This Month in New Horror Books: July 2021 - Tor Nightfire

This Month in New Horror Books: July 2021

It’s hot out there, folks – so stay inside, set up a swamp cooler, and get to reading. We’ve got a plethora of new horror releases this month, including titles from Jeffrey Ford, Grady Hendrix, Beth Morgan, Ryan Douglass, Chuck Wendig, and more!

Also, a note: we’re continuously updating release dates and newly announced books both here and on our 2021 horror releases master post.

July’s new horror titles:

  • Big Dark Hole, Jeffrey Ford (Jul 6): A Jeffrey Ford story may start out in the innocuous and routine world of college teaching or evenings on a porch with your wife. But inevitably the weird comes crashing in. Big Dark Hole is about those big, dark holes that we find ourselves once in a while and maybe, too, the big dark holes that exist inside of us.
  • Master of Rods and Strings, Jason Marc Harris (Jul 6): Jealous of the attention lavished upon the puppetry talents of his dear sister–and tormented by visions of her torture at the hands of his mysterious Uncle Pavan, who recruited her for his arcane school–Elias is determined to learn the true nature of occult puppetry, no matter the hideous costs, in order to exact vengeance.
  • She Was Found in a Guitar Case, Dave Keaton (Jul 6): Recently fired from his job, Dave sets out on a manic, misguided quest for answers up the food chain of law enforcement corruption and down the increasingly bizarre Florida coastline. Battling cops, biker gangs, backwoods Bigfoot hunters, and getting tangled in tourist traps (both figurative and literal), he eventually stumbles onto a conspiracy involving body cameras, love locks, and a grand psychological experiment which may reveal the revolving doors and invisible walls of the nation’s prison system.
  • The Final Girl Support Group, Grady Hendrix (Jul 13): Hendrix’s homage to slasher films follows six girls who belong to a survivors’ support group that has been meeting for nearly two decades.
  • The Otherwise: The Screenplay for a Horror Film That Never Was, Mark E. Smith & Graham Duff (Jul 13): The first ever publication of Mark E. Smith’s supernatural film treatment, co-authored with Graham Duff. Every film production company who saw the script said it was ‘too weird’ to ever be made. The Otherwise is weird. Yet it’s also witty, shocking and genuinely scary. Now the screenplay is published for the first time, alongside photographs, drawings and handwritten notes.
  • The Taking of Jake LivingstonRyan Douglass (Jul 13): Get Out meets Danielle Vega in this YA social thriller where survival is not a guarantee.
  • A Touch of Jen, Beth Morgan (Jul 13): Ottessa Moshfegh meets David Cronenberg in this viciously funny and terrifying debut novel about a love triangle so toxic that it breaks the order of the universe and unleashes a literal monster.
  • Immortelle, Catherine McCarthy (Jul 15): When Elinor’s daughter, Rowena, is found poisoned and dead in an animal trough, Elinor is sure the local parish priest is to blame. A ceramic artist by trade and influenced by her late grandmother’s interest in supernatural magic, Elinor crafts an immortelle for Rowena’s grave and attempts to capture the girl’s spirit in the clay model of a starling. Soon she is inundated with requests for immortelles and the more immersed in the craft she becomes, the greater her powers grow. As the dead share their secrets with grieving Elinor, she learns the sordid truth of what happened to her beloved daughter and plots a revenge so hideous, it must be kept a secret forever.
  • Transmuted, Eve Harms (Jul 15): Her doctor is giving her the body of his dreams… and her nightmares. Isa is a micro-celebrity who rarely shows her face, and can’t wait to have it expertly ripped off and rearranged to look more feminine. When a successful fundraiser makes her gender-affirming surgery possible, she’s overjoyed—until she has to give up all her money to save her dying father. Crushed by gender dysphoria and the pressure of disappointing her fans who paid for a new face, she answers a sketchy ad seeking transgender women for a free, experimental feminization treatment. The grotesquely flawless Dr. Skurm has gruesome methods, but he gets unbelievable results, and Isa is finally feeling comfortable in her skin. But Isa’s body won’t stop changing, and she’s going from super model to super mutant. She has to discover the secret behind her metamorphosis—before the changes are irreversible, and she’s an unwanted freak forever.
  • Where the Briars Sleep by Emma Beaven (Jul 17): In this early nineteenth-century gothic ghost story, Rose Shedd discovers something is stalking her, something unseen and filled with rage, something that demands recompense, and Rose’s life, the life of her sister, and the remnants of her family depend on memories she has forced herself to forget.
  • The Book of Accidents, Chuck Wendig (Jul 20): A family returns to their hometown—and to the dark past that haunts them still—in this masterpiece of literary horror by the New York Times bestselling author of Wanderers.
  • Come With Me, Ronald Malfi (Jul 20): A masterful, heart-palpitating novel of small-town horror and psychological dread from a Bram Stoker nominee.
  • The Follower, Nicholas Bowling (Jul 20): When her twin brother goes missing in Northern California, Vivian Owens follows his trail to the town of Mount Hookey, home to the followers of Telos: a mountain-worshipping cult that offers spiritual fulfilment to those who seek it. While trying to navigate the town’s bizarre inhabitants and the seductive preaching of the initiates of Telos, Vivian will have to confront questions about herself, her family, and everything she thinks she knows about the world. To that end, there is only one question she needs to answer: what is really at the top of Mount Hookey?
  • Rovers, Richard Lange (Jul 27): Summer, 1976. Jesse and his brother, Edgar, are on the road in search of victims. They’re rovers, nearly indestructible nocturnal beings who must consume human blood in order to survive. For seventy years they’ve lurked on the fringes of society, roaming from town to town, dingy motel to dingy motel, stalking the transients, addicts, and prostitutes they feed on. This hard-boiled supernatural hell ride kicks off when the brothers encounter a young woman who disrupts their grim routine, forcing Jesse to confront his past and plunging his present into deadly chaos as he finds himself scrambling to save her life.
  • Small Favors, Erin A. Craig (Jul 27): From the bestselling author of House of Salt and Sorrows comes a mesmerizing and chilling novel that’s The Village meets Needful Things, about what lurks in the shadows of the people you think you know.
  • Absolute Unit, Nick Kolakowski (Jul 29): Absolute Unit is a dark carnival ride through the underside of the American Dream, where hustlers and parasites fight to survive against gun-toting furries, sarcastic drug kingpins, old ladies who are startlingly good with knives, and angry ex-girlfriends. It’s a hardboiled slice of modern American horror that asks the deepest question of all: Is the human race worth saving?
  • Lost Letters to a Lover’s Carcass, Ronald J. Murray (Jul 30): Ronald J. Murray’s second dark poetry collection is a diatribe hurled against abusers—an act of war against those that thrive on the suffering of others. It is a personal look at the process of a man rediscovering his self-worth once defined by the iron fist control of another, once wrongly trusted. It is the escape from horrors designed by miserable creatures to keep you on their level toward self-appreciation and the true appreciation of those that matter.

As always, if we missed anything, let us know in the comments!

View our 2021 new horror release masterlist here, and view previous monthly new releases posts here.

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