10 books like The Rats

By James Herbert,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like The Rats. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy through links on our website, we may earn an affiliate commission (learn more).

Dracula

By Bram Stoker,

Book cover of Dracula

I know what you’re thinking. Dracula isn’t unconventional. Well, at the time it was released, it was. Stoker did an excellent job of incorporating many genres into his vampire novel, including gothic horror and dark fantasy. Dracula is one of the reasons I write dark fantasy. The genre has changed so much over the years that if Dracula were released today, it would be unconventional once more, with Dracula being a true predator.

Dracula

By Bram Stoker,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'The very best story of diablerie which I have read for many years' Arthur Conan Doyle

A masterpiece of the horror genre, Dracula also probes identity, sanity and the dark corners of Victorian sexuality and desire. It begins when Jonathan Harker visits Transylvania to help Count Dracula purchase a London house, and makes horrifying discoveries in his client's castle. Soon afterwards, disturbing incidents unfold in England - an unmanned ship is wrecked; strange puncture marks appear on a young woman's neck; a lunatic asylum inmate raves about the imminent arrival of his 'Master' - and a determined group of adversaries…


The Deep

By Nick Cutter,

Book cover of The Deep

As if a plague of memory loss that eventually makes you forget how to breathe isn’t scary enough, Cutter takes us deep under the ocean, to a lab where something has gone terribly wrong with our potential saviors. This is the most claustrophobic book I’ve ever read. You can feel the crushing weight of the water and the dark just outside the lab’s walls. There’s a wonderful sort of madness to the whole thing, and one scene, in particular, continues to haunt me.

The Deep

By Nick Cutter,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Afraid of the dark? You should be ... Part horror, part psychological nightmare, The Deep by Nick Cutter is a novel fans of Stephen King and Clive Barker won't want to miss.

A plague is destroying the world's population. The 'Gets makes people forget. First it's the small things, like where you left your keys ... then the not-so-small things, like how to drive. And finally your body forgets how to live.

But now an unknown substance with extraordinary power to heal has been discovered in the depths of the Pacific Ocean. Nicknamed ambrosia, it might just be the miracle…


Hater

By David Moody,

Book cover of Hater

I’m recommending this book because of its subject matter. A virus. After what’s happened in the world recently with Covid, why not believe this could happen? A disease that makes you think someone is trying to kill you, so you have to kill them first. It’s similar to being paranoid. The author of this book has written a few sequels that follow the main character’s journey. A journey that took the person from working a normal day to thinking people were now the enemy. 

Hater

By David Moody,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

REMAIN CALM DO NOT PANIC TAKE SHELTER WAIT FOR FURTHER INSTRUCTIONS THE SITUATION IS UNDER CONTROL Society is rocked by a sudden increase in the number of violent assaults on individuals. Christened 'Haters' by the media, the attackers strike without warning. The assaults are brutal, remorseless and extreme: within seconds, normally rational, self-controlled people are becoming maddened, vicious killers. There are no apparent links as a hundred random attacks become a thousand, and then thousands, right across the country. Everyone, irrespective of gender, age, race, sexuality or any other difference, has the potential to become a victim - or a…


The Ruins

By Scott Smith,

Book cover of The Ruins

This is always the first one that leaps to mind for me when I’m thinking of a relentlessly paced novel that is nonetheless extremely well written. It’s a simple yet relatable premise, which to me makes it all the more horrifying. Smith is a master of economy here, as he keeps the plot moving (with no chapter breaks!) throughout, yet his style is a fairly literary one and he develops the characters well.

The Ruins

By Scott Smith,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Craving an adventure to wake them from their lethargic Mexican holiday before they return home, four friends set off in search of one of their own who has travelled to the interior to investigate an archaeological dig in the Mayan ruins.
After a long journey into the jungle, the group come across a partly camouflaged trail and a captivating hillside covered with red flowers. Lured by these, the group move closer until they happen across a gun-toting Mayan horseman who orders them away. In the midst of the confrontation, one of the group steps inadvertently backwards into the flowering vine.…


The Fireman

By Joe Hill,

Book cover of The Fireman

I’ve always heard that burning to death is the worst way to go. Well, Hill decided to set the world on fire with spontaneous combustion brought about by a spore. Despite how awful this would be in reality, Hill brings us a shred of hope, of light. The Fireman is a story about human connection. Sometimes those connections can spell disaster, they can be abused or misunderstood, but they’re also what save us. This book is a flame in the dark.

The Fireman

By Joe Hill,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The NUMBER ONE New York Times Bestselling novel

Nobody knew where the virus came from.
FOX News said it had been set loose by ISIS, using spores that had been invented by the Russians in the 1980s.
MSNBC said sources indicated it might've been created by engineers at Halliburton and stolen by culty Christian types fixated on the Book of Revelation.
CNN reported both sides.
While every TV station debated the cause, the world burnt.

Pregnant school nurse, HARPER GRAYSON, had seen lots of people burn on TV, but the first person she saw burn for real was in the…


The Haunting of Hill House

By Shirley Jackson,

Book cover of The Haunting of Hill House

I confess I saw the 1963 movie with Julie Harris when I was a teenager before I read the book, but the book is as usual better than any film version that has been made. The appeal for me definitely comes down to the standard haunted house trope – my favourite basis for any scary story. Shirley Jackson uses a buildup of fear rather than horror to get a response from the reader which I think is far more effective. The story centres around a group of people staying at Hill House to investigate possible paranormal activity, and the creepy late-night goings on are excellently placed to make the reader feel very on edge. I particularly liked the use of characters with very different personalities to illustrate how different people react to fear.

The Haunting of Hill House

By Shirley Jackson,

Why should I read it?

25 authors picked The Haunting of Hill House as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Part of a new six-volume series of the best in classic horror, selected by Academy Award-winning director of The Shape of Water Guillermo del Toro

Filmmaker and longtime horror literature fan Guillermo del Toro serves as the curator for the Penguin Horror series, a new collection of classic tales and poems by masters of the genre. Included here are some of del Toro's favorites, from Mary Shelley's Frankenstein and Ray Russell's short story "Sardonicus," considered by Stephen King to be "perhaps the finest example of the modern Gothic ever written," to Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House and stories…


The Silence of the Lambs

By Thomas Harris,

Book cover of The Silence of the Lambs

The Silence of the Lambs is a fantastic, and unique story about an FBI agent, Clarice Starling, trying to get one imprisoned serial killer (Hannibal Lecter) to help catch another, nicknamed Buffalo Bill. If she is successful, she will save the next victim who has already been abducted. We get to see inside the minds of two mass murderers and see their motivations, plus a first-rate exciting read.

The Silence of the Lambs

By Thomas Harris,

Why should I read it?

9 authors picked The Silence of the Lambs as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

As part of the search for a serial murderer nicknames "Buffalo Bill," FBI trainee Clarice Starling is given an assignment. She must visit a man confined to a high-security facility for the criminally insane and interview him.

That man, Dr. Hannibal Lecter, is a former psychiatrist with unusual tastes and an intense curiosity about the darker corners of the mind. His intimate understanding of the killer and of Clarice herself form the core of Thomas Harris' The Silence of the Lambs--an unforgettable classic of suspense fiction.


Psycho

By Robert Bloch,

Book cover of Psycho

This book is an absolute classic, and spawned an equally classic movie directed by Alfred Hitchcock. The reason why I love Psycho so much is that it brought horror away from the traditional Gothic haunted house and castle settings right into the modern world. And if you add the aspect of mental illness in the chilling form of the Norman Bates character, then you have a horror story that becomes all too real, all too unsettling. We are not dealing with ghoulies and ghosties here, but with a deranged killer harbouring a split personality, whose warped mentality has often been mirrored in real-life crime cases. For example, Bloch based Norman Bates on an actual killer, Ed Gein. Psycho is a novel that every horror fan must read.

Psycho

By Robert Bloch,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Mary Crane believes she has found shelter from the storm when she checks into the Bates Motel, but the knife-wielding owner, Norman Bates, soon rips her piece of mind to shreds and the nightmare begins.


Heart-Shaped Box

By Joe Hill,

Book cover of Heart-Shaped Box

Heart Shaped Box is a fantastic horror novel. I thought I knew where the story was going, but I was totally wrong. The main characters are heavily flawed, but you cheer them on anyhow, hoping they can escape. This story kept my heart pumping til the last page. I loved that I didn’t guess what the ending would be.

Heart-Shaped Box

By Joe Hill,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Heart-Shaped Box as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Buy my stepfather's ghost' read the e-mail.

So Jude did.

He bought it, in the shape of the dead man's suit, delivered in a heart-shaped box, because he wanted it: because his fans ate up that kind of story. It was perfect for his collection: the genuine skulls and the bones, the real honest-to-God snuff movie, the occult books and all the rest of the paraphanalia that goes along with his kind of hard/goth rock.

But the rest of his collection doesn't make the house feel cold. The bones don't make the dogs bark; the movie doesn't make Jude feel…


Jaws

By Peter Benchley,

Book cover of Jaws

Known mostly from the popular Steven Spielberg film of the same name, the novel Jaws is likewise a classic that shouldn’t be missed. As animal attack stories go, it’d be hard to find a creature more terrifying than a great white shark. Described in thrilling and intense detail, Jaws pulls the reader in like a torn bag of chum. Although what really separates Jaws from the other garden-variety animal attack stories are the corrupt human characters whose negligence cause the shark menace to grow worse. Take the venal mayor whose mafia ties prevent him from closing the beaches. Or the love affair that complicates the protagonists’ journey. Jaws shows the only thing worse than a monster in the sea are the ones staring back in the mirror.     

Jaws

By Peter Benchley,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Peter Benchley's Jaws first appeared in 1974. As well as Steven Spielberg's film adaptation, the novel has sold over twenty million copies around the world, creating a legend that refuses to die.

It's never safe to go back in the water . . .

It was just another day in the life of a small Atlantic resort until the terror from the deep came to prey on unwary holiday makers. The first sign of trouble - a warning of what was to come - took the form of a young woman's body, or what was left of it, washed up…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in rats, Anthrozoology, and the Black Death?

7,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about rats, Anthrozoology, and the Black Death.

Rats Explore 13 books about rats
Anthrozoology Explore 102 books about Anthrozoology
The Black Death Explore 29 books about the Black Death