What We've Been Reading
Book Reviews,  Reading Recommendations

What We’re Reading #67

We have several new recent reads to share with you today. We have a fun-filled slasher, a timeless reprint of a ’70s novel, and a gorgeous gothic suspense novel.

We hope you find your new favorite book and don’t forget to click either tag above to find more good books ♥ 

Cirque Berserk by Jessica Guess

Cirque Berserk by Jessica Guess

The summer of 1989 brought terror to the town of Shadows Creek, Florida in the form of a massacre at the local carnival, Cirque Berserk. One fateful night, a group of teens killed a dozen people then disappeared into thin air. No one knows why they did it, where they went, or even how many of them there were, but legend has it they still roam the abandoned carnival, looking for blood to spill.

Thirty years later, best friends, Sam and Rochelle, are in the midst of a boring senior trip when they learn about the infamous Cirque Berserk. Seeking one last adventure, they and their friends journey to the nearby Shadows Creek to see if the urban legends about Cirque Berserk are true. But waiting for them beyond the carnival gates is a night of brutality, bloodshed, and betrayal.

Will they make they make it out alive, or will the carnival’s past demons extinguish their futures?

Book 4 in the Rewind-or-Die series: imagine your local movie rental store back in the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s, remember all those fantastic covers. Remember taking those movies home and watching in awe as the stories unfolded in nasty rainbows of gore, remember the atmosphere and textures. Remember the blood.

Amazon | Goodreads

Cassie’s Teaser Review

One of my favorite books of the year, and I can’t give it high enough praise – if you’re a fan of the genre, you need to check this one out! I’m going to be reading everything else I can get my hands on from Jessica Guess in the future, and can’t wait to see what else she does in horror.

Read Cassie’s entire review at Let’s Get Galactic.

Audra’s Teaser Review

This bloody little novella seems ripped right out of the golden era of slashers—and I loved it!

Read Audra’s entire review at Goodreads.


The Auctioneer by Joan Samson

Harrowing tensions explode in a series of events that could happen anywhere, to anyone, just as they do to John Moore-whose days of freedom run out, who is stripped of his possessions, his courage, and his hopes, by the ominous presence of an insidious stranger impossible to resist.

Published to wide acclaim in 1976, but almost neglected since then, The Auctioneer is a bona fide classic of American literature. The story of John Moore, his wife Mim, and his mother, it is a gripping tale of greed in a small town being quietly overrun by auctioneer Perly Dunsmore. Acclaimed by writers including Stephen King, and an influence on King’s Needful Things, The Auctioneer is here reprinted for the first time in thirty years.

Joan Samson (1937-1976) wrote The Auctioneer, her only novel, and was working on her second when she died of cancer.

Amazon | Goodreads

Alex’s Teaser Review

It’s a surreal thing when you are reading a book written almost 50 years ago that still has some relevance to current political and social events. And it’s an even bigger travesty that Joan Samson did not make it around to put out more books… because she’s got major chops! She created something, at the time, extremely original, compelling, immersive, and chilling.

Read Alex’s entire review at Goodreads.


Mexican Gothic

Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

From the author of Gods of Jade and Shadow comes a reimagining of the classic gothic suspense novel, a story about an isolated mansion in 1950s Mexico — and the brave socialite drawn to its treacherous secrets.

He is trying to poison me. You must come for me, Noemí. You have to save me.

After receiving a frantic letter from her newly-wed cousin begging for someone to save her from a mysterious doom, Noemí Taboada heads to High Place, a distant house in the Mexican countryside. She’s not sure what she will find — her cousin’s husband, a handsome Englishman, is a stranger, and Noemí knows little about the region.

Noemí is also an unlikely rescuer: She’s a glamorous debutante, and her chic gowns and perfect red lipstick are more suited for cocktail parties than amateur sleuthing. But she’s also tough, smart, and has an indomitable will, and she is not afraid: Not of her cousin’s new husband, who is both menacing and alluring; not of his father, the ancient patriarch who seems to be fascinated by Noemí; and not even of the house itself, which begins to invade Noemi’s dreams with visions of blood and doom.

Her only ally in this inhospitable abode is the family’s youngest son. Shy and gentle, he seems to want to help Noemí, but might also be hiding dark knowledge of his family’s past. For there are many secrets behind the walls of High Place. The family’s once colossal wealth and faded mining empire kept them from prying eyes, but as Noemí digs deeper she unearths stories of violence and madness.

And Noemí, mesmerized by the terrifying yet seductive world of High Place, may soon find it impossible to ever leave this enigmatic house behind.

Amazon | Goodreads

Laurie’s Teaser Review

There are many villainous villains and gothic staples here amongst the mystery, the horrifying secrets, and the terrific characterization. I absolutely adored it all. It’s one of those rare books that engage the reader and immerses you in its world so much that you might not want to leave. 

Read Laurie’s entire review at Goodreads.


Thank you for joining us today! We hope you found something to add to your tbr list. Please share your recent reads with us in the comments below.

If you are a LOHF writer and have a book you’d like us to consider for a review please visit our review submission page here.

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