Dan Simmons is famous for his much-heralded SF epic "Hyperion Cantos" (winner of the 1990 Hugo Award for SF), but he has written many other books, horror as well as SF.
"Carrion Comfort" is one of his earlier horror books. It is a chilling story about a group of vampire-like, mutated humans, who do not feed on blood, but on other people's minds. Their so-called Ability enables them to enter a person's mind, take over control and force the victim to do whatever they want him to. Their favourite game is putting their victims up to killing other people.
Dr. Saul Laski, a Jewish psychiatrist, accidentally meets one of these 'mind rapists' during World War II in a concentration camp in Poland. He manages to escape and decides to spend the rest of his life searching for this horrible character. A series of killings in the town of Charleston in 1980 finally puts Laski on to the right track. In collaboration with Natalie Preston, a girl whose father has been murdered by one of these creatures, he follows the bloody trail left by the mind vampires.
This is not just another vampire story. It is an original and disturbing tale about a small group of apparently ordinary people, whose insatiable appetite for violence and their ability to control other people's minds transforms them into monsters. The vivid descriptions of the principal characters and of the 'mind rapes' experienced by the vampires' victims, really send shivers down your spine. In spite of the generally dark and gloomy atmosphere of the book, Simmons occasionally manages to squeeze in some rather funny passages too.
If you're into horror stories and you'd like to read a really good one, try "Carrion Comfort". I'm sure you won't be disappointed.