This is for Mrs Cad. She loves Stephen King although she has been less than thrilled with his latest works. Her problem with Dean Koontz is that he writes the same story over and over and so he’s monotonous. She liked the Anne Rice vampire chronicles and IIRC that one about the castrati. She likes HBO’s Game of Thrones but doesn’t want to spoil the series by reading the books.
So what book/series/author should she look at? Feel free to ask more questions if you need more information.
If she’s a Stephen King fan, she’ll probably like Peter Straub (who is a better writer, IMO). These aren’t new, but she can’t go wrong with his first three Blue Rose books: Koko, Mystery and The Throat. There are a couple more recent ones, but they aren’t nearly as good.
She might like Ruth Rendell. Her books are not about supernatural stuff, but do feature people battling their own internal demons, like many of King’s. The ones she has written under the name Barbara Vine are the first ones I thought of. She also has a more conventional detective series featuring Inspector Wexford.
I’ll second early Straub and Joe Hill and Joe Lansdale* and Wool. Robert McCammon is often compared to King, so she might like his stuff – Stinger, Swan Song, Boy’s Life, Mystery Walk, Bethany’s Sin, Baal, They Thirst.
Since she likes Game of Thrones, she’d probably like Robin Hobb’s Assassin, Liveships, and Tawny Man trilogies.
There’s a fantasy series of novellas called Legends. Reading those samples would give her a good intro to what’s happening in fantasy.
*I thought his most recent Hap and Leonard story was awful.
Also by Joe Hill, and well worth reading: the Locke & Key graphic novels. He writes 'em, and Gabriel Rodriguez illustrates 'em. Funny, spooky, occasionally gory, but fantastic! Start with Welcome to Lovecraft.
And if she likes both vampires and George R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones, she can’t go wrong with Martin’s own Fevre Dream, a vampire thriller set on the Mississippi River before the Civil War. The kind of book Mark Twain and Bram Stoker would write together. Very, very good.
Ritual was a very good King-like novel, up until the literal deus ex machina. Of course, that is in itself very King-like, so there you have it. And he didn’t really seem to know how to end Plague.
Along similar (gory) lines, I would suggest Jack Ketchum. Offspring and The Woman have been my favorites. The Girl Next Door was also well-written, but harder to stomach, particularly since it was inspired by a true crime.
If she’s willing to give him another try, Koontz’s recent Frankenstein series was okay. I’ve heard good things about the Odd Thomas series, but haven’t read it yet.