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Nothing says "holiday spirit" like a harrowing investigation into a brutal, horrific tragedy about a murdered 21-year-old woman. OK, so Richard Lloyd Parry's People Who Eat Darkness is the polar opposite of light holiday reading, but that doesn't make one of 2012's best new releases any less important.

Spending more than 10 years with victim Lucie Blackman's loved ones, Parry got the heart-wrenching bottom of the blonde tourist's disappearance, and eventually revealed murder, in Tokyo back in the summer of 2000. Covering both sides, Parry also explores the psyche of Joji Obara, Blackman's killer and the biggest reason why People Who Eat Darkness should scare you more than any new Stephen King book ever could.