3 Horror Novels to Add to Your Winter Reading List: A Gathering of Evil, The Beauty, and Frankenstein in Baghdad - Dread Central
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3 Horror Novels to Add to Your Winter Reading List: A Gathering of Evil, The Beauty, and Frankenstein in Baghdad

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A trio of new horror novels are arriving this month, and while they couldn’t be more different, each one sounds like a must-read for fans of the genre. If you’re looking for some new books to add to your winter reading list, then here’s the skinny on A Gathering of Evil by Gil Valle, The Beauty by Aliya Whiteley, and Frankenstein in Baghdad by Ahmed Saadawi.

If any sound up your alley, just click the titles for ordering info.

A GATHERING OF EVIL by Gil Valle (Comet Press; January 4, 2018)
The name Gil Valle may sound familiar – he’s a former NYPD patrol cop who rose to infamy in 2012 after being wrongfully arrested by the feds for allegedly plotting to kidnap, cook, and eat women. He became known to the world as the “Cannibal Cop” and faced life in prison. Valle has since been completely exonerated of all wrongdoing.

In February of 2017 he released the critically acclaimed Raw Deal—a memoir about his ordeal and the criminal case. Now, he fleshes out his fantasies in his debut novel, A Gathering of Evil, serving up a feast of gut-churning horror. [WARNING: This book contains graphic and violent material. It is intended for mature audiences only.]

A Gathering of Evil is a graphic and disturbing story that will make even the most hardened fan of extreme horror squirm, including the Comet Press editors, who specialize in publishing extreme horror and hardcore dark crime: “Hats off to Gil for writing one of the most terrifying books we’ve ever read. It takes a helluva lot to get under our skin, and he succeeded.”

Synopsis:
A Gathering of Evil is the story of two New York women leading seemingly normal lives, completely unaware that they have been targeted by a group of wealthy and violent sadists. This group, who met through the Dark Web, share some rather unusual sexual appetites, along a with desire to turn those twisted fantasies into reality. Marilyn and Bruce, the wealthy couple from upstate New York who have organized the event, have gathered this group of people from all different backgrounds and brought them together through a common bond: the lust and desire to kidnap a young woman and brutally end her life.

The hunt is on. Will the prey survive this gathering of evil?

THE BEAUTY by Aliya Whiteley (Titan Books; January 16, 2018)
This one is a really special title, perfect for fans of Jeff VanderMeer and China Miéville. Looking at the nature of human society and gender in a wholly original way, The Beauty is unlike anything you will have read before.

Nominated for the Shirley Jackson and Saboteur Awards, this game-changer was chosen by Adam Nevill as one of his favorite horror short stories: “What a refreshing gust of tiny spores this novella explodes into, and I inhaled them all with glee.”

Synopsis:
Somewhere away from the cities and towns, in the Valley of the Rocks, a society of men and boys gather around the fire each night to listen to their history recounted by Nate, the storyteller. Requested most often by the group is the tale of the death of all women.

They are the last generation.

One evening Nate brings back new secrets from the woods; peculiar mushrooms are growing from the ground where the women’s bodies lie buried. These are the first signs of a strange and insidious presence unlike anything ever known before…

Discover the Beauty.

FRANKENSTEIN IN BAGHDAD by Ahmed Saadawi (Penguin Books;January 23, 2018).
Winner of both the International Prize for Arabic Fiction and France’s Grand Prize for Fantasy, Ahmed Saadawi’s Frankenstein in Baghdad is being made available in English for the first time this month. Saadawi is one of the few Iraqi novelists who has remained in Iraq and lived through some of the worst violence, giving his writing an immediacy that little other fiction about the Iraq War has.

Frankenstein in Baghdad is an extraordinary achievement. At once horrific and blackly humorous, it addresses the sources of violence in Iraq, the nature of Iraqi identity, and the effects of dictatorship, occupation, and violence on ordinary people. Translated into English by Jonathan Wright (who also translated Iraqi writer Hassan Blassim’s award-winning story collection The Corpse Exhibition), the novel provides insight into an Iraq still reeling from the U.S.-led invasion through a brilliantly conceived horror plot inspired by Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.

Synopsis:
In the rubble-strewn streets of U.S.-occupied Baghdad, Hadi–a scavenger and an oddball fixture at the local café–collects human body parts and stitches them together to create a corpse. His goal, he claims, is for the government to recognize the parts as people and to give them proper burial. But when the corpse goes missing and a wave of eerie murders sweeps the city, reports stream in of a horrendous-looking criminal who, though shot, cannot be killed. Hadi soon realizes he’s created a monster, one that needs human flesh to survive.

As the violence builds and Hadi’s acquaintances–a journalist, a government worker, a lonely older woman–become involved, the havoc Hadi’s monster wreaks assumes a magnitude far greater than anyone could have imagined.

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