” Rosemary’s Baby ” by Ira Levin is a horror story published in the late 1960’s .
Rosemary moves into an old New York apartment with her struggling actor husband named Guy . The apartment building has a terrible history though involving murder and witchcraft which makes Rosemary a little nervous . Add on to that , the nosy neighbors , ( Roman and Minnie Castavet ) are constantly bothering her , and the strange noises she hears at night … you can understand if she is having trouble adapting to the new place . Things begin to look up though , Guy gets a good role in a Broadway play and Rosemary gets pregnant . With the news of her pregnancy getting around , the neighbors begin to take an even bigger interest in her life , becoming almost possessive of her and her baby . As the pregnancy goes on , she starts getting cut off from her friends and family , gets really sick , and she becomes aware that the Castavets are not who they say they are .
This story is a classic . It’s a masterclass in paranoia based story telling with a hint of satire mixed in . You feel everything Rosemary experiences throughout the story and it keeps you sucked in throughout each twist and turn . The ending feels genuinely surprising and you should read the book at least twice to see all the signs . This was turned into a popular movie directed by Roman Polanski but I haven’t watched it myself as I don’t want to do anything that would give that dude money . So read the book , avoid the movie , that’s my two cents .
Rating : Legendary work
” Ratman’s Notebooks ” by Stephen Gilbert is a horror novel published in the late 1960’s .
This novel opens up with notebooks being handed to the author . The notebooks writer is unknown but they detail the writers strange interactions with the local rat population . The writer first meets the rats when his overbearing mother tells him to kill them . He attempts to drown them at first but has a change of heart whenever he looks into the mama rats eyes . He then begins to train the rats to do basic tasks but most of them prove difficult to teach . One stands out though as intelligent which the writer calls Socrates . Soon the writer’s mother dies , leaving the writer alone with a house that is falling apart , a low paying job with a cruel boss , and no money . The writer soon finds a new rat which he names Ben who also displays intelligence . The writer then begins to train the rats under the command of Socrates to do various crimes such as tearing tires , robbery , and possibly murder .
This is a legendary book and it’s often credited along with Ira Levin’s ” Rosemary’s Baby ” and William Peter Blatty’s ” The Exorcist ” as the novels that rejuvenated the horror genre. It’s a great read , written from our nameless protagonist’s point of view , you really dig deep into this guys mindset and you follow him as he starts to turn more and more corrupt as the novel goes on . It was later turned into a movie called ” Willard ” that became a big enough hit to spawn a sequel entitled ” Ben ” and a remake later on . Out of all of these , I admit I’ve only seen the remake , but that was a good enough film . Overall , if you’re into the animal horror sub genre or if you’re just curious about horror story history , check it out .
” The Long Walk ” by Stephen King ( as Richard Bachman ) is a psychological horror story originally published in the late 1970’s .
In the future a contest is held every year called ” The Long Walk ” in which a bunch of young adults walk for as long as they can without losing pace . They sometimes cross whole states even and the person who walks the longest wins a prize , the prize being whatever they want for the rest of their lives . One small draw back though , if you drop below pace more than three times , you will be shot and killed . We follow this contest through the sixteen year old Ray Garraty as he struggles to survive a cruel pace , hardcore competitors , potential starvation , changing weather , and his damaged mental state .
Stephen King is a master story teller , you don’t need me to tell you that . This story , while definitely dark , seems tame compared to a lot of his other stories and almost comes off as a young adult novel . This isn’t a bad thing , as I do enjoy this story , but if you want a full on , no holds barred traditional Stephen King novel … try another one . On the other hand , if you just looking for a well written dystopian future story with psychological horror elements , check it out . Seriously , if a story about walking can keep my interest for a full novel , you know it’s got to be good .
” Valentine ” by Tom Savage is a mystery novel originally published in the mid 1990’s .
Jillian Talbot is a bestselling suspense novelist living in New York with her artist boyfriend . She is living a comfortable life writing her books , hanging out with her actress friend , and she loves her boyfriend . Everything is going well up until a stalker appears into her life , sending her Valentine’s day cards with intimidating messages , always signing the card ” Valentine ” . The story becomes more and more suspenseful as she hires a private investigator to find out this stalker is and why they are sending her threatening letters , dead animals , and roses . Come find out in Tom Savage’s ” Valentine ” .
This book is a thrilling mystery . It switches point of view often between Jill and her stalker , giving the novel a voyeur type quality which I enjoy … don’t read too much into that statement . The only complaint I have about it is that I feel the themes of Valentine’s day could’ve been used more but admittedly its a minor thing and probably only bothers me . A movie based off of this book was made and I watched it as well . The movie is a very loose adaptation at best , actually the movie seems to be a ” I Know What You Did Last Summer ” knock off with the book being used as a superficial dressing . Overall , recommend the book to mystery and suspense fans , and recommend the movie to lovers of B-movie slashers .
” Werewolf Cop ” is a supernatural thriller/ mystery written by Andrew Klavan , published in the mid 2010’s .
A brutal murder attracts the attention of the Extraordinary Crimes Unit , specifically detectives Zach Adams ( The Cowboy ) and Martin Goulart ( Broadway Joe ) . They notice the crimes were committed using broadswords and that leads them to believe that the crime was committed by the BLM ( a German-Russian gang ), not only that , the leader of the group ( Dominic Abend ) was there himself . The two detectives have never been closer but Zach is having to deal with some complications . His boss brings him in to her office and tells him that Martin might be on the take , also Zach is being blackmailed by a former lover . He finds a potential lead in Germany in the form of a professor . The professor tells him a crazy story involving immortal Nazi’s , magic daggers , and werewolves . He doesn’t believe her … until the moment she turns into a werewolf before his eyes . From there , the story turns into a fast paced supernatural thriller involving police corruption , German cults , and one hungry werewolf cop !
This is my first time reading an Andrew Klavan novel , I’ve seen some of the movies he wrote ( One Missed Call , True Crime , Gosnell ) and enjoyed those so I figured that his novels would be worth reading . Let me tell you , ” Werewolf Cop ” is one hell of an introduction to the guy . Dark and fun are the two words I would use to describe this masterpiece . It’s not for the weak of heart but if you enjoy a good detective story or are just into werewolves , read it folks !
” The Mask ” by Dean Koontz is a supernatural thriller that was originally published in the early 1980’s .
Carol and Paul are a young couple looking to adopt a child but some complications arise . First , a freak lightning storm smashes the office of the lawyer who is helping them out and they lose their application in the process . Second , mysterious noises start popping up all around their house . Third , they start having intense nightmares . Paul hires someone to check out their house to find the source but they end up finding nothing and the man tells Paul a story about poltergeist . Carol ends up running over a fifteen year old girl who was wandering around in a daze . The girl is not seriously injured but she does seem to have a case of amnesia . Carol , feeling guilty , ends up visiting the girl often and they make a connection . The search for the girls parents doesn’t go well so Carol decides to bring her home with her and Paul . The girl starts to have nightmares as well and creepy things continue to happen around the house . Join this family as they endure a tragic tale dealing with fire , ax murder , possessed cats , and a killer game of Scrabble !
” The Mask ” by Dean Koontz is an intense a supernatural thriller as any other the author has written before. The characters are likable and the pace of the novel never drops . If you start reading this , you’ll want to finish it in one sitting . It’s that intense and it’s that good , read it folks !!!
” Octopussy and The Living Daylights ” is a short story collection written by Ian Fleming and starring James Bond , originally published in the 1960’s . Seeing as all of these stories are only a few pages long , I’m going to summarize them all in one or two sentences , to avoid spoiling them too much .
” Octopussy ” : A revenge story involving Nazi gold , ice climbing , and a hungry octopus .
” The Property of a Lady ” : Using a double agent to find another double agent at an art auction .
” The Living Daylights”: James Bond has to take out a Russian sniper while saving another agent.
“007 in New York” : Bond is sent to warn a former British agent that their boyfriend is with the KGB .
Ian Fleming is one hell of a thriller writer and it shows in all these stories . ” Octopussy” is my personal favorite of these tales even though it involves James Bond the least , it’s a suspenseful revenge story with a twist ending. ” The Property of a Lady ” is a more laid back James Bond story , it trades bullets for a competitive auction. It’s a nice change of pace but if you’re looking for violence … this is not the story for you . ” The Living Daylights ” is the most action packed of the four , an intense story that deals with the dirtier parts of the spy business. “007 in New York” is a sad story that deals with love and deception in New York , I’d like to see it expanded upon which is the mark of a good short story … it’s a shame Ian Fleming isn’t around to do it . Overall , if you’re a James Bond film , I’d recommend reading all of them . If you’re just a casual fan of thrillers in general , I’d say at least read ” Octopussy ” and ” The Living Daylights ” stories .