The best books for those who love a good nightmare

Who am I?

I write horror, read horror, watch horror, and live horror. The last one may be a bit of an exaggeration. When I was 10 years old, I begged my parents to take me to the theater to see Friday the 13: The Final Chapter. Of course, they said no. When I was 14, and a horror rebel, I sneaked into a movie theater to watch Friday the 13: New Blood. Thank goodness when they said The Final Chapter, they didn’t mean it. It was around this age that I discovered Stephen King’s Salem’s Lot; that book changed my life for good. I can talk to you about horror books for hours and hours.

I wrote...

The Catcher's Trap

By Ricardo Henriquez,

Book cover of The Catcher's Trap

What is my book about?

Andres never lived up to his potential. While young, handsome, and smart, his life-long struggle with anxiety turned him into a recluse. That is, until the night he is kidnapped―seized into an alternate universe and sold into slavery.

Soon enough, he discovers that his only chance of survival is to slay his own inner demons in order to fight the monsters ruling the world of The Mist.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of Night Film

Ricardo Henriquez Why did I love this book?

I love a book where neither the reader nor the protagonist knows what’s real and what is not. Night Film reads like a nightmarish fairytale. Scott Mcgrath, the investigative journalist at the center of the novel, brings you along on a journey that is as much about his inner demons as it is about the mystery he is hoping to solve.

I love a damaged protagonist. Maybe because I have experienced significant trauma in my life, I easily relate to those faking sanity despite the chaos in their brains. The last couple of chapters are my favorites. If this book is a symphony the final chapters are the crescendo that gets your heart pumping. 

There is also a connection to my native Chile, which surprised me and filled me with nostalgia.

By Marisha Pessl,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Night Film as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?


NPR • Cosmopolitan • Kirkus Reviews • BookPage

A page-turning thriller for readers of Stephen King, Gillian Flynn, and Stieg Larsson, Night Film tells the haunting story of a journalist who becomes obsessed with the mysterious death of a troubled prodigy—the daughter of an iconic, reclusive filmmaker.
On a damp October night, beautiful young Ashley Cordova is found dead in an abandoned warehouse in lower Manhattan. Though her death is ruled a suicide, veteran investigative journalist Scott McGrath suspects otherwise. As he probes the strange circumstances…

Book cover of 14

Ricardo Henriquez Why did I love this book?

This blend of horror, mystery, and coming-of-age novel is a perfect summer read. I actually read this book while laying on a hammock in my backyard. The characters are likable, the mystery is intriguing, and the love story weave in the middle is endearing. You won’t have heart palpitations reading this book, but I can assure you that weird dreams will be part of the experience. 

By Peter Clines,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked 14 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Padlocked doors. Strange light fixtures. Mutant cockroaches. There are some odd things about Nate's new apartment.

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

Ricardo Henriquez Why did I love this book?

I know, I know. Most horror fans have read the book and watch the horrible Hollywood adaptation, but hear me out. I’m not recommending you re-read the book. I am recommending you listen to the 2014, all-stars cast, audiobook. This version of the audiobook is not read by a narrator but performed by a group of actors. The performances bring new life to the story. 

This version also includes new “interviews” that didn’t make it to the original and some tie-ins to the movie. 

I believe this is great for those familiar with the book, as well as those who never read it.

By Max Brooks,

Why should I read it?

20 authors picked World War Z as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

It began with rumours from China about another pandemic. Then the cases started to multiply and what had looked like the stirrings of a criminal underclass, even the beginning of a revolution, soon revealed itself to be much, much worse.

Faced with a future of mindless man-eating horror, humanity was forced to accept the logic of world government and face events that tested our sanity and our sense of reality. Based on extensive interviews with survivors and key players in the ten-year fight against the horde, World War Z brings the finest traditions of journalism to bear on what is…

Book cover of The Strain

Ricardo Henriquez Why did I love this book?

On the subject of horror classics, either reading or re-visiting The Strain is always a good idea. I find this fresh take on vampires terrifying. I read the first book in 3 days, and the entire trilogy in less than a month. When I was not reading I was thinking about the book. If you live in New York or close by, let me tell you, the vivid depiction of how the city would fall is as terrifying as the blood-sucking creatures responsible for it. 

Because Del Toro is a filmmaker, he is a skillful narrator. The mental images he creates are as vivid as the nightmares I had for weeks. There is also an incredibly damaged main character, and as I said before, I am a sucker for those.

By Guillermo del Toro, Chuck Hogan,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The high-concept thriller with a supernatural edge from the world-famous director, whose films include Pan's Labyrinth and Hellboy.

A plane lands at JFK and mysteriously 'goes dark', stopping in the middle of the runway for no apparent reason, all lights off, all doors sealed. The pilots cannot be raised.

When the hatch above the wing finally clicks open, it soon becomes clear that everyone on board is dead - although there is no sign of any trauma or struggle. Ephraim Goodweather and his team from the Center for Disease Control must work quickly to establish the cause of this strange…

Book cover of Dawn

Ricardo Henriquez Why did I love this book?

Full disclosure, Rick is my friend, but he is also a great world builder and storyteller. The Seventh Age trilogy is as funny and entertaining as it is terrifying. Rick creates a rich world full of monsters and gods fighting for world domination in the shadows of our unaware society. One of my favorite things about this book is Mike, the main character. No, he is not a damaged mess, he is a true unlikely hero in the best possible way. Mike’s journey is fascinating and the obstacles he faces are monumental. In my humble opinion, the book reads like a video game, each chapter is a new level, and each level has higher stakes than the last.

By Rick Heinz,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Dawn as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Rational World Is No Match For What Lies Beyond DeathObsessed with discovering evidence of the afterlife, Mike Auburn has come closer than anyone to piercing the veil of death often at the risk of his own life.

However, his efforts have not gone unnoticed by organizations in our world and those that seek to enter it from the other side.

One such organization led by a shadowy figure known as “O’Neil” works to desperately prepare Chicago for the coming Ragnarök where the rational world that is known will face coming darkness with Mike in the middle of the war…

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The Alchemy Fire Murder: a Mary Wandwalker Mystery

By Susan Rowland,

Book cover of The Alchemy Fire Murder: a Mary Wandwalker Mystery

Susan Rowland Author Of The Alchemy Fire Murder: a Mary Wandwalker Mystery

New book alert!

Who am I?

Author Part-time celt Modern alchemist Myth hunter Jungian

Susan's 3 favorite reads in 2023

What is my book about?

A traditional mystery with a touch of cozy, The Alchemy Fire Murder is for those who like feisty women sleuths, Oxford Colleges, alchemy, strong characters, and real concerns like trafficking, wildfires, racism, and climate change. This book especially works for those fascinated by myth and witches in history. Read for a seventeenth-century alchemist in Connecticut, a lost alchemy scroll stuck in a California Museum, and a blizzard in Los Angeles.

Murder ensues when an intern is attacked after making a momentous discovery with Mary Wandwalker, an inexperienced detective commissioned to recover the treasure vital to the survival of her Oxford college, St Julian’s. When the young man’s brother is falsely accused, Mary has to step in.

The Alchemy Fire Murder: a Mary Wandwalker Mystery

By Susan Rowland,

What is this book about?

Former Archivist Mary Wandwalker hates bringing bad news. Nevertheless, she confirms to her alma mater that their prized medieval alchemy scroll, is, in fact, a seventeenth century copy. She learns that the original vanished to colonial Connecticut with alchemist, Robert Le More. Later the genuine scroll surfaces in Los Angeles. Given that the authentic artifact is needed for her Oxford college to survive, retrieving it is essential.

Mary agrees to get the real scroll back as part of a commission for her three-person Enquiry Agency. However, tragedy strikes in Los Angeles. Before Mary can legally obtain the scroll, a young…

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