An Indie Next Pick!
A LibraryReads Top 10 Pick!
A Library Journal Editors' Pick! STARRED reviews from Library Journal and Publishers Weekly!
"The buzz...is real. I've read it and was blown away. It's a true nerve-shredder that keeps its mind-blowing secrets to the very end." —Stephen King
Catriona Ward's The Last House on Needless Street is a shocking and immersive read perfect for fans of Gone Girl and The Haunting of Hill House.
“The new face of literary dark fiction.”—Sarah Pinborough, New York Times bestselling author of Behind Her Eyes
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.
“The buzz building around Catriona Ward's The Last House on Needless Street is real. I've read it and was blown away. It's a true nerve-shredder that keeps its mind-blowing secrets to the very end. Haven't read anything this exciting since Gone Girl.” —Stephen King
“A chilling and beautiful masterpiece of suspense, cunningly plotted and written with the elegant imagination of a Shirley Jackson or a Sarah Waters. I was completely enthralled.” —Joe Hill, New York Times bestselling author of The Fireman
"A breathtakingly ambitious book, gorgeously written, and never once shies away from showing you its fangs and its beautiful blood-filled heart. Stop reading this blurb already and open the damn book." —Paul Tremblay, author of A Head Full of Ghosts
"A masterpiece. Beautiful, heartbreaking and quietly uplifting. One of the most powerful and well-executed novels I've read in years." —Alex North, author of The Whisper Man
“Absolutely brilliant. This is extraordinary, high-wire-act horror, audacious as hell.” —Christopher Golden, New York Times bestselling author of Red Hands
"Dark and creepy, sad and wonderfully strange. It kept me glued and guessing right up to the end—I loved every inch of it." —Mike Mignola, creator of Hellboy
“This book was like an onion. Layer after layer after layer and then you're crying and somebody's got a knife. A brutal, twisty, puzzle box of a book. I stayed up way past my bedtime.” —T. Kingfisher, author of The Hollow Places
“What did I just read?! One perfect sentence after the other ... this is a story I wish I knew how to write—and I'm thrilled that Ward pulled off this trick of a book.” —Rachel Howzell Hall, author of And Now She's Gone
“THIS IS THE BEST HORROR NOVEL I HAVE EVER READ. Even Shirley Jackson, her Majesty, would have to concede to this one.” —Natasha Pulley, author of The Watchmaker of Filigree Street
“Books like this don't come around too often... I would say I inhaled this in one, but I think I was too busy holding my breath throughout. Bravo.” —Joanne Harris, New York Times bestselling author of The Gospel of Loki
"The new face of literary dark fiction." —Sarah Pinborough, New York Times bestselling author of Behind Her Eyes
“Incredible. Absolutely creep-inducing, skin-crawling, even agonising; and also so beautiful, both in writing and heart. One of my favourite things in ages.” —James Smythe, author of The Explorer
“Incredible. Just incredible. Throughout, I didn't know where to put my heart. A breathtaking, fiercely beautiful novel.” —Rio Youers, author of Lola on Fire
“Breathtakingly brilliant. Dark and relentlessly twisty, the best thing I've read this year.” —Lisa Hall, author of The Party
“Not only edge of the seat, terrifying suspenseful horror, but it also broke my heart into tiny pieces. Such exquisite writing.” —Muriel Gray, author of The Ancient
- National author tour
- National print and online publicity campaign
- National Advertising Campaign including Entertainment Weekly, The New Yorker, Goodreads, Book Riot, BuzzFeed, and The Mary Sue
- Major Pre-order Campaign with Promotional Item
- Prepublication Buzz Campaign including Trade and Consumer Advertising
- Major Early Reader Trade and Consumer Review Campaign including advertising, major ARC mailings, giveaways via NetGalley, Shelf Awareness Pro, and Goodreads
- Indie Next Campaign
- Digital Preview
- Extensive NetGalley Outreach
- Featured title at San Diego and New York Comic-Cons
- Author Videos
- #NeedlessStreet Digital Marketing Campaign, including author guest posts, social media promotions, targeted eblasts, and sweepstakes
- Featured title in the #VoyagesXVengeance Marketing and Publicity Campaign
- Cross Promotion with Macmillan Audio
- Tor.com Promotions including Excerpts and Review
- Extensive Book Club Outreach with Designed Discussion Guide
- Library Marketing Campaign
- Active on Twitter: @CatrionaWard
Available on NetGalley
A dark story of murder and revenge? A supernatural thriller? I mean, it's endorsed by Stephen King, so that's a helluva introduction. And then, not to be shallow, but that cover is fantastic. 'The Last House on Needless Street' has it all...death and madness, humor and sadness, and perhaps even a sprinkling of redemption. The prose and characterization are top notch. A page turner for sure. Well worth the time investment.
This psychological horror novel is about a missing girl and the big sister who tries to find her. It’s a book about a whole lot more, too. PROS: The feelings of the characters are so deep (even when the feelings are hidden, which only makes sense when you read the story) that they drill through the book and into your head and leave you reeling. Another thing Ward does so skillfully is write distinctive voices for each character. I could tell immediately whose head we were in without looking at the chapter titles. (Each chapter titles says whose point of view it is). I particularly liked Olivia’s voice. She is aloof and yet grounded at the same time, like a fussy, fastidious feline. I can tell Ward did a lot of research for this book. The psychological horror aspect felt true-to-life. I especially liked the sprinkles of clues throughout the book. The ending was unpredictable yet not a surprise because of all the clues. The ending was perfect! CONS: You have to read this book with enough patience to think, “That doesn’t make sense, but I’m sure it’ll make sense later.” I found passages like that intriguing, but I’m sure some readers will be frustrated. OVERALL: I’m thrilled to have received this book through NetGalley. Five big stars!
This book is JAW DROPPING. ASTOUNDING. It is so freaking well written. I honestly cannot believe how amazing this book is. It is freaky and psychological and so twisted with twists throughout. The writing quality is not the typical thriller horror writing that I'm used to. It's perfect. I am so happy I ordered a special edition of this book because I will be rereading it and I will be buying copies for everyone I know. Thank you SO much Catriona Ward for writing this phenomenal book.
This is one of those books that starts out as one thing…and ends as quite another. When I started this, I thought it was kind of a standard thriller. I was also very confused about one character. Extremely confused. The kind of confused and unhappy where my mind was screaming DO NOT LIKE and I honestly questioned if this was the book for me. Luckily, I kept reading. I ended up loving this. This was one of those books where I started out thinking it was definitively not a five star book and I ended completely floored. It is a thriller, but it’s also a completely heartbreaking tale. The author has a particularly devious way of telling the story. It’s sinuous, but you start to get glimmers of the truth until you finally, truly understand. I’m so glad I read this one. And yeah…it ended up being an absolute five star read for me! *ARC Provided via Net Galley
Rating: 9.5/10 Thanks to the publisher and author for an advance reading copy of The Last House on Needless Street for review consideration. This did not influence my thoughts or opinions. The Last House on Needless Street is as good, if not better, than advertised. Believe all of the hype surrounding this novel from names like Stephen King, Joe Hill, Paul Tremblay, Alex North, Sarah Pinborough and a litany of others. It is an absolutely mesmerizing novel; a bone-chilling masterwork of dark fiction that is as disquieting as it is heart-wrenching. A true standout in the genre. I’ve been watching the hype surrounding this book for a while now and have been waiting on pins and needles for an advance reading copy so I could absolutely devour it. Not many novels have the ability to instantaneously sink its claws into you, shred every nerve in your body, and leave you a messy puddle on the floor… but this one did. The only others that come to mind are Gone Girl, The Only Good Indians, You, and maybe a handful of others. I’m sure most of you have already seen the Deadline article where Andy Serkis (yes, THAT Andy Serkis) alongside Jonathan Cavendish will be making a film adaptation (if not, here is the link.) I’m not going to say that is unheard of before a book has even been published world-wide, but it is still a super noteworthy thing. You know, on top of the dozens of other massive praiseworthy articles, lists, etc. it is already making its rounds on. What I am saying is… READ THIS FREAKING BOOK AS SOON AS YOU CAN. I found Ward’s writing very intriguing, especially in the onset. It is a completely different style than what I am used to which is probably part of the reason I found it impossible to put down. The way in which she wrote the beginning couple of chapters asked way more questions that it answered and had me searching page after page well into the darkest part of the evening. Much like the synopsis on Goodreads… This is the story of a serial killer. A stolen child. Revenge. Death. And an ordinary house at the end of an ordinary street. All these things are true. And yet they are all lies… You think you know what’s inside the last house on Needless Street. You think you’ve read this story before. That’s where you’re wrong. In the dark forest at the end of Needless Street, lies something buried. But it’s not what you think… every time you think you have it figured out, you are completely wrong. Like, WAY wrong. Even after finishing, (which in order to read this section, you HAVE TO FINISH. Otherwise, you will ruin the book for yourself) I had to read Ward’s Afterward where she explains how she came up with the story idea and all of the research she put into it. Utterly fascinating. You’ll fall in love with the characters, hate them, feel sorry for them, and will end up in a pool of your own tears by the final turn of the page. Ward is a very new author to me, and probably most of you. I keep asking myself “WHY?” Why am I just now finding out about her? TLHoNS isn’t a debut; it is actually her 3rd full-length novel. Why did Rawblood and Little Eve fly so far under my radar? Who knows, but I will definitely be purchasing both by the time I am done writing this review. Time to end the review. I simply have nothing else to give. Buy the book and thank me later.
Wow... Now that was not at all what I expected. Seriously, this is one of those books that you go into thinking that you have a vague idea of where it's going to go and then you get through it and realize that you were just played. The author used your expectations against you in the most beautiful way. Bravo! This is a Gothic masterpiece with different viewpoints that take place in a small town where... Let's just say some crazy stuff is happening. It's hard to get into without ruining some of the most amazing twists that I've encountered in a long time, but let's just say that it's important to pay attention to the narrator and their motives. Think House Of Leaves... Not all narrators are reliable. I'll leave it at that. Again, Bravo. Also, if you're a fan of cats be forewarned...you may want to skim past a part of two. I would definitely recommend!
You know how some horror doesn't really scare you because you know you're unlikely to encounter a vampire, werewolf or zombie? This isn't that type of horror. It's something that could happen to you or someone you know. It's doubly scary and it's also literary, glorious words taking on a deep subject. I wanted to immediately call a security company and have my whole house wired up. Like I can afford that. In the first chapter, Ted is speaking quite simply. I thought, "Oh, this will be tedious." But don't let that first chapter fool you. He, and the other characters, are multi-dimensional and in more ways than you can imagine. Other readers kept mentioning a surprising twist, so I thought I'd be prepared. But no, it still caught me off guard. This is the kind of book you keep reading and reading because you're eager to find out what happens. Throughout the book there are three or four people you want to rip out of the story and stomp on. Beware, they are not necessarily the one you are looking for. The child abuse is extremely difficult to read. If you feel you may be triggered, you probably want to stay away. Since I can't afford security, I'll do like one of the characters and start sleeping with a claw hammer beside the bed. (My cat disapproves of this idea and says she'll protect me...by hiding under the covers with me)
A perfect psychological horror book. There was nothing I didn't like about it. Will recommend to customers when it comes in
This is one of the first times I’ve ever needed Goodreads to have a ten stars option. Or eleven. I read this book in five frantic hours - staying up much too late at night because I couldn’t stop reading, then forcing myself to try to get some sleep, tossing and turning, and then giving up at 4:30 am and picking it straight up to finish it. I read like 150+ books a year and NOTHING has compared to this book. This story was not even close to what I was expecting. The writing is gorgeous perfection. The plot is dark and twisty and brutal and uncomfortable and scary and sad and creepy and then weirdly funny and then there’s another layer and another and another and it will make you have ALL OF THE FEELINGS AT THE SAME TIME. Fancy author reviewers have called it “a true nerve-shredder” and “breathless” and “agonizing” and it is all of those things. I cannot stop thinking about this book and am ordering a UK edition because I need a hard copy in my hands NOW.
This is probably the hardest book review I've ever had to write. In the book we have Ted who lives with a teenage daughter and his cat Olivia. We get to see Ted as a child and how he was raised by his mother who is a nurse and his father who is more interested in drink. We meet Dee who's 6 year old sister, Lulu, was kidnapped at the lake close to Ted's house 11 years ago. And we spend a lot of time with Lauren and Olivia. I'm afraid to say much about the characters as I don't want to give anything away. This book was everything I was not expecting. By the description, I expected more of a horror story but what I got was a story that was dark and sad. I can't recommend this book enough. I finished it last night and it is still twirling around in my mind. Very few books stick with me like this has. Do yourself a favor and pick this book up. If you do, you're in for a heck of a ride..
Holy cow, this book. I’ve been left with a lot to process and not in ways that I ever expected. The blurb for the book simply describes it as a story of a serial killer, a stolen child, death, revenge, and an ordinary house on an ordinary street. It IS a story of all these things but none of it is what it appears. I received an early review copy of the soon-to-be-published U. S. edition from Netgalley, and what interested me most was the general premise and it being advertised as both horror and mystery/thriller. I didn’t realize what I would get here, and while it ended up being very different than what I expected, it was an incredible read that ultimately left me processing and reflecting even more, not so much on the general plot or characters but on bigger ideas (like trauma, abuse, and survival, especially as it all relates to the brain). And yes, you will find aspects of this novel to fit firmly within the horror genre. But then to say that this was not a fast-paced “twisty psychological mystery” would also be a lie, because it is that, too. I didn’t see all the subtle twists coming, but when I did, what a revelation. If you tend to enjoy very twisty psychological thrillers, this will be a good one for you, but only as long as you can handle some tougher situations as well (situations that are more of what we see in horror novels ... not necessarily in the form of gore or scary beings but instead a quiet and uneasy violence all its own). Content Warnings: Graphic — child abuse, kidnapping, physics abuse, confinement, and mental illness Moderate — child death, murder, violence, and medical trauma Minor — animal death, death, death of parent, suicide, suicidal thoughts, and suicide attempt
Amazing. My type of horror! The writing was also great it provides a very atmospheric read that I enjoy all night long. Captivating and scary. I didn't know of this author, but I will look up for her in the future and look back to see if she ever did something else!! I highly recommend it!
Man. This book. . Synopsis: "This is the story of a serial killer. A stolen child. Revenge. Death. And an ordinary house at the end of an ordinary street. All these things are true. And yet they are all lies... You think you know what's inside the last house on Needless Street. You think you've read this story before. That's where you're wrong." . From the very beginning, this book sets you off-kilter. It's strange, disjointed, disconcerting. Nothing is as it seems and you know that but you just can't quite grasp how to make it fit. . The story is a Russian nesting box of horror, layers and layers of varying truths to sort through. Every bizarre character is fully realized, broken and beautiful, strong in their fragility. . I could not stop reading this. It was so bizarre, so intriguing, so complex, that I simply had to discover how it would end. . Frightening? Yes, on many levels. Also sad and disgusting and painful and heartbreaking. I will be thinking about this one for a long time.
So, THIS is the book that everyone is talking about. I suppose I will also talk about it. But...I will follow the lead of my fellow book reviewers and not give any plot details. This is especially important for this book, but I rarely talk about plot anyway. I think Christopher Golden took the words out of my mouth about this book: "audacious as hell." It really is. As I was reading and uncovering the layers of mystery, I couldn't believe what Ward was pulling off. I'm actually tempted to take off of work tomorrow, just to think about the nooks and crannies of the plot of this book. Tons of nuance to unpack here. Oh, there is a cat too.
This is by far the best novel I have read in quite some time. Unreliable narrator is perfect. Kept me guessing until the very end. I definitely will recommend this book in all my circles. I will also keep this author on my radar.
Creepy, sad, dark and utterly enthralling! I could not put this down once I started it. I have no idea how to categorize this book....horror, mystery, love story? Maybe all 3 at once. This was one of those stories you hate to see end. Prepare yourself for quite the ride. Thank you NetGalley for the advanced readers copy for review.
A haunting, creepy and rapidly unfolding horror story. It is one of the few books that I had trouble pausing because I was so curious and intrigued-- a good measure of a horror/mystery book. The tale is written in a way that captures you, makes you care for the characters and cheer for a good ending. In the dark house at the end of Needless Street, we meet Ted, a rather forlorn man who cares for his sweet cat and his daughter. He is a recluse in a boarded up, shabby house. A young girl disappeared 11 years ago and a number of young boys have also not been found near a lake nearby. One of his neighbors is the older sister of the Girl with Popscicle who disappeared. The author makes us care for Ted, his daughter, the older sister and a few other neighbors. We are drawn into, trying to understand how all this connects. As a psychologist, I am intrigued by the emotions that I felt as I suspect different solutions to the story. How cleverly written, how complicated life is. Do not assume you know what is going on. I also appreciated the author’s extra material at the end which helps make sense of this incredible mystery and the complicated way that we humans survive.
What a ride! I could not put this book down! You won't see the twists coming! This book lives up the the hype! So many clichés, but in this cases - they are all true!! I really can't say enough good things about this novel. THE LAST HOUSE ON NEEDLESS STREET introduces us to Ted, who is little off, a recluse living in a messy house, dining on pickles and peanut butter. He lives with his bratty daughter, Lauren, and a clever, bible-reading cat named Olivia. And the troubling memories of his mother. We also meet Dee, the sister of a young girl who disappeared many years ago. All of their stories intertwine and merge. Secrets and truths are divulged, making it impossible for the reader to tear themselves away from this book. (I read this book everywhere - sneaking in paragraphs here and there. I could not stop thinking about the story and characters! I was totally obsessed!) Catriona Ward is the sort of writer I can't get enough of. Each character in this book was expertly crafted, the story was compelling, and the twists were cunning. I can't recommend this book enough. If you love a mystery, you will not be disappointed. Thank you Netgalley and Tor/Nightfire for the opportunity to read and review the e-ARC of this book! I'm definitely buying a copy when it comes out in September. I already want to read it again.
It's been a long time since a book has reeled me in and left me so oblivious to the outside world like this one did. This book was the epitome of horror in a way that I never expected it to be and I am still reeling. This is one my favourite books of the year. Beautiful and horrible.
Rarely do I struggle to find words about a book that I loved, but I find myself in that position right now. THE LAST HOUSE ON NEEDLESS STREET blew me away. There are many narratives here and several threads to follow-most of which lead down spoiler lane. But after mulling it over, here is what I've come up with: This tale is beautifully written and I was immediately drawn to these characters and making assumptions about them. The author's skills in character building are nearly unmatched, and I had clear pictures in my head of all of them. Them being: Ted the awkward man who's overweight, and lives in a boarded up house; Lauren, Ted's daughter, who is rarely seen outside because it's much safer for her inside; Olivia, Ted's cat. Olivia likes to read the bible, worship the lord, nuzzle up to Ted and she doesn't go outside either. Lastly, there's Dee whose sister disappeared back when Dee was a teenager and that event has loomed over her life ever since, like a huge dark joy-sucking shadow. The entire book is written in such a way that the mysteries keep piling up and the reader begins to wonder how all these secrets are going to be disclosed before the story comes to an end. But have no doubt, dear reader, when these secrets are unleashed it will leave you off centered and a bit stunned. A sublime book of psychological dark fiction, both beautifully crafted and well told, I know that I'll be reading this book again. Even though it has already divulged all of its secrets to me, there is a certain joy in reading thoughtful, powerful prose. Beyond the enjoyment of the story itself, is the joy of words and how they are put together to create a flawless narrative. A narrative that, in the end, may have made this black-hearted horror lover break down and cry. Maybe. You know what? I just can't do this book justice with my measly words, so I'll just say that THE LAST HOUSE ON NEEDLESS STREET has earned my highest recommendation! *Thank you so very much to Tor/Nighfire and to NetGalley for the e-ARC. paperback ARC and the audio ARC in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it!*
Honestly, this was one of the best books I’ve read in the past five years. At least. I was absolutely riveted from beginning to end, staying up well into the wee hours of the morning in order to finish it. Compulsively readable, lyrical, bittersweet, ultimately hopeful. The subject matter is not for everyone, but I firmly believe those who pass up reading it miss out on a story of survival, adaptation, and humanity amid inhumanity. “The Last House on Needless Street” is an absolute triumph.
Lots of "twisty" thrillers either have a twist you see coming from a mile away, or one that's so nonsensical that it undermines the rest of the plot. Not so here. NEEDLESS STREET is a marvel, a Russian nesting doll of a book that slowly unfurls its reveals one by one without ever losing its deep sense of dread. You really don't get the full picture of what's happened until almost the last page, and it's an amazing ride the entire time. If you've been looking for a book that grabs you by the throat, this is it.
The Last House on Needless Street begin as a modern gothic horror mixed with a touch of magic realism courtesy of Olivia the Bible reading cat, but turns into a deeply personal exploration of the awe-inspiring power of the mind to adapt and survive truly unimaginable circumstances. This latest offering from Ward is deserving of all the accolades it’s receiving, and as it’s already been optioned for film by Andy Serkis’ Imaginarium Productions, I can’t wait for the movie!
Sometimes when I love a book, i REALLY REALLY love (and obsess over) a book, and The Last House on Needless Street is one of those books. The ALL CAPs and the double 'really' are absolutely necessary. The characters. The voice. The Narrative that is embedded so wonderfully, with surprises around every corner. Perhaps because I work as a "bug man" and in the field of mental health, I found this book even more intriguing, but I think it will have universal appeal to horror lovers and thriller lovers alike. There is complexity here that keeps growing. It's the Russian doll with an infinite number of new gems inside. Each time the story went to a new level, and the reading gains momentum with tension and complexity, I was completely invested and along for the roller coaster ride, and then it would dip into something even more deliciously deep and rich. The author takes a lot of risks, and with those risks will come criticism, but for this reader she pulls it off with spectacular talent. As I read, I was reminded of the book Secret Life of Souls by Jack Ketchum, and then I imagined Dallas being alive and reading The Last House on Needless Street and how it seems written exactly for him. Terrible shame he didn't get a chance to read it, but in some ways, the spirit of Ketchum is wrapped up inside Catriona, for she captures some of his writing in both style and substance. Somewhere Ketchum is reading this and, along with True Crime by Samantha Kolesnik, I think the Ketchum spirit is alive and kicking. The less you know about this book the better. But even if you know there are surprises, you wont guess them all (if you say you did, I call BS). Of course, it's not just the twists and turns of the plot, but the unique voice and the author's vivid and tragic characters. There is such empathy for every one of them, which became ever more clear after reading the afterword.
A chilling masterpiece with so many underlying horrors, that surprisingly I rated it a 5 star. It was so brilliantly written I could not underrate such a talented author. With it being such a dark literary fiction, I did not want to be intrigued so deeply. You do not want to miss it if you are a thriller fan. A boarded house at the end Of Needless Street is sure to get your attention. Those creepy woods..... Pay close attention and Capture every detail of the descriptive views into these characters, a girl not allowed outside the house, a house cat's point of view, a secluded man with a loss of memory and they each share a secret. I was wowed by the insight of the characters. At first, I didn't realize what was happening and can't even elaborate without giving it away. I'm still weighing all the hints and clues along the way and reading it a second time is in the near future. You will not be able to figure this one out. Clever, Catriona Ward and good job! Thank you, NetGalley and Macmillan-Tor/Forge for this incredible ARC in exchange for my honest review.
It is 3am. I am trying not to cry. I feel as if I can’t breathe properly. This book is no doubt going to my top favorites. Ever. DEEPLY atmospheric and will leave your mind going 100 miles an hour. I absolutely loved it and will likely never forget this book. It was truly amazing.... Despite the fact due to recent events in my own life, I knew what was going in right away.
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC! This is the story of a serial killer. A stolen child. Revenge. Death. And an ordinary house at the end of an ordinary street. All these things are true. And yet they are all lies... You think you know what's inside the last house on Needless Street. You think you've read this story before. That's where you're wrong. In the dark forest at the end of Needless Street, lies something buried. But it's not what you think... OMG! This is going to be frustrating because I really can't give a review without spoilers! I will say it was the most impressive book I've read this year hands down. A new modern classic. The writing style echoes Shirley Jackson, but has its own unique voice. It's horror/gothic/thriller and so much more. I only wish I could give it more stars than 5 stars. Can not wait to purchase my own copy
First time I am out of words! Anything I may write about this book will be so worthless! None of the words come out my mouth, letters I click, sentences o try to form or expressions I barely articulate will never be enough to reflect how I feel! I’m extremely flabbergasted, shocked, startled! And for the first time after I finish a horror- thriller- gothic- psychological thriller-mystery ( the good dances between all those genres) I deeply feel soooo sad! I deeply cared for characters! If I tell you more, I may give away more about the story! So I’m just shutting my mouth because I don’t want to do anything affecting how you’ll feel about this book and I don’t want to ruin your epic reading experience! I can only see this book truly exceeded my expectations and it’s extraordinary work! It’s not only a serial killer story! It’s not only about a cat recites the Bible perfectly! It’s not only about a girl who is adamant to find the killer who hurt her sister! Or is not about a wild child she needs to be trapped in the house to protect herself from the violence of the outside ( or the outer world should be the one to get protected from her)! And it’s not about bulky, introvert, outcast man who wears same clothes, dealing with her wild daughter and sarcastic cat who hates crime thriller shows on TV, trying to blend in but hardly failing. This book is so much more than these! Just read it and prepare to get shaken to the core! You may start to pick up the pieces in the middle about the big mystery but trust me it’s even bigger and uglier than you may hardly imagine. I have to say this is so different from the horror books I’ve recently read and it’s one of the unique and original works of the year I highly recommend you to give a shot! Millions of thanks to NetGalley and Macmillan / Tor-Forge for sharing this incredible digital reviewer copy with me in exchange my honest opinions.
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!).
Uncomfortable, Shocking, Disturbing and Excellent Horror What a cringey, suspenseful, and riveting story! Catriona Ward has revealed what inevitably comes when a predator's cold, sharp claws sink into the tender heart of a lonely child and never, ever lets go. Her small cast of characters are vivid and unforgettable. I haven't come across a book in some time that kept me guessing until the end so frantically, or made me wish, with sinking heart, that things wouldn't turn out the way I was afraid they would. I was able to obtain a free advance reader's copy of this book courtesy of the author, publisher, and NetGalley. My opinions and endorsement are freely given: this book is a dark gem, but not for the faint of heart.
I have to admit that several times while reading & listening to this story, I almost stopped. But....I couldn't stop. I had to keep on....because I wanted to know The Truth & The Ending! There are a lot of deep, dark things in this story -- abuse of children and animals, violence, etc -- that some readers may need to be aware of before reading this book. Then again, it's a heavy, gothic, horror novel....not a peek-a-boo picture book. We horror readers pretty much know what we may be in for if we delve further than Chapter One. (Just felt it had to be mentioned on this one since there are instances of animal abuse/torture and child abuse - be aware before reading). What a weird, confusing at times, creepy, disturbing and utterly fantastic bit of horror this is! Dark, disturbing, demented -- loved it! I have to admit that I had no earthly clue what was going on for the first few chapters of this book....a obviously crazy hermit guy, his cat, other weirdness....but it WORKS! Horror is supposed to be uncomfortable and I love crazy, creepy stories that make me wonder WTF is going on. I'm not going to say anything about plot....best to go in to this story not knowing what is going on. Be confused. Be uncomfortable. Let the story envelop you. Let the creepy build on its own. Don't read reviews with spoilers. Let this sneak up on you.... I had both an ebook arc and a review audio book....sometimes I read, sometimes I listened, sometimesI did both at once. I find I really love horror novels on audio....it's like ghost story time around a campfire! :) The audio book is narrated by Christopher Ragland. He did a wonderful job! I look forward to more by this author -- she managed to creep me out! :) **I voluntarily read a review copy of this book from Macmillan/Tor and listened to a review copy of the audio book from Macmillan Audio. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.**
Stephen King devotee that I am, I don’t always agree with his pre-hype for new books, but he’s definitely spot on when it comes to The Last House on Needless Street. Along with a great atmosphere ala Silence of the Lambs and a clever, believable writing style, Catriona Ward kept me guessing all the way through to the surprising end.
I really enjoyed this book because it was so vastly different from anything I’ve read. I waited to review it because I needed to sit with it for awhile after. I loved the twists and surprises in the ending. The character development was unreal. I really could picture everything even the therapist. I think this should be a movie. Rating it a 5/5 and agreed with Stephen kings review. This is a must read.
I heard a lot of good things about this book online, so I was really looking forward to checking it out. It was way better than I expected and totally blew me away by how good it was. It's beautifully crafted, both in the way it's written and how the story unravels. The pacing is slow at times but steadily progresses in a satisfying way that kept me invested and wanting to know what happens next. It's dark, creepy, psychologically engaging, and has lots of twists that I didn't see coming. Catriona Ward is an exceptional writer and I can't wait to read more of their work. Thanks to Macmillan-Tor/Forge and NetGalley for the opportunity to read the ARC of this wonderful book.
Wow. Even though I managed to figure out some of the twists, this book is still very powerful. There’s basically nothing I can tell you without spoiling it. You’re just going to have to read it! Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing an ARC. This review contains my honest, unbiased opinion.
I originally heard about this book from someone on youtube. The cover was absolutely beautiful (I don't like the new green cover) and I couldn't wait to get my hands on it. I had never read anything by Catriona Ward before so I wasn't sure what to expect when I picked this up. OH MY GOD! What a adark and disturbing book!!! This story was SO UNIQUE and soooooo more than I bargained for. It started off as one thing, but then took a detour and turned into something else and then there was just twist after twist after twist and you're sitting there with your head spinning because it's so bizarre and beautiful and dark and twisty in the best possible way. This book is so special. I'm surprised I don't have papercuts on my hands from how fast I was turning turn the pages and sometimes I even had to pause and just gather myself because I caught myself subconsciously holding my breath!!! I just finished this book and want to read it again. Right now. PLEASE go into this knowing as little about the story as possible. This book is just A++++++ with my only criticism being that I never wanted it t end and I don't like the new cover. Other than that, this was absolute perfection and I will now be looking for more stuff from Catriona Ward. Ahhhh what a freaking awesome story!!!!!!
This was quite the ride. It felt like two different stories (in that the first half was horror and appeared as one thing but the ending was quite different and was a whole different experience) and I loved them both. I felt so uncomfortable being in Ted's mind, but at the end was rooting for him.
Deliciously creepy and atmospheric with compelling characters and storytelling that is immersive. I read it with the lights on.
Wow. This book was just wow. It’s a very unconventional book and it might take you a bit to get used to it, but I really hope you give it a try because believe me it’s worth it. This is a deeply unsettling and utterly captivating book that is creepy, dark and heartbreaking. It’s unlike anything I’ve read and I thought it was brilliantly done. I truly do not want to say too much because to give anything away would be a disservice. This is one that will keep you guessing as you read it and have you thinking about it long after you finish. 5/5⭐️ Thanks to NetGalley and Tor Nightfire for gifting me this eARC. The Last House on Needless Street will be out in the US on September 28.
I am super picky about suspense/thrillers. In fact, I'm honestly pretty snobby about them. (It's cool, I'll own it.) I despise when an author sacrifices plot, character development, and so many times downright believability for the sake of throwing in some type of spectacular, knock-your-socks-off twist. You will find very books in the suspense/thriller genre on my shelves that I rate 5 stars. This book, readers. The writing is tight. The characters are dimensional. The story is gripping. And I never knew what the heck was going on. I thought it did, and then I didn't. And it wasn't an eye-rolling, that-was-such-a-juvenile-move sort of reaction. It was HOLY-CRAP-THAT-CAME-OUT-OF-NOWHERE-AND-IT-WAS-BRILLIANT. And, can I add, that the above happened more than once? Yes, on more than one occasion I was completely blindsided by the direction the story took. (I had a weird inkling about one twist, but I was only about 20% in the ballpark on what actually happened.) It's fantastic. Truly. This book is already out in the UK (so you can order it on Book Depository - which I may have to do just so I can have my own physical copy), and it will be published here in the US September 28, 2021. Put. It. On. Your. List. **Biggest thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for an advance digital copy of this book.
This book was much better than I expected. In fact, it far exceeded my expectations and I am so thankful I had a chance to read it! WOW! I can't even think of the words to say other than READ THIS BOOK! It's amazing! Haunting, creepy, and extremely well written!
This book is EVERYTHING. If you like to read, you will like this book. It is exactly what one should look for in a book - engaging, page-turning, mysterious, and emotional. I think Ward is an absolutely brilliant writer. It's hard for me to describe this book because I don't want to give anything away, but trust me - this book will stay with you long after you finish.
Wow. This is one of those books that makes me wish Goodreads had a higher rating system, because five stars doesn't seem like enough. <i>The Last House on Needless Street</i> is a masterwork of psychological fiction that is at once terrifying, heartwarming and tragic. It's one of those stories where you feel compelled to reread it as soon as you finish it because you want to go back and see all the clues you missed. Things that seemed to be mistakes or errors in the timeline are actually keys to unlocking the story as a whole. I've never read anything quite like it. The only thing that comes sort of close is <i>The Little Girl Who Was Too Fond of Matches</i> by Gaetan Soucy, in that events aren't altogether clear at first, but there is a pervasive sense of foreboding and <i>wrongness</i> that surrounds everything. This is bound to become an instant classic and I can't recommend it highly enough.
Wow. This book was amazing. It was beautifully written and everything unraveled so nicely. I was so excited to pick this book up, that I will have to read her other books as well! While it wasn’t totally fast-past, Catriona Ward has a way of writing that keeps you on your toes and wanting more. I flew through a majority of this book in one night. Such a fascinating read!
TW: child abuse, kidnapping, mental illness, disassociation, trauma I began The House on Needless Street knowing only that it was a horror novel. At the end of the day, I think that’s truly the best way to consume this book. And consume it I certainly did. I read it’s entirety in less than 24 hours and only stopped to sleep. It’s a twisting, sometimes confusing (in a good way) ride that thrills in the beginning and makes you sit and think by the last line. I don’t think this is a book I’ll forget anytime soon.
Beautifully unsettling. Rarely do I pick up a book that has me sucked in within the first few lines, but this book did that. Captivating and unsettling, Last House was like a boat ride on rocky seas- there was never a moment when I felt like the earth was securely below my feet. At any moment, I could teeter and fall, unable to trust each new step forward. Ward did this masterfully, keeping me hooked and stumped as she twisted and turned through the story. Each character was well written and executed. Ted’s story, in particular, was told with such an elegant literary style that I found myself rereading lines and passages for the sheer art and beauty. The ending was both heart-rending and haunting, and I look forward to rereading this book for all the qualities above. I’ve read some reviews that say this is not true horror, but horror is so multifaceted and immense. There are sub-categories of horror that most overlook. On that note, I’ll leave you with this one thought- Not all horror is blood and gore, demons and monsters. Sometimes, the most frightening monsters of all are human.
I thought this was a very well done book. It kept me guessing until the end. I enjoyed the thoughtful subversion of traditional horror tropes. The author took a very thoughtful approach to her characters.
The Last House on Needless Street is about a serial killer, a missing child, and the sister looking for the girl who went missing a decade ago. I don't really want to say any more than that when it comes to the plot. I went into this book knowing very little about the story and I think my experience was better for it. The brief synopsis given might read like a thriller, but this book didn't feel like a thriller at ALL to me. I definitely felt horror vibes the whole way through. It was unsettling and creepy and made me feel sick to my stomach at certain points. This book was so well written. I can't remember the last time I read something that kept me completely unaware of my surroundings. I felt like I was inside that house with Ted. I spent a portion of the book with my hand over my mouth and my eyebrows furrowed. It was just.... a really intense experience. I wouldn't go into this looking for a fun, twisty thriller. But if you are interested in horror, I would highly recommend.
Wow! I am an avid reader of thriller/suspense and this one knocked it out of the park. What a dark, twisted tale with one of the best twists I have ever read! Excellent book that I will (and already have) recommend to anyone who likes mystery and suspense. Fantastic read!
All - the hype is real on this one. I had a hard time reviewing this book because frankly, it’s unlike anything I’ve ever read. It’s creepy and thrilling, heartbreaking and sinister. I love books where I can’t figure out the ending until THE END so I was addicted to this one until the last word. Honestly, it’s dark fiction at its best. It keeps you guessing and forces your brain to reanalyze everything you thought you knew with every uncovered secret. I was confused at some parts just because so much was happening at once but...overall brilliant book.
When I started The Last House on Needless Street by Catriona Ward, I thought I knew exactly what I was in for but as it turns out, I. Knew. Nothing. There’s a lot to be said about the characters in this book – a hair-pulling misbehaved child, a bible reading cat, an awkward loner and a woman looking for her sister gone missing long ago. We hear from all of them and each voice is rich and descriptive giving their perspective of the events going on around them both past and present. But how do they all tie together? This, my friends, is the absolute beauty – and horror – of the story. The storyline, ah, the storyline … just when I thought I’d read it all, the author stunned me with this brilliant piece of work. Dark and atmospheric, this twisty tale is an eerie psychological thriller that surprised the tar out of me and crushed my soul. Although the events are horrific, I’m not really sure I’d describe this as horror but more a really deep dive into the realm of psychological suspense that hits every nerve on the way down. This is a short review but I don’t want to reveal any spoilers! My advice is to go into this book with only the synopsis and experience it from there. Narration: Christopher Ragland narrates and does a stellar job moving between the characters seamlessly! He presented each character’s individuality and distinctive nuances beautifully! A joy to listen to. Thank you to @TorNightfire and @Macmillan.Audio for the DRC and ALC CW: Child abuse, Gore
I am OBSESSED with this book. People are going to love this. I know I will be seeing this all over bookstagram soon enough. This was amazing. I will definitely read whatever the author comes out with next!
All I can say is “wow”! This book is an amazing read. I kept me guessing till the last chapter. Ted’s character continually evolves. If you are a fan of Stephen King, horror, and thrillers you will love this book.
Wow wow wow. I don't even know how to review this without spoiling anything. In the first half I was so confused about the book. Yes, it was giving me the creeps. It was detailed, gruesome, and I really thought had everything pin pointed - the evil guy, the victim, the plot, etc etc. I had nothing right. Nothing. It really went deep into the characters, into their psyches, into the details of their feelings, their fears, their lives. It was interesting and fascinating. And as you read this, you're trying to solve the mystery of what happened to the missing girl. Who is she, is she really there still or are you missing something in this story. I read the afterword, and without giving anything away it made me appreciate the story even more. And I'm a huge fan of this topic. So reading this book without knowing it was about *this topic* I was pleasantly surprised, especially on where and how the author delivered the ending. I'm telling you - if you like creepy, this one is a must. Because the scary isn't what you think it is. I'm mind blown. **Fair warning - this book involves a couple of scenes with snakes. They gave me chills.** TW: Kidnapping, abuse, animal abuse, murder.
This was such an absolutely unexpected, pitch-perfectly surprising, harrowing, beautiful, scary and FUN read. JFC JFC JFC WOW.
The summary for this book does not offer spoilers, and I won’t either. The writing style for this book is truly unique. I found myself drawn in to the thoughts of the characters, even though their thoughts were not necessarily pleasant. But from the very first sentence of the book, I was hooked. We are taken on a meandering journey through the day-to-day lives of characters impacted, in one way or another, by the disappearance of ‘Little Girl With Popsicle.’ The story is intriguing, and the journey to the outcome is different than any I’ve taken before. The way the author spins the tale is magical and engaging, not to mention violent, scary, and disturbing at points. The only very minor criticism is that I would have been happy for the story to end earlier than it did. The closing chapters were interesting, but in my opinion did not contribute to the overall arc of the story. But I can see why the author is compelled to include those chapters. A copy of ‘The Last House on Needless Street was provided to me by Macmillan-Tor/Forge, Tor Nightfire /Net Galley for an honest review.
Where to start? This is a horror story narrated by an unusual cast of characters. A few of which are a creepy guy in a creepy house, a woman hoping to solve her sister’s disappearance, and a Bible reading cat. There’s not much else to be said without getting into spoilers, but this was a roller coaster of a novel that kept me wondering and engaged till the last page.
To say that I was excited to read this book would be like saying that as a child, I was excited for Santa. It does not even begin to describe the anticipation leading up to what I could only hope would be an unforgettable Christmas morning. The Last House on Needless Street was every single one of my childhood wishes wrapped up and left for me to unwrap every page. I first heard about this book when Stephen King recommended it, months and months ago. As I started to see more and more people talking about this book on Instagram, my desire to get my hands on a copy grew and grew. Do you know who my Secret Santa was this year? Yep, Tor Nightfire and access to a DRC! Okay, you probably didn't need to know all that, but I wanted to convey the fact that my expectations were indeed sky high. So what is this book about then? It is the story of a man, his daughter, and a cat who live in a boarded-up house at the end of Needless Street. Or perhaps it is a story about a missing girl and the lengths her sister will go to find her. Or perhaps both sentences are true and false. What I do know is that it starts as one story and ends as another. So vague, so intentionally vague, because I do not want to give anything away. Did it live up to all the hype? Yes, and yes, and definitely yes! I was left trying to figure out what I had just read more than once. Every page left me wanting more, and do not think for one minute that my Fitbit was pleased with me the next morning. Sorry, not sorry Fitbit! I could not put this book down. A bad man, a good woman, an articulate cat, and a wounded girl. These are truths as well as lies. Don't even look at reviews that may or may not contain spoilers until you read this book. Then, if you are like me, you can peruse reviews and see what other people thought and felt. In case I didn't mention it, I loved this book!
Wow. This books was a wild ride! Trigger warning: plot involves childhood trauma. Still with me? Okay, good. I feel like this novel was split into quarters for me, in terms of my enjoyment. The first quarter I found myself enjoying the ride, though slightly confused as to the narrative structure (saying more may give away plot, so I'll leave it at that). The second quarter started giving me more depth, and an inkling of a really good missing persons mystery. Nothing spectacular, but really good bones. The 3rd completely pulled the rug out from under me. The fourth I could not stop reading and devoured in a sitting. It's that good people. For those of you who love character development, and twists and turns that come out of no where, look no further. It will leave you breathless. It will make you question your perception of self. And best yet? It will make you question who the real monsters are in the world today. MARVELOUS
Bravo. BRILLIANT. ATMOSPHERIC. Now I know why I have been hearing so much about this book. I went into this expecting a gothic horror, and I got so much more. I am extremely surprised by the emotion this brought out in me. You can't really say a whole lot about it without giving away a bunch of stuff, I think, but I will tell you there is a character who is a gay cat (not in a cartoony way). So that tells you everything you need to know. This is probably not going to be for everybody. It is probably going to be confusing at first for most people, but you have to stick with it through the end if you are at all enjoying it. The author's writing is ... beautiful in many places. She must be the Queen of [original, not cliched] Metaphors. This is absolutely going down in my favorite of all time list. This is one of those books that's going to stay with me for a long time. The narrator for the audiobook, Christopher Ragland, does a superb job. You seriously forget that you are listening to a man talking sometimes (when he does feminine characters). An enormous thank-you to the author, the publisher, and NetGalley for ARCs of the ebook and audiobook.
This compelling, twisty thriller was an amazing read! The book blew my mind, this is a story with so many layers that it is difficult to know where to start a review Without giving too much away! Im so damn impressed with the writing. The plot holy freaking cow! Overall you won't want to miss this crazy wild ride! I absolutely loved and enjoyed reading this. I can't thank NetGalley, Macmillan-Tor/Forge and author for this ebook copy!
This is a brilliant novel where nothing is at it seems. Yes, rather gothic in all the right ways, yes rather dark in all the right ways, yes, rather sinister in all the right ways and yes, rather different than any other missing child books out there. Just read it, don’t read the reviews or synopsis. Just read the book.
“There’s a monster inside each of us. If you let yours out, Ted, it might not eat you.” This quote sums up the whole book I’m so many ways. It truly was a wild ride. Just when you think you know what’s going on, you really don’t. This book is genius, dark, confusing, heartbreaking, and intriguing. It’ll give you hope, then rip it away. When I started reading it, I thought it was going to be a dud. However, it didn’t take me too long to be sucked into the chaos that was unfolding. I highly recommend the journey full of emotional whiplash that this book will take you on.
This book is getting tons of buzz for being a brilliant, twisty horror thriller—and it definitely is. But it’s also one of the most beautiful books I’ve read in ages. And I mean true beauty. The kind that breaks you open and stitches sadness to awe. These are characters I will be living with for a long time, and Ward's economical narrative prose makes this a book to be admired (and revisited) for its craft as well as its story.
Riveting! What was, isn't ... and what is, wasn't. I was hooked from the beginning. All the twists and turns... WOW!... #TheLastHouseonNeedlessStreet #NetGalley
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
I could give this book 5 stars for the atmosphere alone. But it also deserves 5 stars for the writing and characters. This unsettling story drew me in from the first chapter and had me hooked. There are two main twists- I kind of saw the first one coming, but the second one had me audibly yelling at this book because I was so shook. And the way it was revealed was perfect. If you’re in the mood for a twisty, creepy, gothic story with some chapters told through the POV of a Jesus-loving cat, pick this one up when it comes out!
Utterly unputdownable. So rich in description, elaborate characters, layers, more layers! It’s a shocking read, quite dark, and as the story (stories) thicken (and oh boy, do they thicken!), you can’t stop. You need to know more. The author weaves such intricate detail, you feel like you are there, inside Ted’s house… with the boards, the Little Girl with Popsicle, the cat, even with Mommy, and the … oh, I can’t tell you that. It drips with the humid weight of the surrounding forest and if your need to figure this out. Gothic thriller, bordering on horror, glimmering with hope. Seriously, I never thought I’d say those words in the same review. And while you’re there, after you’ve put it down, in all of your astonishment, stop back, later. Pick it up and read the Afterword by the author. This is a new author for me and I’m glad to have had this introduction so I may read her previous works, and look forward to her next! Thank you to the author, Macmillan/Tor Nightfire, and NetGalley for an advanced reading copy. My opinions and review are my own.
It’s really not what you think. Overall, this book was phenomenal. If you’re a fan of horror and psychological thrillers then you won’t be able to put this book down. You’ll constantly be guessing how the story will unfold and yet you’ll reach the last page and be awestruck. However, I will admit that at the start I was a little off-put. It took me a while to get the cadence of Ward’s writing. There are multiple characters to follow and they each have a unique voice. The only thing I knew right away was that the cat was hilarious. Here’s this ultra religious cat calling people gd (goddamn) psychos plopped down into a kidnapping story and you’re just expected to go along with it. Yet as the book continues you start to unearth more and more that has you reeling to understand what’s truly happening. I’m glad this book kept me guessing. However, I did feel Dee’s characters was difficult to comprehend. It took until the end for me to grasp her essence, but even then I didn’t feel much for her character. I’m also glad Ward utilized her writing skill to address the underlying issues in the book (which she did wonderfully). Honestly, I wish I could read it again for the first time because it was that great!
One of my favorite reads of this year! The way the author was able to make me feel for all of these characters was absolutely stunning. I felt a pull to characters that I would have never thought I would and this story had twists that I loved. I don’t tend to get emotional in this genre, so making something that is truly horrifying, dark, and emotionally compelling is a real talent. Once you pick this book up you won’t stop thinking about it until you finish.
The Stephen King blurb on the cover - "A true nerve-shredder that keeps its mind-blowing secrets to the very end" - makes me think he didn't read the book; because this is the most underrated statement I've ever seen! I read, and edit, a lot of horror; have been for over 45 years. It's my main reading genre, and something I know quite a bit about. I can say with 100% certainty that I have never read a book such as this. I want to post a warning, however. This is an extremely slow-burn, almost to the point that some readers may give up on the book within the first few chapters. But you need to stick with it. Like a Russian Matryoshka doll, there are multiple layers - and just when you think you have it figured out... Sorry, you don't. The problem here is that there is no way to write a decent review without giving anything away. The only thing I can say is this - even after finishing the book, your mind continues to process what you just read. Catriona weaves a magnificent tale and I can't wait to see what she comes up with next!
Huge thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an ARC of possibly the creepiest book you'll read this year, or any other year for that matter. Like to be creeped out to the point of getting actual chills? Like to be dazzled by so many twists, your head' will spin faster than Linda Blair's in "The Exorcist"? Hoo boy, have I got a book for you. For anyone who, like me, can never get enough scary thrillers to stay up all night with, this one should go on that list titled "Books I gotta have in my in my hands like yesterday." This one plunges so far down a twisted abyss of psychosis, dysfunction and heartbreak, you may never think you or the book will ever crawl out out of it and see daylight again. Four narrators tell the story here....There's ..Ted, a lonely, strange man living a hermit-like life in a lonely strange house with all the windows boarded up, except for a few peepholes. (Feel free to say "Uh oh....") Also in the house - Lauren, supposedly Ted's young daughter......though it seems she's most likely the now grown older Lulu, who, at six years old, vanished from a family lakeside vacation, presumably abducted.. It's an unsolved disappearance that happened not far from Ted's house, which led to Ted being briefly questioned and suspected. And also padding and purring around the premises - Olivia, Ted's cat. (Yes, she's an active narrator too and a character as vividly rendered and verbal as Ted and Lauren. Finally there's Dee, Lulu's haunted ,driven older sister, who's moved to Ted's street in the obsessed belief that Lulu's still alive. and a prisoner in that forbidding house as a long time captive of Ted. The police may have quickly taken Ted off their suspect list, but he's been on Dee's for a lifetime. Is it possible that these three humans and the feline may or may not be unreliable narrators? Are you kidding? This book takes unreliable narration to almost unheard of, stratospheric heights. This may be the first thriller I've read where virtually every sentence might prove untrustworthy. You can try to make rational, educated guesses as to what's going on, but nothing can quite prepare you for the actual reveals in store for you. As the novel progressively turns sicker, sadder and weirder, author Ward slowly but surely peels away all the secrets and twists like multiple layers of an onion.. And it's one hell of a deep, dark onion. And none of these secrets, twists and stunning surprises are anything I'd expected when I started reading it. Yes, there's horror aplenty here, but as the revelations unfold, I could see this author had way more ambitious intentions on her mind ......to move her readers emotionally. And she achieves that brilliantly. This story's designed to haunt and unsettle you long after you've turned the last page.. I dare not say one more word other than my rating. Without question a 5 star must read all the way. The kind of book that can give you a few nightmares and break your heart at the same time.
The family in the last house on Needless Street has secrets. Secrets they can't tell anyone. Now a new neighbor with questionable motives has moved in and it looks like everything is about to unravel. This book is the kind that makes you squirm with discomfort. Chew on your nails while you read. And it absolutely blew me away. A phenomenal atmospheric horror where things may not be as they seem. A very strong five stars and one of the best books I’ve read all year.
<i>The Last House On Needless Street<i> is a dark, twisting, ribbon of a story. It's about children that go missing, and children that get lost, and the power of the will to survive. It's about a man named Ted Bannerman, and the people (and pets) that come and go through his grim, secluded life. It's a spooky ride, but one you'll want to see through 'til the end. Fans of Sarah Pinborough will find plenty to enjoy in Ted's world. Thanks to Tor/Nightfire and Netgalley for the opportunity to read this title.
Wow, I am blown away by this book. I was unsure of what to expect based on the mysterious description I’d been seeing. It was so much more than I anticipated and was able to pull the rug out from under me, not once, but probably 5 or so times. While at the surface it appears as a straight forward horror story, it is so much more than that. It’s about survival, resilience, and overcoming trauma. I really don’t want to say too much because for one, it won’t do it justice, and two, readers should go into this with a very open mind so that they can have the full experience which I guarantee will not disappoint.
I love it when a book surprises me, an increasingly rarer experience the more I read. "The Last House on Needless Street" succeeds wonderfully in that regard, with it's unexpected structure and thematic development making it a book very much worthy of attention. Not since "We Have Always Lived in the Castle" have I seen a better use of the unreliable narrator...several of them, in fact. Ward's character development is brilliant, and all the more disturbing for being so. In using the first person perspective in a multi-perspective epistolary style, Ward successfully develops immediately recognizable voices for a fascinating array of characters. More than that, this structure allows for employment of some horror tropes based around reader expectation that in lesser authors would be cliche and predictable. Ward plays with those expectations to deliver something completely unexpected and admirable in its intent and execution. Normally, I write off the advance reviews of a novel like this as so much hype intended to generate sales but without any real relevance to the content of the novel. This book is one of the rare examples where the early reviewers, even the ubiquitous Stephen King, are dead on point and in no way exaggerating the appeal of the work. The story is a page-turner, the book is a keeper to be recommended to friends, and the author is one whose future work I look forward to reading.
I received a free ARC of this book via NetGalley; my sincerest thanks to both the author and the publisher! :) What. A. RIDE! I wasn't 100% sure what to expect going into this book, just that it was generating buzz, it was horror, and Stephen King himself said it kept him guessing until the end. The tale is multiperspective and woven intricately, vividly. But, I won't lie, the twist was huge and had me expecting to have the rug yanked out from under me yet again until the very end. The ending itself is incredibly unique for the genre, heartfelt, and well done. An excellent book of psychological and physical horror will have you questioning what is/isn't real until the very end.
This is what books can do like nothing else. We humans cannot delve deeply into other people's minds and hear their actual thoughts. We need brilliant writers like Catriona Ward to create a novel with compelling, mysterious characters whose lives we encounter through the deep delve. Prepare yourself for reading closely while reveling in the gorgeous language used in the three main characters' minds. Read this book now. Details are important. Think things through. Then you will thoroughly enjoy the immersive story that takes you out of yourself and into the world of those who live at The Last House on Needless Street.
CW:// child abuse The last House on Needless Street was a book I went in not knowing much about it and it really did not disappoint. There are multiple POV Ted who at time seems not himself, Lauren a moody but smart little girl who comes out for weekends then disappears, Olivia the cat who reads scriptures from the bible and Dee who is trying to find who took her little sister years ago. You think you now everyone but some of it is a lie and as the story unravels it starts to all make sense. I can't really say more without spoilers but this book was really good and I made sure to read the end acknowledgements to see how the author did a lot of research and wanted to make this story more than a horror and takes fault if she got something wrong- so I appreciated that and this book get 5 stars from me Thanks NetGalley and Nightfire for the e-arc
I have been reviewing books intermittently between writing about film and balancing my day job for about a year, maybe a bit longer. Lately, though, with some shifting conditions in my circumstances I have found time to focus more on them than any other medium. Books have always been my first love and, while I have favorite little pockets to occupy, the most important thing to me - beyond genre conventions or expectations, beyond type of book - is the story itself. Can it make you feel something unexpected? Can it absorb you completely without your knowledge? Can it leave its mark on you long after you have stepped away from its pages? Catriona Ward can, and her latest novel, The Last House on Needless Street, is proof. I have mentioned this before, but there is nothing quite like being so taken in and turned around by a story that you couldn't even begin to guess where it will go next if you try. It's what keeps us turning the pages and staying up into the wee hours of the night. Recently I have had the good fortune to be given opportunities to review the upcoming work of several novelists who seem to have developed the ability to keep readers on their toes at every turn to such a sharp edge we hardly even feel it sliding into our subconscious. Every time I think I've found my new first place favorite novel of the year, the next one I'm given comes to take its place - or at least nudge the others aside in willingness to tie. Needless Street, already out in the UK but releasing in the US on September 28th, clawed its way to the top of my list from first wildly uncomfortable page to last. One of my favorite quotes to do with the horror genre talks about how it is necessarily rooted in sympathy. While it is possible to have good horror that does not contain sympathetic characters, the need for connection is there. We need to connect with something about the story in order for us to give it enough meaning that we want to carry on exploring it. Catriona Ward and her array of central characters inhabiting Needless Street seems intimately aware of this need, and of a way to play with it such that our sympathies flow along with even those we do not expect. It tells the story of a man, a cat, and a young girl; a family of a kind, all together in a house with holes instead of windows and tape recorders in the closets. Talking about the plot of this book without accidentally divulging spoilers feels like an impossible feat and, even though it is out haunting the dreams of one part of the world, it wouldn't be right to divulge those until everyone has had a chance to experience it for themselves. So, in lieu of that let me instead say this: while genre fiction of all media forms is rooted in the human need for sympathy and connection, it takes a passionately skilled hand and mind to costume those themes in horror that is capable of being repulsive on several different levels, even as it plays with your allegiances. I can with a fair degree of safety say I have never read anything quite like The House on Needless Street, and I feel it is unlikely that I will again. Within its pages are more than twists and turns. More than darkness. It is an exploration of trauma and its effects, alternately hopeless and hopeful, planting seeds of sympathy for people who, for much of the novel, we may feel almost wrong in sympathizing with, if we identify them the way our preconceived ideas of how it should work tell us to. Ward paints a narrative that is both unforgiving and surprisingly, consistently, sensitive. To crack open the covers of this book is to begin on a journey that demands you bear witness to its deepest, darkest corners while guided along by a cast of characters who's own worldview is but one piece of a constantly evolving puzzle. It is the first in some time I have both been unable to put down and needed to put away before bed. The first in some time to linger in my brain in such a way as to give me nightmares whose details I can't fully recall the next day. And the first in an even longer while to manipulate my view of the plot in such a way as to force me to confront my own preformed notions on both story and expectations of villainy. The Last House on Needless Street can - and very well might - horrify and break your heart all at once. While the UK can wander its halls and crevices now, The Last House on Needless Street will open its doors to US readers on September 28th, 2021 from Tor. --- I would like to thank NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to review an ARC copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.
This is probably the best-executed book I have read so far this year. I’m not sure how to review it in its entirety without spoilers, so I will keep my thoughts brief on public forums and invite everyone who’s read it to my blog post for a spoiler discussion. The description is vague on purpose, and the best thing to do is just dive in without any information. I read some reviews after I finished the book that spoiled the main twist, so beware! This story is about Ted, a recluse suspected of a child’s abduction. The perspectives switch between Ted, the sister of the abducted child, and that of Ted’s cat. The cat chapters were a little kooky (who knew cats could be religious!), but such a creative way to describe Ted from another point of view. I loved Olivia! Looking back from the end of the book, I’m amazed at how well-executed this story was. I feel like I need to re-read this book in order to catch all the clues I missed! I know this review is vague, but it's so worth it to go into it knowing nothing about the story. Just trust that it's worth it!
This book is very different from the usual type of books I like to read. I do love the horror genre, but the format is is unusual. At first, it's a little dry for me, but it's unusual enough for me to keep going to see where it's headed. After a while, I'm intrigued enough to see it through to the end. It gets rather interesting about a quarter of the way through it. When you realize that this is going to be an unusual story. By the end, I was shocked. Usually, I can see the twists coming, and this one packs a punch! I don't want to give away the storyline, but I will say that this book is a must read for any horror fan! The author is brilliant in how she chose to write this book!
Nothing is as it seems in The Last House on Needless Street. Ah, you will say, some pages in. Yes, I understand. No, you don't. Do you force yourself to slow down and enjoy the writing, or allow yourself the leeway to forge ahead, trying to predict how this thing's going to turn out? You might as well slow it down. The twists and turns in this book are not taking you where you think you're going. Savor this one and appreciate the reveals. This is a puzzle box of a novel, elevated by Ward's ability to hit one off-note here and there to signal a shift in the narrative. The skill is immense and so is the heart.
Creepy, atmospheric and propulsive. A highly recommended purchase for collections where horror and thrillers are popular.
Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this publication! I really enjoyed this book!
So what drew me in was the description that there was a bible reading cat as part of the cast. I was NOT disappointed. This book had me hooked from the very beginning! The chapters told from the cat (Olivia's) point of view were funny to begin with and definitely got darker. It had all the elements that make a fantastic horror story and the twist at the end made it complete. Highly recommend!
I am struggling to find where to even begin to explain this book to you all. Because I have never ever read anything even similar to this book. Like others have reviewed here, this book is not just a standard "ooh there's a twist coming" horror story. It is a slow unfolding explanation of the truth. It is written with such a raw hand of emotion and details that a book that would typically take me two days to read, took me a week. I wanted to read every line and understand every detail. And friend, let me tell you- buckle up- there is no way you will see the ending of this story. I told my husband at least 4x while reading this book "I am completely mind f**ked" with every turn of the page. To begin, we hear from a few POVs- Ted, a lonely single man living in the house on Needless street, his cat, Olivia- who loves to read the Bible, and an older sister- who is looking to discover where her sister went to all those years ago. I honestly hesitate to mention more because my only wish for anyone opening this book, is to go in as cold as possible. This book does take patience. You have to be able to think to yourself- "okay I don't understand what's happening or what this means yet, but I trust that it will later." The payoff is there, people. This is one of those books that will take your bookstagram by storm soon, as it makes its way over from the UK to USA publishing in September. Stephen King's quote is on the cover- what more backing do you need?! Mark my words, The Last House on Needless Street will be a classic in 25+ years time. We will all be talking it over in book clubs for years. Thank you to Netgalley and Macmillian publishing for an ARC for my true and honest review.
Review of The Last House on Needless Street by Catriona Ward ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Wow. This book is honestly one of the most unique and original ones I’ve ever read. It was amazingly written and I was so intrigued by the stories. Ted is a loner who lives on Needless Street with his cat, Olivia, and sometimes with his daughter Lauren. He has a difficult time relating to people and struggles to discipline his daughter. At the start of the book Ted realizes it is the anniversary of the disappearance of a girl at the local lake named LuLu. He was at once considered a suspect but excluded with his alibi. Dee is LuLu’s older sister who is obsessed with finding out the truth about what happened to her sister. She moves onto Needless Street for her pursuit. The book is told from the perspective of all characters including Olivia that cat (how cool is that that?!?!)
5 stars This book is intriguing, sad and a bit unsettling. Don’t read spoilers just dive right in. As you read you might think you have it all figured out but you’re gonna be wrong. Definitely worth the read!
This book totally hit the right vein with me. It was so unpredictable and I haven't read anything like that in a long time. I can't even describe the book without giving away spoilers, so just know what you think isn't necessarily what you know. There are mulitiple POV's including the views of things that aren't really human. If you like to go into books blind and be taken for a ride, please check out The Last House on Needless Street.
Wow. I just put this book down and just. Wow. There aren’t many books that leave me speechless but this golden piece of work has done just that. I honestly can’t explain the true brilliance and intensity and just dazzle this book holds. This book won’t be for everyone. You have to truly open your mind and gear up for a hell of a rollercoaster. It’s psychological it’s thrilling it’s horrific it’s clever it’s different it’s just pure GENIUS. Don’t read anymore reviews. Don’t read into the story line. Go in blind to truly revel in the story and it’s mastermind Catriona Ward. If there is a book to be read this year this is it!
Amazing. There are sites at the end for all the psychology homework that had to be done to write this book. Although this is fiction I am so glad that the author took the time to do full research. I feel like the research made a decent story absolutely phenomenal. There were parts I was able to figure out, as a psychological thriller lover, and a lover of puzzles. But there are still some very decent twists that I did not see coming. Absolutely enthralling. I was glued to my book even though I have read a third of what I normally read this year. Nothing seems to hit the right reading spots. This was completely different from beginning to end. My only wish, that this was longer. I loved every word
Bravo and a round of applause to Catriona Ward!!! 👏👏👏 As I'm sure you have heard the less said is better with this one so I am going to keep this short and sweet. We hear from 4 points of view. Ted a loner that lives on Needless Street, his cat Olivia, his daughter Lauren, and Dee whose little sister was kidnapped while vacationing at a lake that is close to Needless Street a decade before. Let me start by saying that this book has a brilliant marketing campaign and a blurb vague enough to intrigue and allure readers. It sure did intrigue me. I even love both covers that I have seen for this book. Imagine my disappointment when I was declined by both NetGalley and Edelweiss. Meanwhile all my lucky and cool friends were getting copies while I was sitting here saying what the heck, why not me??? So, in a moment of weakness, I wrote to Tor Publicity explaining my woes and the kind Anna Mertz sent me a widget to download! Thank you from the bottom of my heart, Anna! 💗 (NetGalley: Why when you decline someone a book then decide to make it a "read now" for EVERYONE the declined person who showed early interest still has no access to the title? The injustice is real and a bit infuriating!) While I was super intrigued I was also nervous and approached the book with a bit of trepidation. My concern: Olivia the cat's point of view. Can I suspend disbelief enough to go along with this? Turns out I can. I loved hearing from Olivia. The real genius here though is Ward herself. She doesn't let you get your bearings. When I tell you I was clueless almost the entire time...well, I ain't kidding. I couldn't grasp what was happening but it wasn't in a bad way it was in a "I must get to the bottom of this way." As my friend and fellow reviewer, Karen, wrote in her review: "it starts to break your whole damn brain" and that is EXACTLY what it felt like. Again, in the best way possible. I'm going to leave it at that. Do I recommend this? YOU BET I DO!!! 5 stars! Thank you to NetGalley and Anna Merz @ Macmillan-Tor/Forge for my copy!
One of the best books I've read in 2021! While this isn't classic horror, it definitely has elements befitting the genre. File this under "the human mind is the most terrifying thing of all."
This book took me by surprise. I’ve read so many mysteries and crime thrillers, that I assumed this book would follow a very familiar outline. Nope. I was taken on a ride that involves twists and turns, where I literally set the book down and asked out loud, “What! Where is this going?” But I promise...in a good way. The author, Catriona Ward, added so much to this story by presenting the perspectives from different characters: from Ted, a reclusive odd adult, to the now adult sister of the missing girl. to the child victim Lauren, to a Bible reading cat! I have to say that this is one of the most unique reads I have ever had the pleasure of reading. If you are a person who tends to view mysteries in black and white predictable plots...hold your hat because this author and he atmospheric, compassionate and at times downright chilling descriptions will take you on a ride into the world of gray. Catriona Ward has simply expanded the mystery and horror genres.
First, thank you to the publishers at Macmillan-Tor/Forge and Netgalley for this e-ARC of The Last House on Needless Street. I have no words for this amazing story. Just, wow. Absolutely incredible! What you believe is one story just warps into something completely different and unimaginable. Full of psychological drama and twists and turns, this will surely be one of fall’s most unputdownable reads! Told from the perspective of many different characters, The Last House on Needless Street mainly revolves around Ted, a sheltered man in his late twenties/early thirties. The long ago suspect in the case of a missing girl, Ted still lives in fear of others, living in the house at the end of the street with boarded up windows and constant weariness of strangers. What or who is Ted hiding in his house? Dee, the older sister of the missing girl, Lulu, ends up moving to the area after all these years, and is determined to find her sister and exact revenge on her kidnapper and/or killer. As I said earlier though, the book is nothing like what it seems. It’s even scarier than you might have originally have imagined. I highly, highly recommend picking up a copy of The Last House on Needless Street, releasing September 28, just in time for a spooky Halloween read!
I received an ARC of this book via Netgalley. I was on the edge of my seat for the duration of this novel. It reads breathlessly and urges you onward with its dark hints and secrets. The leads provided would pull you in different directions that cause one’s brain to run the gamut of speculation. It sometimes caused a bit of confusion, but the writing always reassured that soon, you would understand. And it delivered. The story is told from the perspectives of Ted (our main character), Lauren (Ted’s daughter), Olivia (a cat), Night-Olivia (another cat), and Dee (a grieving woman looking for her lost sister). Ted is an introvert who loves to spend time with his cat and his daughter, but always (and strangely) separately. We learn about Ted’s terrifying relationship with his mother and how her coldness affected him growing up. Dee is a girl who lost her sister when she was very little and has been spending her life trying to locate her kidnapper. Their lives intertwine like a cat’s tail around your legs and you cannot help but feel for every single character. I was very impressed by Catriona Ward’s ability to convey such empathetic characters. They were touching, relatable, and unreliable. I was so intrigued by the character of Ted’s mother that I would love to see a whole book dedicated to her history alone. The dive into Ted’s mental state where he is losing time and seeing the world in a different way, was fantastically drawn up. The Afterword section was very welcome and only further proved that there was much research and heart put into creating the characters in this book. I absolutely recommend this to anyone who enjoys psychological horror, true crime, and drama.
This book nabbed my attention from the first page. And just when I thought I had a bead on what was going on, it changed again. Wow! Loved it. I won't give away any spoilers, but if you love true crime or fiction about serial killers, you have to read this book.
Wow... This book... Okay, let me start by saying I'd seen this book all over Twitter and Instagram. I didn't really know what to expect other than it was a popular book being read by a lot of reviewers, so it must be engaging. What I got was so much more. Ward is putting on a clinic for writers. The writing, the plot, the characters, the twist...Holy guacamole the twists!! It's a dark book with really intense topics, and every time I assumed I knew what was happening, I was proven wrong. It's a book the explores mental illness. It sticks with you. Honestly, it wasn't at all what I was expecting, and that's always a pleasant surprise. If you like unsettling horror, this is for you!
Wow! What a ride! Every time you think you know, here comes another surprise! Well written, well researched, and unputdownable!
This is the best book I have read in quite a while! The writing is superb, the story is unique, & the twists & turns are unforgettable.
The Last House on Needless Street was wonderfully written, delightfully complex and so very horrifying! I consider myself to be a rather jaded, experienced reader, yet with this book I found myself at a loss as to what was going on throughout most of the book, which only added to the suspense/creep factor. I loved it! This is the book that I will be recommending to folks looking for a read that will keep them up at night. A great read and many thanks to netgalley and the publisher for letting me read and advanced copy.
Gosh, I feel completely stunned after reading The Last House on Needless Street. It might have been the first time reading a horror/psychological thriller where I didn't know where to place my loyalties. The characters in this novel were all so deep, incredibly sad and easy to care for. Broken. This novel falls into you in broken, jagged pieces. You'll scramble to try and fit the them back together, to figure out this great puzzle and have answers. . . you'll be wrong. Some pieces are all wrong and from a different puzzle all together. This story was meant to be told by Ted, Dee and Olivia and to truly understand you'll need to hear it exactly as they remember it. Thank you to Netgalley and Macmillan for the eARC.
When you think you’ve figured it out, keep reading because I guarantee you’re wrong. Also, don’t let the horror tag scare you away if that’s not your thing - it’s much more of a psychological thriller with some horror crossover themes.
This is a book that defies description or genre. I guess I'd consider it a psychological mystery, but it encompasses so much more. It begins as a typical missing child/serial killer story, then goes off in unexpected directions, touching on deep emotions. Even after I suspected where it was going, it was gratifying to see it unfold. This will be an easy book to recommend to a wide variety of readers. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Thanks to Netgalley for providing a review copy! This was a unique one! It was not at all what I expected…but in a good way! Many reviews mention the twist at the end. I do feel like this wasn’t as much of a big twist/surprise. I had an idea of what was coming but that didn’t take away from the story at all. I can’t write too much without giving away too much info! This book sould be enjoyable for fans of psychological thrillers. I’ve seen it classified as horror but I would call it more thriller than horror. This review will be posted on my Goodreads page.
This is the story of a serial killer. A stolen child. Revenge. Death. And an ordinary house at the end of an ordinary street. All these things are true. And yet they are all lies… You think you know what’s inside the last house on Needless Street. You think you’ve read this story before. That’s where you’re wrong. In the dark forest at the end of Needless Street, lies something buried. But it’s not what you think... This one shook me. It is a story of a serial killer and all of the above blurb. But it’s also the story of a girl who lost her little sister, a boy who was horribly abused, a parent who is a sociopath, a cat who reads the Bible and watches television, and a lot of lies. I really don’t want to say any more than that. There was nothing nice about this story. It was horrific and chilling and all of the dark things no one talks about. There was no attempt to dress it up as a nice fairy tale. It was true darkness at its best. I had at least 3 different ideas about what was happening and boy was I wrong! If this is the new dark Gothic, please bring it on! Horrifyingly good! NetGalley/September 28th, 2021 by Tor Nightfire
THE LAST HOUSE ON NEEDLESS STREET, by Catriona Ward was unlike anything I have ever read before. I can honestly say that this book took turns that shocked me on many occasions. I can't give any specifics, because this is truly a book you have to simply read and experience for yourself. I got to the point where I hated having to put it down, because everything I thought I learned made me want to read more. There is an afterward, which brought the story home even more so--do NOT read this until the end. A fantastic, yet brutal, novel that I was GLAD I knew nothing about prior to reading. Highly recommended.
"The Last House on Needless Street" is a dark and thrilling puzzle from beginning to end. Just when I thought I had it figured out, something unexpected would happen. The less you know going into this book, the better.
The nitty-gritty: A creepy, disturbing tale perfect for fans of twisty, psychological horror. I couldn't put it down! All storytellers are liars, but Catriona Ward is a particularly good one. I have been lied to in the best possible way and I enjoyed every single moment. The Last House on Needless Street is surrounded by buzz and gushing blurbs from big name authors, and in my opinion all of it is well deserved. This is a psychological horror story that leads you to believe certain things, but then pulls the rug out from under you late in the story. I have to admit I was confused for quite a long time, but Ward does bury clues within her tale, and astute readers—or even readers who are well versed in thrillers—may be able to figure things out. I certainly didn’t, which I guess makes me the perfect reader! To avoid spoilers, I’m only giving you the basic set up and will avoid talking about the plot too much. The story revolves around a handful of characters: Ted Bannerman is a single man who lives in a creepy, boarded up house on Needless Street. He has a black cat named Olivia who isn’t allowed outside the house, and a daughter named Lauren. The main story takes place eleven years after a six-year old girl named Lulu went missing down by the lake. Lulu was never found, nor was her body, so to this day her disappearance remains a mystery. Lulu’s older sister Dee is still upset by her sister’s disappearance and has continued to search for clues on her own, even after the authorities gave up. Now on the anniversary of her disappearance, Dee has tracked down a new lead, and that lead just happens to be Ted. Dee moves into the vacant house next door to Ted and begins to spy on him, convinced that not only was Ted responsible for abducting Lulu, but that Lulu is still alive and being held inside Ted’s house