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The only thing more terrifying in the literary world than supply-chain issues is a horror book that goes unloved. This Halloween, fight your fear and pick up one of these promising new novels, all of which are ready to chill and thrill (until those pesky supply-chain issues make them unavailable for purchase; act now!).

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Red X by David Demchuk

Toronto author David Demchuk’s new novel was born in the shadows of the 2019 Bruce McArthur case, in which the serial killer plead guilty to eight counts of first-degree murder stemming from the disappearances of men in the city’s gay village neighbourhood. Demchuk’s provocative premise puts a supernatural spin on a very real terror, with the story spanning decades.

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Kill the Mall by Pasha Malla

Both a clever play on words (read the title quickly) and a nostalgic ode to the pleasures and perils of one-stop suburban shopping, Canadian author Pasha Malla’s new novel sells a unique brand of dark comedy and surreal terror. Hired to be a local mall’s “writer in residence,” Kill the Mall’s narrator soon discovers that there is something more sinister going on at the retail centre than deep discounts.

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The Retreat by Elisabeth de Mariaffi

For her first novel, 2015′s The Devil You Know, Canadian author Elisabeth de Mariaffi mined the Paul Bernardo era to craft a claustrophobic and unrelenting tale of one young journalist’s struggle to keep herself, and her mind, safe as she fell deeper into the darkest corners of crime reporting. For her follow-up, The Retreat, de Mariaffi goes high-concept with a locked-down thriller about a group of performing-arts types who are trapped inside a snowed-in Banff Centre-like compound. Could there be a horror scenario any more Canadian?

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The Final Girl Support Group by Grady Hendrix

What happens after you survive a run-in with a slasher like Jason Voorhees or Leatherface? Perhaps not surprisingly, lots and lots of group therapy. That’s the conceit of Grady Hendrix’s buzzy new novel, which follows Lynnette, a young woman who emerged from a massacre, eventually finding strength and friendship with other “final girls.” The only problem: now there’s a new serial killer intent on picking off Lynette and her fellow survivors, one by one.

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The Book of Accidents by Chuck Wendig

Find out the secrets of Chuck Wendig’s literary blockbuster before they’re spoiled for you by everyone else. This is the kind of novel in which a simple logline – “A family returns to their hometown, and to the dark past that haunts them still” – pledges to be just a gateway drug to all kinds of page-turning terror.

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