Annal: 2003 Bram Stoker Award for Novel

Results of the Bram Stoker Award in the year 2003.

Book:Lost Boy, Lost Girl

Lost Boy, Lost Girl

Peter Straub

A woman commits suicide for no apparent reason. A week later, her son—beautiful, troubled fifteen-year-old Mark Underhill—vanishes from the face of the earth. To his uncle, horror novelist Timothy Underhill, Mark’s inexplicable absence feels like a second death. After his sister-in-law’s funeral, Tim searches his hometown of Millhaven for clues that might help him unravel this mystery of death and disappearance. He soon learns that a pedophilic murderer is on the loose in the vicinity, and that shortly before his mother’s suicide Mark had become obsessed with an abandoned house where he imagined the killer might have taken refuge. No mere empty building, the house on Michigan Street whispers from attic to basement with the echoes of a long-hidden true-life horror story, and Tim Underhill comes to fear that in investigating its unspeakable history, Mark stumbled across its last and greatest secret: a ghostly lost girl who may have coaxed the needy, suggestible boy into her mysterious domain.

With lost boy lost girl, Peter Straub affirms once again that he is the master of literary horror.

Book:A Choir of Ill Children

A Choir of Ill Children

Tom Piccirilli

This lyrical tale of evil, loss, and redemption is a stunning addition to the Southern gothic tradition of Flannery O’Connor and Harry Crews.

A Choir of Ill Children is the startling story of Kingdom Come, a decaying, swamp backwater that draws the lost, ill-fated, and damned.

Since his mother’s disappearance and his father’s suicide, Thomas has cared for his three brothers—conjoined triplets with separate bodies but one shared brain—and the town’s only industry, the Mill.

Because of his family’s prominence, Thomas is feared and respected by the superstitious swamp folk. Granny witches cast hexes while Thomas’s childhood sweetheart drifts through his life like a vengeful ghost and his best friend, a reverend suffering…[more]

Book:The Night Country

The Night Country: A Novel

Stewart O'Nan

At Midnight on Halloween in a cloistered New England suburb, a car carrying five teenagers leaves a winding road and slams into a tree, killing three of them. One escapes unharmed, another suffers severe brain damage. A year later, summoned by the memories of those closest to them, the three that died come back on a last chilling mission among the living.

A strange and unsettling ghost story in the tradition of Ray Bradbury and Shirley Jackson, The Night Country creeps through the leaf-strewn streets and quiet cul-de-sacs of one bedroom community, reaching into the desperately connected yet isolated lives of three people changed forever by the accident: Tim, who survived yet lost everything; Brooks, the cop whose guilty secret has destroyed his life; and Kyle’s mom, trying to love the new son the doctors returned to her. As the day wanes and darkness falls, one of them puts a terrible plan into effect, and they find themselves caught in a collision of need and desire, watched…[more]

Book:Serenity Falls

Serenity Falls

James A. Moore

Welcome to Serenity Falls; make yourself at home.

The people here are friendly enough and certainly glad to make your acquaintance…so long as you don’t ask too many questions about their pasts or about the town. They’ve got secrets, you see, like most small towns do. And they have their share of troubles as well…

Oh, the town is doing better since the quarry reopened, bringing rebirth to Serenity and prosperity to people who’d almost given up hope; and the new folk coming around, drawn by the promise of financial success, seem pleasant enough for the most part. But there’s that poor man who got himself torn apart by a pack of feral hunting dogs, and the girl who says her boyfriend is the one who took her out into the woods and did his best to kill her. There are all the children who’ve disappeared, and others…[more]

Book:Wolves of the Calla

Wolves of the Calla: Book 5 of The Dark Tower

Stephen King

Roland Deschain and his ka-tet are bearing southeast through the forests of Mid-World, the almost timeless landscape that seems to stretch from the wreckage of civility that defined Roland’s youth to the crimson chaos that seems the future’s only promise. Readers of Stephen King’s epic series know Roland well, or as well as this enigmatic hero can be known. They also know the companions who have been drawn to his quest for the Dark Tower: Eddie Dean and his wife, Susannah; Jake Chambers, the boy who has come twice through the doorway of death into Roland’s world; and Oy, the Billy-Bumbler.

In this long-awaited fifth novel in the saga, their path takes them to the outskirts of Calla Bryn Sturgis, a tranquil valley community of farmers and ranchers on Mid-World’s borderlands. Beyond the town, the rocky ground rises toward the hulking darkness of Thunderclap, the source of a terrible affliction that is slowly stealing the community’s soul. One of the town’s…[more]

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