Cover Image: Beneath the Stairs

Beneath the Stairs

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Member Reviews

Not a traditional thriller, which made it all the more interesting; it incorporates family drama and processing trauma and grief, all while quietly twisting in a (possibly) haunted house. A good mix of creepy ghost story, childhood friendships forged and forgiveness.

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I really really really wanted to love this book. It sounded so creepy and the first few chapters really sucked me in, but I am sad to say I didn't really like it. It felt very long and I thought this was a horror novel? There wasn't very much horror involved in my opinion. Nothing was surprising or really all that interesting. It felt bland. I'm sad to say it wasn't for me

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3.75 stars!

Thank you to Netgalley and Atria Books for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Deep in the woods in the Octagon House, a man killed his wife and two young daughters. One summer night, an emboldened fourteen-year-old Clare and her best friend, Abby, ventured into the Octagon House. Clare came out, but a piece of Abby never did. Twenty years later, an adult Clare receives word that Abby has attempted suicide at the Octagon House and now lies in a coma. With little to lose and still grieving after a personal tragedy, Clare returns to her roots to uncover the darkness responsible for Abby’s accident.

I was genuinely kinda freaked out by this book. Especially with the prologue, I feel like there was definitely a chilly atmosphere that had me intrigued by the entire book. I think my biggest problem was the addition of one of the POVs which I didn't feel added anything at all to the story, and I was a little confused by the ending. Besides that I thought this was a solid horror novel!

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Fount this to be creepy and boring. I overall enjoyed it to give it three stars but I felt like it could have been more.

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It really dragged. Could have easily been 100 pages shorter. Had it's spooky moments, but wish it had more cohesion.

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3.5 stars rounded up. Beneath the Stairs is an excellent supernatural thriller that kept me so engrossed, I read it in only a few sittings.

Deep in the forests of the Adirondacks sits the Octagon House, an abandoned home with a dark history. When Clare's childhood best friend Abby tries to commit suicide in the house's basement, Clare is summoned back to the town of Sumner's Mills to confront the ghosts of her past, both literal and figurative.

Yes, the plot of this novel sounds somewhat generic and similar to that of a lot of other thrillers being published today. But what sets Beneath the Stairs apart from the others is its vivid atmosphere, rich and authentic characterizations, and masterful plotting. Jennifer Fawcett seamlessly weaves three separate timelines in prose that is both poignant and laced with tension. This is a suspenseful, thought-provoking, and chilling debut with a lot of heart, and Fawcett's writing gives me Jennifer McMahon and Simone St. James vibes.

The narrative could have been tightened up a bit, and there are a few aspects of the plot that are left unresolved, but overall I was impressed with Beneath the Stairs and will definitely pick up whatever Fawcett writes next.

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Beneath the stairs was part mystery, part paranormal thriller. I found the MC to be a bit too damaged and derranged to really get behind. The premise was great but not something I'd buy on my own

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This book was so good and atmospheric! It brought the creep factor I was looking for and added twists that I did not see coming! I will be watching for more from this author. The writing style was relatable and brought me in and then scared the crap out of me! I have stairs in my house and I will never be the same again!

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Creepy and suspenseful with atmospheric writing. This will keep you up at night until you finish.
Many thanks to Atria Books and to NetGalley for providing me with a galley in exchange for my honest opinion.

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Beneath the Stairs is a twisty thriller ghost story that is more than worth the read. Local haunted house known as "Octagon House" is where a man killed his wife and two daughters years ago. Clare and Abby spent the night when they were fourteen as many kids dared to try and do. Now, it's been twenty years and Clare receives word that Abby tried to kill herself in the Octagon House and is in a coma. The writing is excellent with strong characterization. Highly recommended to anyone looking for a haunting thriller. Be sure to check out Beneath the Stairs today!

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If you are looking for a creepy read that centers around a mysterious and possibly deadly haunted house, this is for you! This is an atmospheric debut that was entertaining and very intriguing. Why is the house an obsession? What secrets are waiting to be revealed about the strange Octagon House? The past comes back with a vengence proving that you can run, but you can't hide! Thank you NetGalley and Atria Books for my copy.

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So I really don't even know how to rate this one. I needed to know what happened but it's like the thriller that never ends!!!! Lol I feel this book could have been like 100+ pages shorter. Also I feel like a lot was left unanswered. Who doesn't tell the police they just stumbled upon a graveyard of bodies? Who could live with knowing that and never saying anything?

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This was an enjoyable read. I don’t know how I truly felt about Clare, but I really enjoyed the mystery and spook factor of the story. I felt like I did have some trouble fully understanding what happened in the past and did not like the switching of perspectives for this piece. However, Beneath the Stairs had an overall great atmosphere and kept my turning the pages.

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publishing house for an advanced copy.

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Enjoyment: 3.5
Total rating: 3.71

I enjoyed Fawcett's writing, even though I feel that the plot itself was a little scrambled. Considering Beneath the Stairs is her debut novel, I am optimistic she will only get better at planning the story and tying up loose ends.

Beneath the Stairs slowly builds up to its third act tension and pace. The house itself evokes a mysterious, eerie and claustrophobic atmosphere. Some of the timelines are more interesting than others, but they all collectively serve the same purpose.

I am interested in reading her next book.


Disclaimer: In exchange for an honest review, I am thankful to the publisher and NetGalley for providing a copy of Beneath the Stairs.

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Many thanks to NetGalley and Atria Books for gifting me a digital ARC of the debut novel by Jennifer Fawcett - 4.5 stars rounded up!

When Clare and Abby were teenagers, they went into an abandoned and rumored haunted house buried deep in the woods known as the Octagon House. Neither came out the same. The house was the scene of a multiple murder years ago, where a man was convicted of killing his entire family. Clare finally left her upstate NY hometown but came back twenty years later after receiving word that Abby had gone back into the house and was now in a coma. But Clare can't deny she feels the same pull to go back into the house.

What a gripping debut! There are multiple points of view as well as different timelines but the author seamlessly made all the transitions. This was part horror, part mystery, part thriller all wrapped up in a book that I couldn't put down. I really liked all the characters (well, most of them!) and could feel their emotions, plus the creepy woods vibe added to the story! Extra points for a setting and author from Upstate NY where I live! Can't wait to read more from this author.

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DNF. Unfortunately, this was a book I started multiple times but could just not get into. I appreciate having the opportunity to read this book, it was just not a good fit for me as a reader. Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for my gifted review copy.

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LOVED this book. I was hooked from the beginning and couldnt put this one down. Highly recommend this to anyone.

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A chilling read, that really makes sure to use atmospheric type chills! Written phenomenally, fast paced and in a manner that really kept my attention! Lots of fun twisty turns, chills, thrills, and shocks! Would definitely highly recommend this to my fellow thrill seekers!

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Beneath the Stairs

Genre: Thriller/Mystery
Pub Date: 2.22.2022
Star Rating: ☆☆☆

Review:

I started this book before bed one night, and as soon as the Octagon House made its appearance, I had to shut the book and pick it up in the daylight. The beginning was challenging as it was a lot slower than I anticipated, but that was mainly due to the author setting the backstory for the house and its previous occupants. While it took me a bit to get into the story, I anxiously awaited the chapters centered around the Octagon House as they were terrifying.

There were aspects to the story that I didn’t love: The ‘mean girl’ vibe from the chapters from 1998 was over the top and made me roll my eyes, but they were a relatively accurate representation of just how terrible girls can be. Then there was the storyline involving the main character Clare and her husband Josh — in my opinion, it’s a backstory that I see too often in thrillers.

🕰 Multiple timelines (1936, 1965, 1998, present)
🏚 Terrifying house with all kinds of secrets
🐌 Slow to start
🙃 Predictable, but interesting ending

❌- Domestic violence, cancer, graphic miscarriage (probably one of the worst I’ve read)

Overall, it was an exciting story that kept my attention and gave me lots of goosebumps – especially when it came to the creepy Octagon House.

If you discovered a sealed door in an abandoned house, would you try to open it? Absolutely not; Beneath the Stairs is precisely why I wouldn’t. In fact, I think I’d leave the whole house alone and never come back.

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The characters are difficult to get attached to. The twist of this story just was not climactic and not really surprising . Got bored in the middle of the book.

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