When we published our list of classically chilling books to read this October, the authors on our list (save one) all had one thing in common: They were men. But though male authors may have hogged the spotlight in horror anthologies over the past century, it was Ms. Mary Shelley who kicked down the door of the horror genre with Frankenstein. Here are five powerhouse horror novels by women who continue Shelley’s legacy in the genre today.
Broken Monsters by Lauren Beukes
Lauren Beukes already made waves in the creepy fiction community with The Shining Girls, a best-selling book about a time-traveling serial killer. Now she’s back with Broken Monsters, in which main character Detective Gabriella Versado finds a body in the woods. But this isn’t just any body: It’s half boy, half deer, and 100% blood-chilling. The city starts to unravel as more and eerier bodies are found in Beukes’ “exquisitely paced and impeccably controlled” novel (New York Times Book Review). “The anticipation and dread Beukes crafts is remarkable,” praises Entertainment Weekly. Also remarkable is Beukes’s ability to blend genres, seamlessly incorporating horror, fantasy, and traditional crime in ways that highlight the best parts of each.”