Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Books that Keep You Awake at Night

Dark Scribe Magazine has just announced the winners of the Third Annual Black Quill Awards. Among the winners this year are Dark Places by Gillian Flynn and Drood by Dan Simmons for Dark Genre Novel. Dark Scribe is a web-based magazine about "the books that keep you up at night." Previous winners in this category include Stephen King for Duma Key and Joe Hill for Heart-Shaped Box. (Did you know that they are father and son?) I'm not a big reader of books that scare me enough to keep me awake at night -- life is scary enough for me -- but I know a lot of people are, and I've heard great things about both of this year's winners.

Dark Places is Flynn's second crime thriller, following her debut novel Sharp Objects. Seven-year-old Libby Day's mother and two sisters are murdered, and her brother is convicted of the crimes. Twenty-five years later, the truth doesn't seem so straightforward after all.

Drood, narrated by Wilkie Collins, imagines a frightening sequence of events that prompts Collins's friend and fellow author, Charles Dickens, to write The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Dickens's last, uncompleted novel. Simmons's next novel, Black Hills, comes out near the end of this month and tells the story of a Lakota Sioux and General Custer.

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