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  • Kairn Savage

Three Spooky Books

by Guest Blogger Kairn Savage

It’s the time of year when I want to snuggle under the covers with the good Hallowe’en candy (sorry, kids!) and dig into a scary book. I love a wide variety, such as horror, psychological thrillers and domestic suspense. If you’re hunting for your next read, here are three novels that will get you into the spirit of the season.

The Photographer: A Novel by Marie Dixie Carter. If you like a domestic thriller, this one’s a page turner. It hooked me from the start. I had a love/hate relationship with the main character.

The plot:

As a photographer, Delta Dawn observes with envy the seemingly perfect lives of New York City’s elite from behind her camera lens. She photographs their children’s birthday parties, transforming images of sour faces and temper tantrums into visions of sheer joy, creating the moments these parents wish were reality. But when she’s hired by the Straub family, she wants to go from behind the lens to part the family. Delta realizes that photographs aren’t the only things she can manipulate.

"The Retreat" by Elisabeth de Mariaffi. If you get the chance, read this atmospheric thriller. I love a “trapped together” trope. Mariaffi is so skilled at creating a spooky ambiance and drawing out tension and suspense.

The plot:

Everyone has secrets. When Maeve Martin comes to the High Water Center for the Arts, her goal is to start her own dance company. Time is running out for the former principal dancer to re-launch her career after the end of her abusive marriage. But when an avalanche traps the guests, fear starts to spread. Help is on the way, so they just have to hold on. But as days pass, visitors get struck down by suspicious deaths, one after the other. Now, Maeve realizes how little she knows the other guests, and how useless a locked door can be, if evil is already inside.

"Leave the World Behind" by Rumaan Alam. I really enjoyed this literary thriller. Alam was masterful at examining unconscious biases. He created a creepy atmosphere and had interesting insights into how people respond differently during a crisis.

The plot:

A White middle-class family of holidaymakers have escaped Brooklyn for a luxurious and remote Long Island vacation rental. A knock on the front door in the middle of the night disturbs their peaceful stay. It’s a Black couple in their sixties who claim to own the place. There’s been a city-wide blackout, they say, so they’ve left Manhattan to seek refuge. The vacationers are skeptical. But, as stranger and stranger phenomena occur, they realize that a world-altering calamity has begun.

What about you? Any favourite scary books to recommend? I'm on the hunt for my next good read.

Kairn Savage is an author in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Her work explores themes involving ethical dilemmas, family dynamics and the quirks of human nature. Read more of her blogs at and connect with her on Twitter at @SavageKairn

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