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Carole Johnstone Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Publication Order of Short Stories/Novellas

Signs of the Times (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
Cold Turkey (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
In the Gallery of Silent Screams (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon
Skinner Box (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Collections

The Bright Day Is Done (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

Dead Souls(2009)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Best Horror of the Year: Volume Two(2010)Description / Buy at Amazon
Never Again(2010)Description / Buy at Amazon
Catastrophia(2010)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Best British Fantasy 2013(2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Mammoth Book of Sherlock Holmes Abroad(2015)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Best Horror of the Year: Volume Seven(2015)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Monstrous(2015)Description / Buy at Amazon
Sherlock Holmes's School for Detection(2017)Description / Buy at Amazon
Horror Library, Volume 6(2017)Description / Buy at Amazon
Best Horror of the Year: Volume Ten(2018)Description / Buy at Amazon
Best Horror of the Year Volume 10(2018)Description / Buy at Amazon
Black Static #65: New Horror Fiction & Film(2018)Description / Buy at Amazon
Nightmare Magazine, Issue 74(2018)Description / Buy at Amazon
Screams from the Dark(2022)Description / Buy at Amazon
Close to Midnight(2022)Description / Buy at Amazon
Fears: Tales of Psychological Horror(2024)Description / Buy at Amazon

Carole Johnstone

Carole Johnstone is a mystery, thriller, and suspense author best known for her debut novel, Mirrorland. This talented author also got an award for her short-fiction story in a competition for Best of Anthologies in the US & UK. She has an impressive list of published works to her name, most of the horror stories she co-authored with Ellen Datlow and Stephen Gallagher, among other writers. Carole Johnstone currently lives in Bute and Argyll, Scotland.


Mirrorland tells the story of twin sisters who grow apart in adulthood, the man they love, and the imposing and dark house where they grew up. Identical twins Catriona (Cat) and Ellice (El) lived with their Grandpa and mum in a gloomy house in Edinburg. This menacing house came with many nooks that the girls put into good use. They had enough places to hide from the witches and pirates they believed lived in the imaginary place they invented under the stairs and named mirrorland. While these two girls seem to have such a beautiful relationship throughout their childhood, one event changes their adulthood relationship.
After a massive fallout, Cat moves to Los Angeles, California and starts her new life here. She vows never to set foot in that 36 Westeryk Roadhouse where she grew up. El stays back in her hometown and moves to their old house with her husband, Ross. It has been twelve years since these two sisters went no contact, and none had bothered to visit each other. Cat has even stopped thinking about her childhood home and all the fun she had in it with her sister. However, an unfortunate event forces Cat back in Edinburg. Their old home is just like she left it over a decade ago. However, Cat is not here for the haunted house or anything else. All she wants to know is what really happened to her sister.

El has gone missing. She left on her sailboat one day and never came back. Everyone presumes that she is dead, but Cat thinks otherwise. She knows her twin sister well, and this seems like one of her games. Cat is determined to find El, and where better to start her search the areas they use to hide in as children. As Cat goes through the house, she discovers terrifying ghosts and long-held secrets in every shadowy corner. Could all these be El’s doing, or is there another force in that house? Is it possible that El is leading her twin back to Mirrorland just for fun? What awaits her in this childhood fantasy world?

Mirrorland is a brilliantly crafted thriller that comes with enough twists and just the right amount of darkness. It is a page-turning debut that just shows how powerful imagination and the mind is. The story touches on love, betrayal, revenge, and redemption. All this is so layered that it is hard to predict how the book will end. There is an intriguing fantasy element to it, and once you get to the end, it all makes sense. If you are looking for a complex and deep story that will numb your mind and bring all your darkest fears to the surface, this book is ideal.

Skimmer Box

Skimmer Box is a disturbing short story on space exploration to Jupiter and back. The story stars Evie, a neuropsychologist experimenting with a skimmer box and nanotechnology. Evie is aboard a shuttle headed to Jupiter. In the same shuttle is her abusive and terrifying husband Mas and a young ship engineer who is infatuated with Evie. Being couped in such tight quarters brings the worst in Mas, and he cannot stop abusing his wife. The engineer is sympathetic to Evie’s situation, but Mas seems unstoppable. It is on this shuttle that an idea starts to form in Evie’s brain. Maybe she should just kill her husband. However, there is the question of how to do it and what to do with the body now that they are so far away from home.

Can Evie manage to fool a cognitive neuroscientist well respected in his field? How does she coerce an expert in Al evolution and deep learning to do what she wants? Is it possible to corrupt a genius and manipulate and a seasoned manipulator? Read this story to the end to find out. This book will take you on a mind-bending adventure, and you cannot help but wish that the story was much longer so you could see more of the characters’ twisted minds. Imagine being stuck with someone you need but cannot stand or trust? A man who is in all ways abusive, but you somehow need him for your survival? What decision would you make?

One thing that comes out clear, humans do not evolve fast enough to match their accomplishments. Evie’s abusive husband is a perfect example in this case. The man is a genius, yet he treats the woman he claims to love so horribly. What starts as a science-driven trip to another planet turns into a wild ride where those involved are stuck in their cycle of hatred and pain. There is a plot twist somewhere in the middle that will throw you off guard and change the course of the story. There are many layers in this intense read, and the coldness in some pages will make you shiver. Will Evie accomplish her mission?

Skimmer Box is a clever short story that seamlessly blends science fiction and psychological horror. This story started out somehow intense, but this rises to exhilarating levels as the story progresses. At times, the narrative is dizzying, and the horror Evie goes through in the hands of her husband is troubling. Throughout the story, the author maintains a catastrophic atmosphere of hurting people trapped in a little box. If you are a fan of Tor short stories or you like riveting sci-fi, you will find this little tale irresistible. The story is about 40 pages long, so you can enjoy it all in a single sitting.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Carole Johnstone

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