Here is a reposting of my 2009 year in review which was used on a Halloween display at the BPL. These annotations each include at least 2 readalike options.
Conlon, Christopher, ed. He is Legend: An Anthology Celebrating Richard Matheson
In this collection great horror writers like Stephen King, Joe Hill, Gary Braunbeck, and Whitley Strieber use stories by legendary genre-bending author Matheson as a springboard to create 16 new stories that both pay homage to a master and are satisfyingly scary on their own. Also try Matheson’s I am Legend or Poe’s Children edited by Peter Straub.
Farris, John. High Bloods
A werewolf virus plague is spreading across the world and the International Lycan Control (ILC) has been set up to keep the infected from terrorizing the uninfected during the full moon. However, a California agent of the ILC notices that the controls may no longer be working. Also try Charlie Huston’s Joe Pitt Series or Sharp Teeth by Tony Barlow
Keene, Brian. Castaways
A television crew and contestants in a Survivor-esque reality show are literally caught in a fight for their lives-- the island they have been left on is populated by an indigenous tribe of bloodthirsty monsters! Castaways is a grisly page-turner. Also try The Ruins by Scott Smith or anything by Richard Laymon.
Kenyon, Nate. The Bone Factory
David Pierce moves his wife and daughter, in the dead of winter, to an isolated area in Quebec. Jessie is clairvoyant, but she is not responsible for the paranormal activity in their new town. People go missing, things look strange, and the Pierce family is in a fight for their lives. This is atmospheric horror at its best, written by a rising star in the genre. Also try The Shining by Stephen King.
Kiernan, Caitlín R. The Red Tree
Sarah moves to rural Rhode Island and finds fragments of a mysterious manuscript written by her new home’s former resident, a parapsychologist who was obsessed with an oak tree on the property’s periphery. Sarah becomes entangled in the manuscript and risks her life to find out what the tree is hiding. Also try The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield or anything by H.P. Lovecraft.
Maberry, Jonathan. Patient Zero
Terrorists have created a virus which turns people into zombies, and they plan to release it soon. Joe Ledger leads the team that is out to stop them. This is a fast paced, techno-thriller, with shifting points of view and lots of twists and turns. Look for Bram Stoker winner, Maberry to bring Ledger back for more. Also try Creepers by David Morrell
Masello, Robert. Blood and Ice
In 1856, two lovers fall into the frigid waters off Antarctica. In the present, writer Michael Wilde accepts an assignment to write about a scientific lab in Antarctica. When he arrives, Wilde discovers the frozen bodies of the lovers who, once rescued, come back to life. How and why? Read Blood and Ice to find out. Also try The Brief History of the Dead by Kevin Brockmeier or Amazonia by James Rollins.
Masterton, Graham. Basilisk
Medical researcher Nathan Underhill is trying to genetically engineer a mythological creature to help cure chronically ill people. Although his trials fail, it appears someone else has succeeded and there is now an actual basilisk on the loose, killing everyone who stands in its way. Can Nathan stop the evil creature in time? Also try Creature by John Saul.
Sokoloff, Alexandra. The Unseen
In the 1960s, researchers and students from the Duke University Parapsychology Lab went to study poltergeists in a haunted house. No one returned unscathed. Today, Professor Laurel MacDonald and three others return to the haunted home in the hopes of getting some answers, but are they prepared for what they will find? Also try The House of Lost Souls by F. G. Cottam.
Stratford, Sarah Jane. The Midnight Guardian
What happens when 1,000 year old vampires try to stop the Nazi army? Stratford poses this question in her promising debut which is part historical fiction, part vampire story and part romance. Also try Charlaine Harris’s Sookie Stackhouse series or The Keep by F. Paul Wilson.