Of horror and mystery (IANS Books this week)

There is nothing like a great page-turning novel that will keep you on your toes and awake till you finish its last page. This collection of mysterious, spooking tales have been piled up on the IANS stack:

1. Book: Frankly Spooking; Author: Sriramana Muliya; Publisher: Harper Collins; Pages: 192; Price: Rs.299

Padma trudged up the stairs to the first-floor bathroom where the machine stood. It was spinning. Her mouth went dry. Who had switched it on? Head throbbing, she looked closer. She stopped the machine and opened it to inspect the clothes inside. Her blood froze...

These are stories that will draw out the fears which lie hidden in the deepest, darkest recesses of your mind. Where the dead meet you is in the corridors of a swanky office, a busy shopping mall, a quiet classroom. They may even come knocking on your front door..This novel is perfect for those nights when the rains lash against your windowpanes and the lights go off.

2. Book: The Tides of Memory; Author: Sidney Sheldon; Publisher: Harper; Pages: 400; Price: Rs.299

How far would you go to protect the ones you love? There are some secrets that should be taken to the grave. This novel is about the De Vere family, who on the surface appear to have it all. Alexia De Vere is untouchable - wealthy and a political powerhouse, she presides over her family's idyllic lifestyle. But the mistakes of her youth are flooding back into her life and old hatreds are bubbling back to the surface. The De Veres are about to find themselves on the brink of losing everything. How far will each of them go to conceal the truth?

3. Book: The Ghost Hunters of Kurseong; Author: Shweta Taneja; Publisher: Hachette; Pages: 220; Price: Rs.295

When 13-year-old Kartik Godse's mother informs him that they are to move from Mumbai to the small hill station of Kurseong, he thinks that he will die - of sheer boredom. However, he couldn't be more wrong. On his very first day in the sleepy town, he is accosted by a frightened man and attacked by two strangers. And so begins a spiral down an unexpected vortex of intruders, ghosts, hauntings and rumours. A crisp, mysterious tale, the novel unravels a web of mystery, deceit, hoaxes and supernatural events.

4. Book: Spirits I Have Known; Author: Ipsita Roy Chakraverti; Publisher: Harper Collins India; Pages: 216; Price: Rs.350

Can you breathe life into the lifeless? Are there people suspended between the worlds of the living and the dead? Can a human being take an animal form? What if we could see these creatures of the night? What if they spoke to us?

The author travels from the city to quiet hill stations and crowded temple towns, from comfortable Bengali homes to old mansions with dark histories to gather stories of the dead. These stories are true chronicles of women who have fought back against repression, loneliness and betrayal, with an energy that is as powerful as it can be destructive.