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.
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.
With this book blurbed by heavy hitters Stephen King, Joe Hill, and Sarah Pinborough, I doubt many readers passed on requesting it from NetGalley. And what an eerie cover!
It’s difficult to review this without giving away spoilers, but let’s give it a shot. A layered story, a gradual reveal, a slow unraveling of the truth – all are apt descriptions of this novel. You’ll form and discard plenty of theories. Some of them may actually be half correct – or not. Told primarily from the viewpoints of Ted, his daughter Lauren, and Olivia the cat (as a servant to many feline overlords over the years, I can say the author totally nailed a cat’s internal thoughts), it’s clear early on something isn’t right in this house. Sometimes their viewpoints contradicted each other, and I questioned if they were even reliable narrators.
This is a dark, dark novel that may make you uncomfortable at times with its subject matter. You may not even like the story and characters, but it grabs you in a way that makes it nearly impossible to stop turning the pages so you can discover exactly what’s going on in this boarded up house.
Intriguing, disorienting, heart-breaking, and horrific at times, this isn’t a story for the faint of heart, but it’s one I’d highly recommend to fans of dark psychological suspense/thrillers bordering on horror. Make sure to read the author’s note at the end of the story.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.