4 New Horror Books Spiked With Dread and Profound Unease

Simone St. James is known for brilliantly mixing thriller elements with supernatural mayhem, and MURDER ROAD (Berkley, 342 pp., $29), her most recent novel, offers readers plenty of both.

During the summer of 1995, April and Eddie are on their way to a resort for their honeymoon when a wrong turn sends them down a dark road in the middle of the night. The newlyweds pick up a hitchhiker, and then realize the young woman is bleeding. April and Eddie take the woman to a hospital, but she dies.

The couple soon learn the hitchhiker is just one of many who’ve met their demise on Atticus Line. The road, according to locals, is haunted by a ghost known as the Lost Girl, “a stupid legend,” who has allegedly been killing people for decades. Under pressure because of the unsolved murders, the police unsuccessfully try to pin the killing on the couple, and after they are cleared of any wrongdoing, April and Eddie stick around and try to get to the bottom of things. But the newlyweds have their own dark past, and as it catches up to them, so does the darkness that haunts Atticus Line.

Fast, chilling, entertaining, unexpectedly touching, and with two broken, memorable characters at its core, this might be St. James’s best novel yet.

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