Midnight on Beacon Street
by Emily Ruth Verona
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Pub Date 30 Jan 2024 | Archive Date 26 Mar 2024
Harper Perennial and Paperbacks, Harper Perennial
“Midnight on Beacon Street is a lot of things. It’s a taut thriller about a babysitter and two kids surviving one weird night. It’s a celebration of classic horror movies. It’s a creepy narrative that involves a ghost and late night home break-ins. And, most important, it’s a lot of fun. . . Verona plays with home invasion tropes by delivering a tale with multiple breaches, each offering differing types of frights. . . With its feverish pacing and startling plot twists, this is an impressive debut.” — New York Times Book Review
“My nineties heart was warmed and thrilled by Emily Ruth Verona’s debut novel, Midnight on Beacon Street. The shade of Shirley Jackson haunts this page-turner, which abounds in classic horror movie references, both revisiting and critiquing the tale of a babysitter left alone with kids she may or may not be able to protect. I loved every minute of it.” —Polly Stewart, author of The Good Ones
A suspenseful and entertaining debut thriller—and love letter to vintage horror movies—in which a teenager must overcome her own anxiety to protect the two children she’s babysitting when strangers come knocking at the door.
October 1993. One night. One house. One dead body.
When single mom Eleanor Mazinski goes out a for a much-needed date night, she leaves her two young children—sweet, innocent six-year-old Ben and precocious, defiant twelve-year-old Mira—in the capable hands of their sitter, Amy. The quiet seventeen-year-old is good at looking after children, despite her anxiety disorder. She also loves movies, especially horror flicks. Amy likes their predictability; it calms the panic that threatens to overwhelm her.
The evening starts out normally enough, with games, pizza, and dancing. But as darkness falls, events in this quaint suburban New Jersey house take a terrifying turn—unexpected visitors at the door, mysterious phone calls, and by midnight, little Ben is in the kitchen standing in a pool of blood, with a dead body at his feet.
In this dazzling debut novel, Emily Ruth Verona moves back and forth in time, ratcheting up suspense and tension on every page. Chock-full of nods to classic horror films of the seventies and eighties, Midnight on Beacon Street is a gripping thriller full of electrifying twists and a heartwarming tale of fear and devotion that explores our terrors and the lengths we’ll go to keep our loved ones safe.