Autumn is here, the weather is cooling down, and we’re all sucking down pumpkin spice flavored beverages as fast as we can. Nothing goes better with a hot, cozy beverage than a good book. When the weather’s right to curl up under a blanket, it’s the perfect time to pick up a scary read and hide under the blanket when you get too scared.
Jennifer McMahon, author of seven novels, should be who you turn to for a stellar read this autumn. Her books are psychological thrillers, murder mysteries, paranormal and monster stories, and will grip you from the first chapter and never let go.
While I have not read all of her books, the ones that I have read I have finished in one sitting. They are the kind of books that create a world so real and so vivid that it is easy to forget where you are because her worlds are so encapsulating.
In The Night Sister, McMahon expertly creates monsters out of humans, and the story through which they are revealed includes twists, turns, and is set in a vividly laid out community based around the Tower Hotel (in and of itself just a terrifying name for a setting).
And, then, there’s the book with which I discovered McMahon – The Winter People. Set in rural Vermont, and alternating between the past and present, this book starts out creepy, and through stellar storytelling that includes a disappearance, an old diary, and everything a creepy rural setting entails, it gets creepier and creepier.
A theme in McMahon’s books is the connection between the past and the present, between ancestors and their descendants, and the secrets in towns that stay dormant and when discovered, have horrifying effects. McMahon’s genius lies in creating stories around characters who are believable, but tortured. Her books also strike at the fear of the unknown we all harbor, as well as the fear of having the past unearthed. All towns and families harbor secrets, and not all of them are good. McMahon sums up her own understanding of why hiding such secrets and past events is so crucial to so many in a line from The Night Sister:
“For some people, Rose, it’s easier to pretend the things that frighten us most don’t exist at all.”
Many people have secrets or deeds in the past that they prefer would stay hidden, or at least never come back to the forefront of discussion among others. McMahon gets that, and uses it to scare the pants off of her reader. She seamlessly ties common fears together, and uses them to move along her plots while never allowing the plots to get stale or predictable.
For fans of murder mysteries, thrillers, horror, or simply good writing and good storytelling, Jennifer McMahon’s books are the perfect match. Promise Not To Tell, Island Of Lost Girls, Dismantled, Don’t Breathe A Word, and The One I Left Behind are the five books she has written in addition to The Night Sister and The Winter People.
Make sure your doors are locked, your blanket is tucked in tight and your warm beverage isn’t far away and grab one of McMahon’s books. Also, make sure the light is on or at least within easy reach before you crack it open, start to read, and promptly never want to be in the dark again.
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