When the Night Bells Ring
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Two climate refugees descend into the cool darkness of an old mine where they find a settler’s diary that whispers of horrors haunting the ghost town, only to realize that the caved-in tunnels are haunted still.
Don't awaken what sleeps in the dark.
In a future ravaged by fire and drought, two climate refugees ride their motorcycles across the wasteland of the western US, and stumble upon an old silver mine. Descending into the cool darkness of the caved-in tunnels in desperate search of water, the two women find Lavinia Cain’s diary, a settler in search of prosperity who brought her family to Nevada in the late 1860s.
But Lavinia and the settlers of the Western town discovered something monstrous that dwells in the depths of the mine, something that does not want greedy prospectors disturbing the earth. Whispers of curses and phantom figures haunt the diary, and now, over 150 years later, trapped and injured in the abandoned mine, the women discover they’re not alone . . . with no easy way out.
The monsters are still here—and they’re thirsty.
- Winner, IPPY Bronze Award - Horror 2023
“When the Night Bells Ring is delightfully creepy . . .” —Booklist, Starred Review
“VERDICT Seamlessly blending Western, ancient evil, and climate horror tropes, Kaplan (It Will Just Be Us) has created an immersive, chilling, and compelling tale that fans of Christina Henry and Camilla Sten will devour.” —Library Journal
“When the Night Bells Ring is the most terrifying vampire tale in half a century. Jo Kaplan could make a bucket feel haunted, and the horrors she populates old mines and frontier towns with arm the dark with nightmares for days after a reader visits them. Truly, it’s a brilliant novel of survival, greed, and corruption that lingers in the mind like a wound that won’t heal.”—Jef Rouner, author of Stranger Words
"Kaplan’s compelling page turner—Daaayam! If you want a thrill ride full of twists and turns, you don’t need a roller coaster; read this book! A story within a story; a horrific thriller within a haunting suspense. I see this as a movie that everyone will talk about."—Catherine Jordan, reviewer for HorrorTree
“Set in an unforgiving, sun-bleached desert landscape, When The Night Bells Ring is a terrifying, yet hauntingly beautiful novel with a cast of resourceful, fierce women determined to survive their circumstances. Within her complex, interwoven dual narratives, Kaplan masterfully conveys a sense of looming dread in a failing 19th century mining town full of sinister secrets, and the ghost town it has become by the time two latter day refugees of climate change arrive in search of that most precious commodity—water. Engrossing, atmospheric, and shot through with claustrophobic horror, this is the kind of story you can get lost in.”—Paulette Kennedy, author of Parting The Veil
“I soon found myself consuming page after page of compelling narrative of likeable characters and horrific circumstance.” —Ginger Nuts of Horror
“Jo Kaplan has fashioned an experience like none other, where forgotten curses and future terrors collide. Highly recommended for horror fans whose TBRs consist of VanderMeer-worthy climate disaster novels and the creepiest of creature features, reading When the Night Bells Ring is like slinking through a mine shaft with only a single, dying flashlight to rely on . . . while behind you, the sound of footsteps—and the tinkling of bells—grows ever-louder.” —Christa Carmen, author of Something Borrowed, Something Blood-Soaked