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Susie Moloney Books In Order

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

A Dry Spell (1997) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Bastion Falls (1998) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
362 Belisle St (2002) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Dwelling (2003) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Thirteen (2011) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Collections

Things Withered (2013) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Susie Moloney is a Canadian horror, literature and fiction books author best known for her 1997 debut novel A Dry Spell which was optioned for adaptation for the big screen with the film rights acquired by Cruise/Wagner Productions in 1997 for a reported seven figures. She was the first author to appear on Chatelaine magazine cover and also featured on Scarlett Magazine’s cover. Several critics have compared Moloney to all-time horror author Stephen King. She has won the Michael Van Rooy Award for fiction category. Moloney splits her busy schedule between Canada and New York and is married to award-winning playwright Vern Thiessen.

The Thirteen

Susie Moloney’s book, The Thirteen has been described as The Witches of Eastwick meets Desperate Housewives, which isn’t 100% accurate, though it’s a handy technique for marketing. The Witches of Eastwick is much more relevant with its cheerful nastiness. The Desperate Housewives, on the other hand, is too absurd to compare to Susie’s work. The truth of the matter is that Susan Moloney’s book, The Thirteen is more like a mirror-universe, gonzo, and an occult version of a parody sci-fi film, The Stepford Wives with a mix of Stephen King.

But as always, Moloney remains unique and true to herself. At the heart of any of her books, there’s always a deep well of small-town restlessness. Welcome to Haven Woods, a suburban paradise characterized by good schools, quiet streets, friendly neighbors, zero crime, and a very negligible part of the darker side of life. Like demon worship, blood sacrifice, self-immolation, and others pleasurable pastimes.

Returning to the suburban idyll is Paula Wittmore, who after losing another job in the city, returns to Haven Woods to look after her ailing mother suffering from a mysterious disease which has left her disabled and growing hairier. Accompanying Paula is her daughter Rowan, the only person Paula’s old acquaintance Marla wants in the sleepy town. Because Marla and other ladies in the town have a scheme- recover their good fortune and blessed life that can be compared to a gift from God. And if the price for that happiness is some sacrifice, a few dismembered or slaughtered sons or husbands won’t be a big deal? The male population of this small town may be very low, but the sacrifice is all for the good of the thirteen women who have secured their future in a demonic pact that has been transferred from mother to daughter over the decades.

Of course, the key here is the number; there must always be 13. And there’s a problem: when one of the 13 women does the unthinkable and leaves the group, the situation gets from worse to worst. Marla is assigned one mission by her mother, who made the original pack for her generation: get Rowan to meet the coven. The balance of Haven Woods must be restored at any cost or hell will break loose.

What Moloney excels in all her books is evoking the emotion of her readers. Her second book, The Bastion Falls like Stephen King’s book, The Shining, is a novel that should never be read in the winter. On the other hand, A Dry Spell probably shouldn’t be read in the summer. And the creepy The Dwelling shouldn’t ever be read alone in the dead of night.

In her fifth book, Moloney has woven a compelling narrative, joining together the tropes of Haven Woods paranoia and with the chokehold of religious fervor and family obligations. While the scary and nasty stuff are nasty and scary, the author also succeeds at the non-supernatural horror: people terrified in the face of crushing mortgage payments, parent’s anxiety for their children, and the fears we all face in our day-to-day survival. What could be worse- making a truce with the devil to have things in your favor or stashing your morals aside to have the bills paid?

The supernatural elements included in the book are both euphoric and ferocious and perhaps not suitable for everyone. But on the brighter side, there is a literary delight in watching Haven Woods and the witches come undone.

A Dry Spell

According to an interview published online, Susie Moloney considers Stephen King as her mentor and thanks to encounters with his writing if not King himself. In Dry Spell, we meet Karen Grange, a banker whose character is unforgivable for one flaw: she’s a shopaholic. After sinking herself in overextended credit, she is transferred to manage a small bank in Goodlands where she finds her salvation. She gets her lousy spending habits under control and finds contentment in this small farming community she could have never found if she said in the city. But her happiness is short-lived afterGoodland’s town is affected by a four-year-old drought.

The neighboring communities prosper while Karen’s community dries up. Tom Keatley, a cute itinerant rainmaker arrives on Karen’s doorstep. He can sense something wrong with Goodlands and agrees to make rain for five thousand dollars without revealing that he doesn’t know whether it’s possible to make it rain in his small haunted town. Karen desperate to help the small town agrees and secretly embezzles funds from her bank- an act that could see her banished from the community where she longs to live and could also land her in prison.

While Tom tries to solve the puzzles that are keeping Goodlands away from the rain, Karen tries to keep the bank from the wrath of the main office while a vengeful woman ghost begins to earnest for the spirit of a township that let her murder go unsolved.

A Dry Spell is the kind of book that keeps you reading and guessing enough to pull you into the heart of the story. It starts slows, builds up interest and momentum up to the final climax. The main characters, Karen and Tom, are not perfect, and it’s their flaws that make them interesting. While this book won’t change your life, it should prove an excellent before-bed night capper or an enjoyable weekend diversion.

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