The Wonder State by Sara Flannery Murphy-
From the author of Girl One comes a spellbinding adventure about a strange power lurking in the Arkansas Ozarks, and the group of friends obsessed with finding it.
Five friends arrive back in Eternal Springs, the small town they all fled after high-school graduation. Each of them is drawn home by a cryptic, scrawled two-word letter: You promised.
It has been fifteen years since that life-changing summer, and they’re anxious to find out why Brandi called them back, especially when they vowed never to return.
But Brandi is missing. She’d been acting erratically for months, in and out of rehab, railing at whoever might listen about magic all around them. About a power they can’t see. And strange houses that appear only when you need them . . .
Told in two enthralling timelines, The Wonder State is a stunning, immersive follow-up to Girl One. Sara Flannery Murphy has created another dazzling, genre-blurring novel—an adventure story laced with nostalgia and magic, exploring belonging and the lasting power of community.
This sounds good to me because of those gothic, supernatural elements and its focus on female friendships
Where Echoes Die by Courtney Gould- When Beck and her sister Riley arrive in Backravel, Arizona it’s clear that there’s something off about the town. There are no cars, no cemeteries, no churches. The town is a mix of dilapidated military structures and new, shiny buildings, all overseen by the town’s gleaming treatment center high on a plateau. No one seems to remember when they got there, and the only people who seem to know more than they’re letting on is the town’s enigmatic leader and his daughter, Avery.
As the sisters search for answers about their mother, Beck and Avery become more drawn together, and their unexpected connection brings up emotions Beck has buried since her mother’s death. Beck is desperate to hold onto the way things used to be, and when she starts losing herself in Backravel and its connection to her mother, will there be a way for Beck to pull herself out?
This sounds good to me because it has LBGTQ+ themes and relationships, supernatural elements, and thrilling details
Silver Nitrate by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Daughter of Doctor Moreau and Mexican Gothic comes a fabulous meld of Mexican horror movies and Nazi occultism: a dark thriller about the curse that haunts a legendary lost film–and awakens one woman’s hidden powers.Montserrat has always been overlooked. She’s a talented sound editor, but she’s left out of the boys’ club running the film industry in ’90s Mexico City. And she’s all but invisible to her best friend, Tristán, a charming if faded soap opera star, though she’s been in love with him since childhood. Then Tristán discovers his new neighbor is the cult horror director Abel Urueta, and the legendary auteur claims he can change their lives—even if his tale of a Nazi occultist imbuing magic into highly volatile silver nitrate stock sounds like sheer fantasy. The magic film was never finished, which is why, Urueta swears, his career vanished overnight. He is cursed. Now the director wants Montserrat and Tristán to help him shoot the missing scene and lift the curse . . . but Montserrat soon notices a dark presence following her, and Tristán begins seeing the ghost of his ex-girlfriend. As they work together to unravel the mystery of the film and the obscure occultist who once roamed their city, Montserrat and Tristán may find that sorcerers and magic are not only the stuff of movies.
This sounds good to me because Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s books often straddle the line between thrillers and horror. Supernatural elements.
Ancient Images by Ramsey Campbell
“Campbell has mastered the art of generating a sense of sustained unease.” The Washington Post. A new masterpiece from the master of suspense. Tower of Fear is a lost horror film starring Karloff and Lugosi. A film historian who locates a copy dies while fleeing something that terrified him. His friend Sandy Allan vows to prove he found the film. She learns how haunted the production was and the survivors of it still are. It contains a secret about Redfield, a titled family that owns a favourite British food, Staff o’ Life. The Redfield land has uncanny guardians, and one follows Sandy home. To maintain its fertility Redfield demands a sacrifice, and a band of new age travellers is about to set up camp there…
This sounds good to me because of the author, found media elements, fantasy, thriller, horror genre mash-up
The Puzzle Master by Danielle Trussoni
Reality and the supernatural collide when an expert puzzle-maker is thrust into an ancient mystery—one with explosive consequences for the fate of humanity—in this suspenseful thriller from the New York Times bestselling author of Angelology
“In short: The Puzzle Master = (The Da Vinci Code + The Silent Patient + sprinkle of Stephen King) x gorgeous writing.”—Angie Kim
All the world is a puzzle, and Mike Brink—a celebrated and ingenious puzzle constructor—understands its patterns like no one else. Once a promising Midwestern football star, Brink was transformed by a traumatic brain injury that caused a rare medical condition: Acquired Savant Syndrome. The injury left him with a mental superpower—he can solve puzzles, calculate equations, and see patterns in ways ordinary people can’t. But his condition has also left him deeply isolated, unable to fully connect with other people.
All of this changes after Brink meets Jess Price, a woman serving thirty years in prison for murder. Traumatized by the crime, Price hasn’t spoken a word since her arrest five years before. When she draws a perplexing puzzle, her psychiatrist believes it will explain the crime she committed, and calls Brink to solve it. What begins as a desire to crack a strange and alluring cipher quickly morphs into an obsession with the woman who drew the puzzle. Price soon reveals that there is something more urgent, and more dangerous, behind her silence, thrusting Brink into a hunt for the truth.
The quest takes Brink through a series of interlocking enigmas, but the heart of the mystery is The God Puzzle, a mysterious prayer circle created by the thirteenth-century Jewish mystic Abraham Abulafia, one of the most controversial men in the history of Kabbalah. As Brink navigates a maze of clues, and his emotional entanglement with Price becomes more intense, he realizes that there are dark forces at work that he cannot escape.
Ranging from an upstate New York women’s prison to nineteenth-century Prague to the secret rooms of the Pierpont Morgan Library, The Puzzle Master is a tantalizing, addictive thriller in which humankind, technology, and the future of the universe itself are at stake.
This sounds good to me because of the author, the aspect of these puzzles, thriller/suspense & historical fiction elements
Dead Eleven by Jimmy Juliano
On a creepy island where everyone has a strange obsession with the year 1994, a newcomer arrives, hoping to learn the truth about her son’s death–but finds herself pulled deeper and deeper into the bizarrely insular community and their complicated rules…Clifford Island. When Willow Stone finds these words written on the floor of her deceased son’s bedroom, she’s perplexed. She’s never heard of it before, but soon learns it’s a tiny island off Wisconsin’s Door County peninsula, 200 miles from Willow’s home. Why would her son write this on his floor? Determined to find answers, Willow sets out for the island. After a few days on Clifford, Willow realizes: This place is not normal. Everyone seems to be stuck in a particular day in 1994: They wear outdated clothing, avoid modern technology, and, perhaps most mystifyingly, watch the OJ Simpson car chase every evening. When she asks questions, people are evasive, but she learns one thing: Close your curtains at night. High schooler Lily Becker has lived on Clifford her entire life, and she is sick of the island’s twisted mythology and adhering to the rules. She’s been to the mainland, and everyone is normal there, so why is Clifford so weird? Lily is determined to prove that the islanders’ beliefs are a sham. But are they? Five weeks after Willow arrives on the island, she disappears. Willow’s brother, Harper, comes to Clifford searching for his sister, and when he learns the truth–that this island is far more sinister than anyone could have imagined–he is determined to blow the whole thing open. If he can get out alive….
This sounds good to me because of the remote island, missing person, trapped-in-a-cult storyline