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8 Mysteries to Read Before Halloween

Curl up with one of these thrillers as All Hallow’s Eve nears.



The Do-Right
by Lisa Sandlin

Delpha Wade has served 14 years of prison time for killing a man who was raping her. She’d wanted to kill the other one too, but he got away. Out on parole, it’s hard to find a decent job, but Delpha’s persistence pays off. She lands a secretarial job with Tom Phelan, an ex-roughneck turned neophyte private eye. Delpha is smart, prison-wise, and together the two stumble into the dark corners of Beaumont, Texas, a blue-collar, Cajun-influenced town dominated by “big oil.” A mysterious client plots mayhem against a small petrochemical company, Phelan uncovers the weird lair of a serial killer, and Delpha — on a weekend outing — looks into the eyes of her rapist, the one who got away. The novel’s conclusion is classic noir, full of surprise, excitement and karmic justice.


The Gates of Evangeline
by Hester Young

The first in a new series by debut author Hester Young, The Gates of Evangeline has been called “a powerful and haunting examination of a mother’s grief and her long road to recovery” by author David Bell. Young’s story of Charlotte “Charlie” Cates, a divorced magazine editor reeling from the death of her young son, was inspired by her own dreams foreshadowing a local tragedy. After a little boy in a boat appears to Charlie asking for help, she finds herself in Chicory, Louisiana, entangled in a 30-year-old missing child case at Evangeline Plantation. While probing the dusty facts of the case, Charlie is challenged at every turn by key players in the mystery who are not what they appear to be. Can her visions help her uncover long-buried secrets of love, money, betrayal and murder?


The Gorge
 by David Armand

In his latest literary thriller, David Armand weaves together the stories of an eccentric cast of dark, frighteningly realistic characters, each under suspicion of murdering young girl Amber Varnado. Set among the backdrop of a real cave in southeast Louisiana, the novel follows the colliding lives of Tuller, the murdered girl’s boyfriend and prime suspect; Amber’s father John Varnado; Grady, a young man dwarfed by rickets who prowls the night to feed his strange desires; and Euwell, a man who lives in an old shack near the gorge. Armand’s story explores the universal themes of desperate love and the pitfalls of false assumptions woven into the tenuous threads of coincidence that connect people in a small town, creating a “vivid and memorable world,” according to Jill McCorkle.


persuasion_coverPersuasion: Heirs of Watson Island 
by Martina Boone 

In the second novel to her “Heirs of Watson Island” trilogy, Martina Boone has Barrie returning from a trip to San Francisco to find the Watson plantation under siege. Ghost-hunters hope to glimpse the ancient spirit who sets the river on fire each night, and reporters chase rumors of a stolen shipment of Civil War gold that may be hidden at Colesworth Place. The chaos turns dangerous as Cassie hires a team of archeologists to excavate beneath the mansion ruins, because more is buried there than treasure. A stranger filled with magic arrives at Watson’s Landing claiming that the key to the Watson and Beaufort gifts —and the Colesworth curse — also lies beneath the mansion. With a mix of threats and promises, the man convinces Barrie and Cassie to cast a spell there at midnight. But what he conjures may have deadly consequences.


Pretty Girls
by Karin Slaughter 

From the critically acclaimed and New York Times bestselling master of suspense comes a novel about family and belonging, justice and retribution, the decisions we make — and the choices that haunt us. More than 20 years ago, Claire and Lydia’s teenage sister Julia vanished without a trace. The two women have not spoken since, and now Claire is the glamorous trophy wife of an Atlanta millionaire. Lydia, a single mother, dates an ex-con and struggles to make ends meet. But neither has recovered from the horror and heartbreak of their shared loss, a devastating wound that’s cruelly ripped open when Claire’s husband is killed. Forming a wary truce, the surviving sisters look to the past to find the truth.


The Ripper Gene
by Michael Ransom 

Does your DNA influence your ability to choose between good and evil? Ransom takes readers into a serial killer investigation led by main character Dr. Lucas Madden, a neuroscientist-turned-FBI profiler who lost his own mother on Halloween night in a brutal, unsolved cold case from his childhood. As a young graduate student, Madden analyzed DNA samples from some of the most notorious serial killers in history and unearthed a gene linked to abnormal brain function in psychopaths. After becoming an FBI profiler, Madden makes even more headlines by developing a controversial genetic test that can predict a serial killer’s behavior using DNA alone. His latest case takes him deep into the bayous of the Mississippi Gulf Coast when his ex-fiancé disappears and young women victims clutching razor-laden apples begin turning up in the same county in which his mother was murdered.


The Scribe
by Matthew Guinn

Matthew Guinn’s historically accurate and poetic novel takes a closer look at the sins and fears of tradition and present day. Disgraced and disgruntled former detective Thomas Canby is forced to return to Atlanta to help catch a serial killer. This particular killer has been targeting wealthy black citizens and marking each body with a letter of the alphabet. Paired with the city’s first African American officer, Canby must deal with his own prejudices if he wants to solve the case. Set on the eve of Atlanta’s 1881 International Cotton Exposition, The Scribe has Canby rushing against the clock in an effort to shield the city’s celebration of New South industry.


Where the Souls Go
by Ann Hite

Ann Hite’s latest novel set in Black Mountain, North Carolina, is another piece of the Pritchard family puzzle. In this third installment, 10-year-old Annie Todd is surrounded by loneliness. That is, until she encounters ghosts and secrets that both distract and intrigue her from her familial struggles. Uncovering secrets about herself and her family may have started as a hobby, but Annie soon learns the burden of these pieces of information is a full-time job. Read more about Hite’s Black Mountain and her first two books here.

RISE to This Haunted
Seven Doors