Cover Image: The Last House on Needless Street

The Last House on Needless Street

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Member Reviews

Riveting!
What was, isn't ... and what is, wasn't.
I was hooked from the beginning. All the twists and turns... WOW!... 


#TheLastHouseonNeedlessStreet #NetGalley
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Ted is a recluse living in an old, dilapidated home with boarded windows on a dead end street. He shares this home with his daughter, Lauren and his cat, Olivia. This small family is a bit odd to say the least. Lauren is never allowed to leave the house, the cat reads the bible (yes, I said the cat reads the bible), and Ted is drinking away his troubles and trying to ignore his many memory lapses.

Years before, Ted was associated with the disappearance of a young girl named Lulu. His name was in the newspaper as a suspect and although Ted did have an alibi for this crime, not everyone was convinced that he was completely innocent.  Was Ted responsible for the disappearance of Lulu?

This was a very interesting book and something completely different for me. Catriona Ward is masterful at weaving this story together bit by bit. Try to avoid any spoilers before reading, as this one will leave you guessing. If you are looking for a book that is different and will put you out of your comfort zone, you found it! 

Many thanks to NetGalley and Macmillan-Tor/Forge for my ARC in exchange for my honest review.

This review will be posted to my Instagram Blog (@coffee.break.book.reviews) in the near future.
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Dark, creepy, terrifying but the writing was the best I've seen and I was immediately pulled into the story and invested in the characters.
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352 pages

5 stars

It took me a very long time to write this review. I thought about this book for days and pondered what I could say to do it justice. The book is somewhat promoted to be of the horror genre. It is not. It solidly fits into an intense study of abnormal psychology. This book made me cry.

A man named Ted, his sometimes daughter and a cat live in a ramshackle house whose windows are boarded up. The man has drilled holes in the boards to peek out. He sees someone who says he is a psychologist (but is he really?), but doesn't talk to him about anything important. He just collects the pills the man gives him. 

He lives an isolated llife, hunting the personals, but never gets up the courage to actually meet anyone. His cat provides the love he needs. She is very affectionate. And on the days that his daughter visits – oh, she can be a terror – the atmosphere in the house is mixed. Olivia the cat hides from the girl. 

His mother was very abusive, but the man never thought of it as abuse for he knew nothing else. His father left the family when he was young. Then, his mother went away and he was alone. Now he just has Olivia and his daughter. 

He knows he is not “normal.” 

This book is absolutely wonderful. I readily became obsessed with finishing it, but at the same time, I didn't want it to end. I cannot begin to describe the effect it had on me. I must confess to a background in clinical psychology, so I cottoned on pretty quickly as to what was going on with Ted. I was devastated and so very sad for him.

I want to thank NetGalley and Macmillian-Tor/Forge/Tor Nightfire for forwarding to me a copy of this heartrending and wonderful book for me to read, enjoy and review. The opinions expressed here are my own.
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Loved this story so much and I can’t wait to see what the author comes up with next! The back and forth between timelines, along with the creativity of the angles and perspectives of the characters, has stuck with me since I finished the last chapter.
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I honestly gave this book a chance to prove all the great reviews it received from the horror greats (Stephen King!), but I really could not get into it...I wasn't even partially afraid! Sorry!
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Wow. My emotions during this novel really ran the gamut: from horror and disgust to empathy and curiosity. I don’t want to give anything away, as the last third of the book really pivots in a new direction, but I am so glad I read this.  Don’t go into this expecting to be scared exactly, although there are some pretty terrible things happening. This is definitely worth a read for those who are into all things dark and twisty. Absolutely unlike anything I’ve read before. 4.5 stars.
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Six-year-old Lulu disappeared one summer day from a lake in Washington State eleven years ago. Now her sister has tracked down the final suspect in her long-cold case and is determined to find answers. 

Creeping, thrilling, and a wild ride, this will be one book you won't be able to put down.  Between a  very strange man, a crumbling house, a misbehaving daughter, and a talking cat, this story unfolds in a beautifully creepy way that keeps the reader on the edge of their seat.
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Catriona Ward has crafted a tale that keeps you enthralled from beginning to end. It is exquisitely yet simply written, capturing the essence of each character's depth and intricacies while making the reader care about them, no matter what they may have done.
However, to call this a horror novel is, in my opinion, a disservice. Horrors leave you frightened and unable to sleep at night for fear of what may lurk in the dark. There are definitely horrors IN the book, but it is more of a psychological thriller with an underlying mystery than a horror novel. So if you are hesitating to read this book because horror isn't something you enjoy, I humbly suggest you give it a try. 
When reviewing this book, it would be so easy to accidently include a spoiler. And such a mistake would truly spoil the novel. The author takes you on a journey, unravelling a tapestry slowly and carefully until an ending that I expect very few will see coming, on more than one level.
I came away from this somewhat shocked, saddened, and yet satisfied at the end. It will likely stick with me for a while, which is, after all, what a book is supposed to do.
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Review Copy

The writing is as gorgeously imaginative as it gets and drew me down into this tale like no other. It's told from many different points of view giving the reader the perspective needed to figure out what is going on.

But everything you think you know is wrong.

Do not read a single review that even smacks of giving away even the smallest fragment of storyline. This is one story you'll be glad that you went into knowing nothing.  And when you break out the tissues mak sure you save plenty for the stunning, no, make that shocking conclusion.  You're going to need them.

This is psychological horror at its very best.

THE LAST HOUSE ON NEEDLESS STREET  gets my vote for the best book of the year.  Hope you think so too.  Don't waste a second, you can order it from Tor/Forge.
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THE LAST HOUSE ON NEEDLESS STREET
BY CATRIONA WARD

This was a book that could give me nightmares. It started out harmless enough but once I was into it at about fifty two percent it was deeply disturbing. Stephen King and his son Joe Hill had endorsed it and since lately I have seen Stephen King endorsing many books I am skeptical about some of his endorsements. On the contrary his lesser known for their family roots is Stephen King's son Joe Hill who I found out about fifteen years ago on a frigid Winter night at an independent bookstore is a talented writer. I remember meeting him like it was yesterday and Joe Hill was a very humble author who was kind and I remember having so much respect for Joe Hill because although he could have easily been published by using a name and get instant fame by using the connection to his internationally world famous father, Stephen King, he chose to use the (then) unknown name, Joe Hill. Joe Hill endorsed this book and that is the reason I gave it a try and I am so glad that I did. Joe Hill could have taken the easy route and rode on the coattails of his world famous father but he has risen through the ranks of distinguished author's of this genre with anonymously earning his place by his extreme talent. I knew that an endorsement from Joe Hill was not hype and that this book would be the real deal and it was. This book is deserving of more than five stars.

When I got to about fifty two percent in I was asking myself why am I reading a book that could be so scary that it could easily give me nightmares? I mean this is rare that I feel spine tingling chills as I did with Catriona Wards new book called, "The Last House on Needless Street." Yet, I couldn't put this book down it held my attention and I was enjoying the thrills and chills during a stifling hot ninety degree plus Summer day on my youngest son's birthday. I had a 1:30 appointment that afternoon that I postponed because I had to keep reading. This novel is one that I never will forget for the beauty of the prose, yet it still was scary enough but never in a gratuitous graphic way.

For fans of thrillers you won't go wrong with picking up this fantastic roller coaster ride that had me totally gripped. Reading this reminded me of a life altering moments when I watched the movie "Psycho," for the first time when I was aged ten or eleven. This book reminded me of Norman Bates and his crazy mother but in the end I was completely wrong. In the Afterward, Catriona Ward, explains her reasons for writing this outstanding novel and I had so much respect for her for taking on such an honorable subject matter and illuminating it in such a noble way. I LOVED THIS BOOK and it will be a long time and an even longer dry spell for me before I get to read a horror genre that wows me as much as this one did. I will be recommending this to all of my friends and family who love great reading experiences. I am definitely buying this in the hardcover physical copy to place on that special shelf of favorites that I must own. This was Sooooooooooo Great!

Publication Date: September 28, 2021

A huge Thank you to Net Galley, Catriona Ward and Macmillan-Tor/Forge Publishing for being so incredibly generous for sharing with me my ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

#TheLastHouseonNeedlessStreet #CatrionaWard #MacmillanTorForgePublishing #NetGalley
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So I finished this book an hour ago and I am already rereading it. What in the hell is this book? Why is it so addictive? It’s so terrifying. But there was a genuine LOL moments in there, not at all darkly humored but the kind of genuine belly laugh you get from a sly pun about a late night talk show hosted by a cat. But that's the kind of humor needed when you are reading a book that keeps you so on edge that every sense is heightened. This is a great book see you on the other side of my double header reader theater.
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Horror? Suspense? Good review by Stephen King? I love Stephen King so any book he recommended I just had to read. 

It’s a different book, I’ve never read anything like it before.

I wanted so much to get done with the book and give it glowing praise. I can’t. The book is written awkwardly and there’s a reason for that, but the awkward writing makes it hard to get into the story and is a jumbled mess. The writing feels like Ted is a child and not an adult with a child and this book feels like it was written by a child, This book is not a page turner by any stretch. I wouldn’t call it horror, bizarre maybe, but not horror, I can’t recommend the book. I had so much hope going in but found that hope dashed pretty quickly in the first chapter as I slogged through it.

Pros: It’s a different book and I have not read anything like it before.

Cons: Awkward writing that feels like it was written by a child and not an adult. Jumbled story. Certainly wouldn’t categorize it as horror.
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One thing I enjoy about books, over just about any other form of media, is its ability to manipulate perspective. Outside of a few notable examples, most of the visual forms require the viewer to remain in a neutral, third-person perspective, but in a novel, our window into the world can be anything the writer can imagine. 

It's this manipulation of perspective that makes The Last House on Needless street such a compelling read, as it goes beyond simply an unreliable narrator, to nearly half of a dozen of them. Constantly switches voices, sometimes getting mixed commentary on the same situation, creates many sides to the mysteries at the heart of the novel, until we're left staring into a cloudy prism, knowing something brilliant but troubling is lurking within, but not knowing how to clear away the dust. By the time the dust clears and everything comes to light, all of these relatable characters have taken us on meaningful, unforgettable journeys, even if they never left the confines of that dark, lonely house on Needless Street. 

The Last House on Needless Street hits hard, but not in the way I was expected, While it certainly is tense, and horrifying, and at times violent, it also has a sense of loneliness and sorrow in its bones that creeps in as you read. I know for one that I was left weeping in the final stages of the book, something that virtually never happens to me. Ward makes us care deeply for Ted, Olivia, Lauren, Dee, and the rest of the broken, trouled souls that call this book home, and in the process creates a book that transcends its own genre to become something truly meaningful. 

A huge thanks to NetGalley and Tor Nightfire for giving me the opportunity to experience this lovely book, and be sure to grab your copy when it hits shelves in September 2021.
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I stayed up WAY past my bedtime reading this DARK, COMPLEX, TWISTED, disturbingly delicious psychological thriller.   

You will fall in LOVE with Olivia - the charming house cat who reads the Bible,  has a mind of her own,  and NEVER leaves the boarded up, unkept house.  You will FEAR  and LOATHE Ted - the recluse, CREEPY man who is mentally unstable TO. THE. CORE!!!!!  And you will be EXTREMELY  scared, nervous and fearful for Ted’s daughter - Lauren! 

Suffocating, claustrophobic, and utterly horrifying, this book will grip at your heart strings on page ONE (1) and you’ll find yourself biting your nails until the very end. This is a must read for every fan of horror AND, f you think you have it figured out -  think again,  because you don’t! 

Publication date is September 28 -  perfect timing for Halloween!! 🎃 

Synopsis:  In a boarded-up house on a dead-end street at the edge of the wild Washington woods lives a family of three.

A teenage girl who isn’t allowed outside, not after last time.
A man who drinks alone in front of his TV, trying to ignore the gaps in his memory.
And a house cat who loves napping and reading the Bible.

An unspeakable secret binds them together, but when a new neighbor moves in next door, what is buried out among the birch trees may come back to haunt them all.
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This book had me on the edge of my seat. The beginning was a little slow getting into it but it picked up quickly. There were several times where I audibly gasped and said things like, “Wait...what?” 

I love the points of view that this story is told. Reading a story from the point of view of a cat was definitely different but I think those parts were some of my favorites. 

There were moments that were difficult to read so I would definitely recommend looking up some trigger warnings if you feel like you may be affected.
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I have to say, I was extremely excited to receive an electronic ARC of this novel, after the immense hype for this novel. Unfortunately, I did not find that the novel met the hype. 

Let's start off with some of the good: Do not read the afterword prior to the book (obviously!), but let me say, first, that the afterword gives a very good synopsis of how this book came to be, and I rather enjoyed learning of the progression. Second, the novel is partially written from the point of view of a cat, which I had never experienced before, and I found this was a unique, fun experience. 

I give this a solid three stars. The book was not bad, I just didn't think it was more than average. For nearly the first 70% of the novel, I was having to force myself to continue turning pages. It was rather slow to progress, and I didn't think the big reveal left me thinking 'OMGF', which is what I am looking for when giving a book a 4 or 5 star review. 

That said, Ms. Ward has created some very interesting characters. Mr. Bannerman's quirky food combinations are disconcerting, yet charming and I rather enjoyed that. Olivia, the tuxedo cat, has her own charming quirks regarding a bible, the Lord, and her hunting habits. What was most exciting/intriguing though, personally for me, regarding character, was that the characters I found myself rooting for turned out to be less than savory individuals, and the ones I despised had interesting, complex pasts that made them more appealing. 

The book is a solid psychological thriller, and Catriona Ward is sure to appeal to a large audience. I look forward to seeing more of Ms. Ward's works.
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I went into this with absolutely no knowledge of the plot and it was the right call. Whatever you think is happening or is going to happen, you're probably wrong. I couldn't put this down, partially because I just NEEDED to understand what the hell was happening! I respect and admire the author for upending a really harmful mental health trope in horror and for working with real people and groups affected (I have to be vague to not give anything away!).
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The Last House on Needless Street is one of those books that leaves you thinking. It's really difficult to review, because almost anything specific I might say would feel like a spoiler. Definitely one where you'll benefit from going in knowing less! But, I'll say a few things.

1. It's WEIRD. It all came together at the end, but at least one POV is unusual enough that it took quite some getting used to.
2. Keep reading until the end! There were parts that had me skeptical, but in the end, the story wrapped up powerfully and effectively.
3. Catriona Ward really knows how to paint a creepy picture.

Is that enough info for you? No? I hope you'll read it anyway, hah.

Thank you Tor Nightfire for providing a free advanced electronic copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
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Warning: I'm not typically a reader of horror!  

I have incredibly mixed feelings about this story. I was totally involved, and also "grossed out" by so much of what happened in Ted's life with his daughter and his cat - quite uncomfortable and so anxious in not knowing where this story was going. This is not an easy book to process. And after finishing it, I'm still bothered. Thank you, Catriona Ward for the "Afterword" chapter - it clarified some of the story, and also brought to mind another book with a similar topic written in the 70s.

Thank you to NetGalley for allowing me to read and review The Last House on Needless Street.
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