Book cover of The Unabridged Edgar Allan Poe

TS Alan Why did I love this book?

Poe was the first writer I read as a kid, and “The Cask of Amontillado,” to me is the penultimate story of jealousy and revenge that is as suspenseful as it is horrifying. Plus, there are two other tales of revenge and painstaking cruelty within this anthology: “Hop-Frog” and “The Fall of the House of Usher”.

This is classic revenge writing from the Gothic master, no offense Guy de Maupassant.

By Edgar Allan Poe,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Unabridged Edgar Allan Poe as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A chronological collection of all of Poe's poems and stories includes tales of adventure, farce, science fiction, black humor, and romance, as well as horror


Book cover of The Books of Blood Volume 3

TS Alan Why did I love this book?

There are a lot of great stories filled with graphic sex, gore, and violence, as Clive Barker does so well, in this anthology but for me the standout story is the one of revenge titled, "Confessions of a (Pornographer's) Shroud". It was written as a black comedy and Barker does it well.

Ronnie is a fervent Catholic who is falsely accused by the Mafia of being the ringleader of a pornography cartel. After killing two mobsters in retribution, he is brutally tortured and murdered by the mob. Except, Ronnie manifests as a vengeful spirit and animates the shroud covering his body in the morgue. He then takes revenge on the rest of his enemies, and in a gory climax, the spirit enters the mouth of the mob boss and turns him inside out. There is also a twist at the end of the story.

There are several nods to this story in my anthology and Barker has also heavily influenced my writing style.

By Clive Barker,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Books of Blood Volume 3 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Five stories in the third volume of Clive Barker's "Books of Blood". The stories are titled "Sun of Celluloid", "Rawhead Rex", "Confessions of a Pornographer's Shroud", "Scapegoats" and "Human Remains".


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Let Evening Come

By Yvonne Osborne,

Book cover of Let Evening Come

Yvonne Osborne Author Of Let Evening Come

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up on a family farm surrounded by larger vegetable and dairy operations that used migrant labor. From an early age, my siblings and I were acquainted with the children of these workers, children whom we shared a school desk with one day and were gone the next. On summer vacations, our parents hauled us around in a station wagon with a popup camper, which they parked in out-of-the-way hayfields and on mountainous plateaus, shunning, much to our chagrin, normal campgrounds, and swimming pools. Thus, I grew up exposed to different cultures and environments. My writing reflects my parents’ curiosity, love of books and travel, and devotion to the natural world. 

Yvonne's book list on immersive coming-of-age fiction with characters struggling to find themselves amidst the isolation and bigotry in Indigenous, rural, and minority communities

What is my book about?

After her mother is killed in a rare Northern Michigan tornado, Sadie Wixom is left with only her father and grandfather to guide her through young adulthood. Miles away in western Saskatchewan, Stefan Montegrand and his Indigenous family are displaced from their land by multinational energy companies. They are taken in temporarily by Sadie’s aunt, a human rights activist who heads a cultural exchange program.

Stefan promptly runs afoul of local authority, but Sadie, intrigued by him and captivated by his story, has grown sympathetic to his cause and complicit in his pushback against prejudiced accusations. Their mutual attraction is stymied when Stefan’s older brother, Joachim, who stayed behind, becomes embroiled in the resistance, and Stefan is compelled to return to Canada. Sadie, concerned for his safety, impulsively follows on a trajectory doomed by cultural misunderstanding and oncoming winter.

Let Evening Come

By Yvonne Osborne,

What is this book about?

After her mother is killed in a rare Northern Michigan tornado, Sadie Wixom is left with only her father and grandfather to guide her through the pitfalls of young adulthood.
Hundreds of miles away in western Saskatchewan, Stefan Montegrand and his Indigenous family are forced off their land by multinational energy companies and flawed treaties. They are taken in temporarily by Sadie's aunt, a human rights activist who heads a cultural exchange program.
Stefan, whose own father died in prison while on a hunger strike, promptly runs afoul of local authority, but Sadie, intrigued by him and captivated by his…


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