15 New Gothic Books To Read This Spring If You Love The Suspenseful & Macabre
If your springtime looks a little chilly, I've got a great selection of books you can cozy up to. I've picked out 15 new Gothic books you can read this spring, so get ready to lose yourself in a classic genre full of mystery and madness.
Gothic novels and books have been around for more than 200 years, since the late 18th century, but they've never quite gone out of style. Everyone loves a good mystery or ghost story, and the Gothic genre is chock full of them, with healthy doses of spooky old castles and creeping wanderers.
If you haven't read any Gothic stories before, that's OK! Unlike sci-fi and fantasy, which can be difficult genres for outsiders to navigate, the Gothic is quite welcoming. You'll undoubtedly recognize many of its tropes — including the Creepy Housekeeper and the Madwoman in the Attic — from media you've interacted with previously.
The 15 books on the list below all make use of Gothic tropes in some way. Some are upfront with their adoration for tales like The Monk and The Mysteries of Udolpho, while others mask their Gothic elements inside more surreal and macabre tales. Whatever you may fancy, there's something on this list you're sure to enjoy.
'Once Upon a River' by Diane Setterfield
After a little girl drowned in the Thames comes back to life, the villagers who find her body must sort out the mystery of her identity, when three disparate families come forward to claim her as their own.
'Revenge' by Yoko Ogawa
In this collection of short fiction by The Diving Pool author Yoko Ogawa, 11 interlocking tales work to tell the story of a small group of adults who live and work on the shadows, keeping their secrets to themselves, at all costs.
'Melmoth' by Sarah Perry
Working as a translator in Prague, Helen sorts through a collection of stories that purport to be sightings of Melmoth the Witness: a woman cursed to wander forever because she denied that Christ had risen from the grave. According to legend, Melmoth coerces others into accompanying her on her eternal journey. Helen is willing to chalk it all up to legend — until her friend Karel disappears.
'Black Magic Women: Terrifying Tales by Scary Sisters,' edited by Sumiko Saulson
Containing 17 stories from authors profiled in Sumiko Saulson's 100 Black Women in Horror, Black Magic Women transports readers to a world with plenty of supernatural bumps in the night.
'The Corset' by Laura Purcell
A wealthy young woman's morbid fascination with phrenology brings her face-to-face with a woman on trial for murder in this novel from The Silent Companions author Laura Purcell. Ruth has been charged with an unspeakable act, but she swears to Dorothea that she wasn't responsible — the clothes she made for her victim committed the crime.
'The Hunger' by Alma Katsu
In The Hunger, Alma Katsu takes readers inside the ill-fated Donner Party on their cursed journey westward. A boy is dead, food is running low, and the remaining pioneers are at each other's throats. But when more people go missing, tension and paranoia reach a breaking point as the travelers discover that they may not be alone in the hills.
'The Weight of Lies' by Emily Carpenter
After she sells a tell-all memoir about her childhood, Meg begins to dig into the details of her family's past, including the story behind her mother's bestselling horror novel. Her journey through the past takes her to an old murder case, but looking too closely at the details could cost Meg her life.
'Infidel' by Pornsak Pichetshote and Aaron Campbell
Collecting the five issues of Pornsak Pichetshote's Infidel, this trade paperback volume centers on Aisha, a young Muslim woman, who moves into her fiancé's apartment building after a terrorist attack, only to become afflicted by weird and terrible dreams.
'The Woman in the Dark' by Vanessa Savage
Set 15 years after a brutal murder, The Woman in the Dark follows a married couple and their two teenage children into the home that was the scene of the horrific crime. Recovering from an accidental overdose, wife Sarah finds herself unmoored in the Murder House, but her husband suddenly feels just as strange as their surroundings.
'Mouthful of Birds' by Samanta Schweblin
From the author of Fever Dream comes this collection of short fiction, which contains 20 spooky and unsettling stories that blend genres and literary traditions at will.
'The Au Pair' by Emma Rous
After giving birth to Seraphine and her twin brother, their mother killed herself outside the family's cliffside estate. Years later, as she sorts through her late father's belongings, Seraphine discovers a photograph of her mother holding only one infant, and begins to wonder whether she belongs to her family at all.
'City of Ash and Red' by Hye-young Pyun
Isolated in a foreign country besieged by a rat infestation, with no real means of communicating with anyone back home, exterminator C descends into paranoia when his ex-wife's body is found in his apartment, and investigators believe him to be responsible for her death.
'The Stranger Diaries' by Elly Griffiths
Clare Cassidy knows the work of Gothic author R.M. Holland like the back of her hand, so she instantly recognizes the line from Holland's story "The Stranger" when it appears scrawled beside her friend's corpse. It's clear that someone close to Clare has killed her colleague, and she can trust no one if she wants to uncover the truth, before it's too late.
'Frankenstein in Baghdad' by Ahmed Saadawi
This literary horror novel follows Hadi, an eccentric activist, as he gathers body parts severed by bombings and pieces them together for burial. When the corpse he has assembled escapes, however, Hadi realizes that he may be responsible for bringing a vengeful spirit to life.
'Mr. Flood's Last Resort' by Jess Kidd
Published in the UK as The Hoarder, this novel centers on Maud Drennan, the introverted survivor of childhood trauma, as she attempts to help an old man retain his independence by ridding his home of accumulated junk. But the old house has secrets of its own, and Maud stumbles directly into one of them.