Book Club Nominees

5 Horror-Thriller Books for your Trip to New York City

by @DarkhorseRodeo, curator of HOWLS Book Club nominees for July’s “The Big Apple Takes a Bite Out of YOU! AKA: Hey, I’m Stalkin’ Here!” category

Welcome to NYC, the Big Apple, the city that never sleeps! Bright lights, entertainment, food, culture, this city has it all! Including ghouls and ghosts that stalk these historic streets and buildings. I want to introduce you to the city I’ve called home my whole life. Underneath the glitz and glamor lurks a seedy underbelly that is waiting to snatch you up and devour you whole.

Cover of Rosemary's Baby by Ira Levin

Rosemary’s Baby by Ira Levin

A masterpiece of spellbinding suspense, where evil wears the most innocent face of all…

Rosemary Woodhouse and her struggling actor husband Guy move into the Bramford, an old New York City apartment building with an ominous reputation and mostly elderly residents. Neighbors Roman and Minnie Castavet soon come nosing around to welcome the Woodhouses to the building, and despite Rosemary’s reservations about their eccentricity and the weird noises that she keeps hearing, her husband takes a special shine to them. Shortly after Guy lands a plum Broadway role, Rosemary becomes pregnant, and the Castavets start taking a special interest in her welfare. As the sickened Rosemary becomes increasingly isolated, she begins to suspect that the Castavets’ circle is not what it seems… (StoryGraph)


I’ll never stop suggesting this book. It’s a personal favorite.

Bookshop* | StoryGraph | Goodreads | Amazon

Cover of When No One Is Watching by Alyssa Cole

When No One Is Watching by Alyssa Cole

Sydney Green is Brooklyn born and raised, but her beloved neighborhood seems to change every time she blinks. Condos are sprouting up like weeds, FOR SALE signs are popping up overnight, and the neighbors she’s known all her life are disappearing. To hold onto her community’s past and present, Sydney channels her frustration into a walking tour and finds an unlikely and unwanted assistant in one of the new arrivals to the block—her neighbor Theo.

But Sydney and Theo’s deep dive into history quickly becomes a dizzying descent into paranoia and fear. Their neighbors may not have moved to the suburbs after all, and the push to revitalize the community may be more deadly than advertised.

When does coincidence become conspiracy? Where do people go when gentrification pushes them out? Can Sydney and Theo trust each other—or themselves—long enough to find out, before they, too, disappear? (StoryGraph)


Gentrification has been a consistent problem in NYC. I would love to hear this author’s take on how it affected her community, while being engaged in a gripping thriller.

Bookshop* | StoryGraph | Goodreads | Amazon

Cover of Relic by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child

Relic by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child

Just days before a massive exhibition opens at the popular New York Museum of Natural History, visitors are being savagely murdered in the museum’s dark hallways and secret rooms.

Autopsies indicate that the killer cannot be human…But the museum’s directors plan to go ahead with a big bash to celebrate the new exhibition, in spite of the murders. 

Museum researcher Margo Green must find out who-or what-is doing the killing. But can she do it in time to stop the massacre? (StoryGraph)


The Museum of Natural History is one of my favorite places in the city. Even though it’s incredibly popular, there are some sections that are quieter than others. Who knows what’s lurking in the dusty corners?

Bookshop* | StoryGraph | Goodreads | Amazon 

Cover of The Sentinel by Jeffrey Konvitz

The Sentinel by Jeffrey Konvitz

A beautiful young model. The old brownstone apartment she simply had to have. The grotesque blind priest who watched down on her day and night from an upper-story window. The pair of perverted creatures who wanted her to join their circle. The mad little old man who gave her tea and sympathy. The cool, calculating, supremely rational lover who first mocked her fears.

And the secret you will never be able to forget, even if you try… (StoryGraph)


There is a scene in the movie that’s listed in many top 100 horror scene lists. I wonder if the book stacks up to the movie.

StoryGraph | Goodreads | Amazon 

Cover of The Manhattan Hunt Club by John Saul

Manhattan Hunt Club by John Saul

In Manhattan Hunt Club John Saul plumbs the depths of the Manhattan underground–the network of subway tunnels and secret caverns and chambers where the homeless denizens of the city have created their own society. It’s a world Jeff Converse, a young college student convicted of a crime he didn’t commit, never knew existed until he is plunged into it after an “accident” that occurs while he is being transported to prison. He soon realizes that it’s no accident, but the opening move in a deadly game being played by some of the city’s most powerful men and women, a game in which he is the prey and they are the hunters. Jeff’s only chance to make it to the surface and survive lies in allying himself with a homicidal maniac who’s appointed himself the young man’s protector, but whose designs on Jeff are almost as lethal as those of his enemies in the Manhattan Hunt Club. (StoryGraph)


I love the idea of exploring beneath the streets of Manhattan. Below all the busy people lurks an unknown world wrought with danger.

Bookshop* | StoryGraph | Goodreads | Amazon 

And The Winner Is…

Out of these five books, HOWLers voted to read Rosemary’s Baby by Ira Levin. Discussion starts on July 3, and you can read along by joining the Discord!

*The HOWLS affiliate storefront pays a 10% commission to HOWL Society and gives a matching 10% to independent bookstores

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