Halloween Takeover: Charlotte Duckworth
Charlotte Duckworth chooses her top five books for Halloween
Posted on October 30, 2018 in Author Recommendations
In the lead up to Halloween, we asked some of our favourite authors to recommend the most frightening and unnerving books they’ve read. Take a look and tell us if you’ve dared to read any of these chilling stories.
Charlotte Duckworth has spent the past fifteen years working as an interiors and lifestyle journalist, writing for a wide range of consumer magazines and websites. She lives in Surrey with her partner and their young daughter. You can find out more on her website: charlotteduckworth.com.
Her latest book is The Rival, an addictive psychological suspense about ambition, female rivalry and motherhood and how far you’d go to get what you want.
I had to include this as it’s my current Netflix binge, but, as always, I think the book is better! It tells the story of a doctor who’s obsessed with the paranormal, and invites people who have claimed to have had a ghostly experience to stay at the spooky Hill House mansion. It’s a proper old-fashioned haunted house story that delves deep into the minds of its characters, leaving you never quite sure what’s real and what’s imaginary.
I read In Cold Blood a few years ago and it has stayed with me. Not strictly a novel, it recounts the events surrounding the real life murder of an entire family in Kansas by two small-time thieves, who came to burgle but ended up killing. The frightening aspect of this book for me is the fact that the murderers had very little reason to do what they did – it’s the cold bloodedness referenced in the title that proves you never can tell what another human being is capable of.
Taking inspiration from the online urban legend of The Slender Man, who leads away vulnerable young girls, this is a truly contemporary spine-tingler that follows the story of Amber, who’s just been acquitted of murder. Amber’s mother Sadie abandoned her when she was a baby, having been visited by The Tall Man since she was a little girl. Who did Amber kill, and why? This novel expertly combines paranoia and the paranormal, and left me thoroughly spooked.
Probably one of the darkest books I’ve ever read, Perfect Remains is the first of a series of crime novels featuring Detective Callanach, who moves to Edinburgh from France and is immediately thrown into investigating the disappearance of several women. It’s a brutal, gripping and unforgettable read with a really memorable cast of characters.
This is a harrowing tale of domestic abuse that I’ve never forgotten, and shows how easily anyone could end up in the situation of its protagonist, Catherine, whose ‘perfect’ boyfriend Lee increasingly abuses and controls her as their relationship progresses. It also offers a really interesting insight into what it’s like to suffer from OCD – where you mind becomes your worst enemy.