Scary Halloween Reads

Happy Halloween Killer Readers! In the spirit (no pun intended!) of today we started discussing the books that have scared us the most. Take a look at our picks below, and let us know in the comments what the scariest book you’ve ever read is!


Without a doubt, the scariest book I’ve read this year is Into the Darkest Corner by Elizabeth Haynes. Exploring an abusive relationship from the inside, Haynes has created a superb psychological thriller which had me gasping and biting my nails on the tube. And unlike so many serial killer thrillers, the story felt so real. With domestic violence still such a common occurrence in this country (according to Refuge, 25% of women in the UK will experience it at some point in their lives), the idea of accidentally letting a man like Lee charm his psychotic way into your life doesn’t seem so far-fetched, which makes it all the more terrifying.

– Katie S, HarperFiction

Stephen King’s It – I read this as a kid, and just thinking back on it makes me shiver at my desk. Absolutely, spine-tinglingly terrifying.

– Kate, HarperFiction

I’m a big fan of J A Kerley’s Carson Ryder series. Carson is a homicide detective who specializes in particularly twisted crimes. In the latest instalment (publishing in December) he has only just started a new job in Miami when he’s called to a particularly bizarre crime scene – a concrete pillar full of human remains, the final, agonized expressions of the victims clearly visible. As Carson begins to unravel the mystery behind this grisly object, we are also drawn into the story of the courageous young illegal immigrant who is set to be the next victim. Her tale is truly horrifying, and what she goes through in the denouement of the novel would certainly count as one of my worst nightmares…

– Sarah, HarperFiction

My scary read for tonight is most definitely Stuart MacBride’s Halfhead. It’s set in the near-future in Glasgow following the outbreak of a deadly virus which killed millions. When you discover why the book is called Halfhead you will realise why it has made it to the top spot above my other Halloween favourite, Stephen King. It is a distinctly creepy look into a potential future which will keep you awake long into the night.

– Laura, Blue Door Books

I may be an avid Killer Reader but I have been known to be a bit of a wimp when it comes to killer thrillers, so it doesn’t take much to get me hiding behind a pillow! I do love a suspenseful psychological thriller though and the scariest book I’ve read recently has to be The Book of You by Claire Kendal, which publishes next year. The book follows Clarissa, who finds herself the focus of unwanted (and intense) affections from her colleague, Rafe. He won’t take no for an answer and his behaviour becomes increasingly obsessive and terrifying. I found this book really creepy because it was so realistic – it had me looking behind my shoulder as I walked down the street. It’s very gripping and I couldn’t put it down because I desperately had to reach the end to check whether Clarissa was going to be ok!

– Katie M, HarperFiction

Other Articles

Book Trailer: City on Fire by Don Winslow

The new trailer for Don Winslow's CITY ON FIRE. Exploring classic themes of loyalty, betrayal, honour, and corruption on both sides of the law, City on Fire is a contemporary Iliad from Don Winslow. Read More


We want to hear from you! HarperFiction is proud to launch Killing It: The Killer Reads Competition for undiscovered writers. All you need is a good idea, a passion for the dark side and a dollop of determination! Launching at the start of 2021 on January  7th, this is… Read More

All the events from the crime authors you love

HarperCollins has launched BookGig, a publisher agnostic online events platform that aims to connect authors with new and existing readers following the growth in live author events. Want to meet your favourite author? Get a book signed? Hear them debate the merits of cosy crime versus serial killers? The… Read More