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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 somet 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...


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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 somet 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...

30 review for The Last House on Needless Street

  1. 4 out of 5

    Emily May

    "Everyone has a monster inside them," he says. Layers under layers under layers. The Last House on Needless Street is one of those books that starts very strange and then gradually reveals itself over the course of the novel. If you think you have it figured out, I'd wager you're wrong about at least some of it. Other reviewers said "twist", but this is not one of those books that hands you a kaboom of a reveal and that's it. Be shocked or disappointed, depending on whether or not you figured "Everyone has a monster inside them," he says. Layers under layers under layers. The Last House on Needless Street is one of those books that starts very strange and then gradually reveals itself over the course of the novel. If you think you have it figured out, I'd wager you're wrong about at least some of it. Other reviewers said "twist", but this is not one of those books that hands you a kaboom of a reveal and that's it. Be shocked or disappointed, depending on whether or not you figured it out. Nope. This book is a slow unravelling of the truth. It could be regarded as a little bit scary in parts, but this is far from your standard horror novel. We meet several narrators over the course of the story. First, Ted. A man who lives in a ramshackle house with his cat and, sometimes, his daughter Lauren. It is obvious that Ted's mind might not be working as it should, whether due to alcohol or some underlying condition, who can say? Then, in come the perspectives of Lauren and even the cat, Olivia. One thing quickly becomes clear: all is not well in the last house on Needless Street. Then there's Dee, the sister of a young girl who went missing years ago, and she is convinced Ted is responsible. He had been a suspect at the time, but had provided a flimsy alibi. Dee moves into the house next door to Ted, determined to prove his guilt. Ward's afterword is a must-read and I really liked hearing her reasons behind writing a book like this. In a way, it is a kind of (view spoiler)[anti-horror novel. Luring you into believing old tropes, only to shatter your perceptions. (hide spoiler)] Fascinating, unsettling, and sad. CW: Child abuse.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Paromjit

    Having read the award winning Catriona Ward's incredible debut, Rawblood, it is not surprising that her latest novel, an atmospheric gothic horror, the darkest of fairytales, is one of the books of 2021. In a place that echoes with lost boys, 11 years ago, the haunted Dee lost her little 6 year old sister, Lulu, the Popsicle Girl, disappearing, never to be seen again. Unsurprisingly, Dee's family disintegrated, and her father is now dead. Dee is left petrified of snakes, thinking she knows who t Having read the award winning Catriona Ward's incredible debut, Rawblood, it is not surprising that her latest novel, an atmospheric gothic horror, the darkest of fairytales, is one of the books of 2021. In a place that echoes with lost boys, 11 years ago, the haunted Dee lost her little 6 year old sister, Lulu, the Popsicle Girl, disappearing, never to be seen again. Unsurprisingly, Dee's family disintegrated, and her father is now dead. Dee is left petrified of snakes, thinking she knows who took her sister, she fixates on Ted Bannerman, even though there was CCTV showing he was in a store, with scores of witnesses at the time, proving he had nothing to do with the taking of Lulu. The determined and watchful Dee takes up residence next to Ted's dilapidated home, intent on locating Lulu, convinced of Ted's involvement. At the end of the street are the eerie Woods where the gods are buried. The unprepossessing, oddball and bulky Ted is a strange man, a prisoner of his reclusive and lonely life, living for the times when his young daughter, Lauren, comes to visit, accompanying her as she trundles and tears round the house on her bike. The novel opens with the menacing act of someone massacring the birds in his garden, leaving Ted devastated and upset, trying to work out who would do such a thing. He is often drunk, visits the bug man, is terrified of the green boys in the attic, and has issues with his memories and there are indications that they are unreliable. Ted is desperate for close contact, going on dates, assuming right from the start that he will be rejected. One of the main perspectives comes from Olivia, Ted's beloved cat, an indoor cat all too conscious of the dangers of the outside world, her god given mission to take care of and protect Ted, although there are occasions when she is so furious with him that she looks for her own forms of revenge, although she can never manage to dislodge and smash the picture of Ted's parents. As the story progresses, the ever creeping feelings of unease, tensions, dread and fear, build ever stronger. Ward's storytelling veers towards the genius in its unsettling structure, the never ending spiral of twists and turns, the complexities and layered depths of the characters are a marvel to behold, including that of Olivia, at no point did I feel secure about understanding what was going on. The author is remarkably adept at keeping the reader off kilter, underlining and compounding the strong sense and threads of continuous instability with the indeterminate circles of time. This is a riveting, standout and utterly unforgettable read that grabs you by the throat and never lets go until the final pages, a tale of terror, trauma, mental health issues, survival and hope. I have absolutely no doubt that this is going to be a book that will do amazingly well, a wonderful must read. Hugely recommended! Many thanks to Serpent's Tail/Profile Books for an ARC.

  3. 5 out of 5

    MarilynW

    The Last House on Needless Street by Catriona Ward (Author), Christopher Ragland (Narrator) Eleven years ago Dee and her six year old sister visit a lake with their parents. By the time they leave, the six year old is missing and Dee's family is shattered forever. But Dee is determined to find her sister.  Now, or is it before...time is so twisted and confused and missing for Ted. He lives in the family home, with the windows covered with plywood, the house dusty, cluttered, dark, and falling apar The Last House on Needless Street by Catriona Ward (Author), Christopher Ragland (Narrator) Eleven years ago Dee and her six year old sister visit a lake with their parents. By the time they leave, the six year old is missing and Dee's family is shattered forever. But Dee is determined to find her sister.  Now, or is it before...time is so twisted and confused and missing for Ted. He lives in the family home, with the windows covered with plywood, the house dusty, cluttered, dark, and falling apart. Ted loses time for hours or days and he can't remember names at all or anything else very well. He narrates things on an old cassette tape on an old cassette recorder because he knows he can't remember anything. He has a daughter who is out of control and a cat who is his only comfort. He tries not to think about his mother or father. He hides from the neighbors. He doesn't know how long he can go on like this but he also doesn't know how he has gone on like this.  Not much more can be said about this strange, disturbing book. It's better to let Ted, Dee, and Olivia, the talking cat, tell the story. Be aware that there is massive amounts of abuse of people and animals. This story is suffocating, claustrophobic, and horrifying. Thank you to my friend Susan for the hardback copy of this book. Expected publication: September 28th 2021 by Macmillan Audio (first published March 18th 2021) Thank you to Macmillan Audio and NetGalley for this ARC. 

  4. 4 out of 5

    Nilufer Ozmekik

    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 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!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Maureen

    Hands up, when I started reading this, I thought it wasn’t going to be for me, but it turns out I was wrong, and I was duly rewarded with a strange, dark, but unique reading experience. Ted is something of a recluse, he lives in a tumbledown house right beside a spooky forest on Needless Street, he has his cat Olivia for company, and occasional visits from his daughter Lauren. Lauren’s visits are a whirlwind of torment for Ted, (and Olivia) she’s noisy, aggressive, and defiant, but he does his be Hands up, when I started reading this, I thought it wasn’t going to be for me, but it turns out I was wrong, and I was duly rewarded with a strange, dark, but unique reading experience. Ted is something of a recluse, he lives in a tumbledown house right beside a spooky forest on Needless Street, he has his cat Olivia for company, and occasional visits from his daughter Lauren. Lauren’s visits are a whirlwind of torment for Ted, (and Olivia) she’s noisy, aggressive, and defiant, but he does his best to instil some sort of discipline, or Lauren has to pay the price for her behaviour! I don’t want to give anything away, so I’ll leave it at that, except to say that this is a tense, creepy but compelling and original storyline, that reads more like gothic horror at times! * Thank you to Netgalley and Serpent’s Tail/ Profile Books for an ARC in exchange for an honest unbiased review *

  6. 4 out of 5

    Regina

    The Last House on Needless Street is a 5-star book that you may not end up liking, but mark my words - you WILL be hearing about it. In fact, if you listen hard enough, you may even hear the buzz building already. Though it was published in the U.K. in March, it won’t be available in the U.S. until September. So what are North American bibliophiles doing to get copies? Firing off requests to publishers, buying them online from U.K.-based Book Depository, and mailing them off to one another. Then The Last House on Needless Street is a 5-star book that you may not end up liking, but mark my words - you WILL be hearing about it. In fact, if you listen hard enough, you may even hear the buzz building already. Though it was published in the U.K. in March, it won’t be available in the U.S. until September. So what are North American bibliophiles doing to get copies? Firing off requests to publishers, buying them online from U.K.-based Book Depository, and mailing them off to one another. Then after they’ve finally read the story, they’re discussing it with one another. And there is A LOT to discuss. What is it actually about, you ask? The genius is that people who’ve read it can’t really tell you. The back cover of the U.K. version sums it up quite well: “This is the story of a murderer. A stolen child. Revenge. This is the story of Ted, who lives with his daughter Lauren and his cat Olivia in an ordinary house at the end of an ordinary street. All these things are true. And yet some of them are lies.” Intriguing, huh? I thought so, and I found the reading experience itself to be unsettling as well. Not only do unsettling things occur, but I also was never quite sure what was going on. “What am I reading here?” was a phrase that ran through my head for the duration. While I did have a fairly good hypothesis, which ended up being correct, I wasn’t let down by not being completely blindsided by each reveal. That’s a true testament to author Catriona Ward’s writing. Putting the pieces of her puzzle together felt like a win rather than a loss. The Last House on Needless Street is being primarily shelved as horror, but that doesn’t feel entirely accurate. It’s a creepy, gothic thriller that 50% of your book club will hate, and the other 50% will appreciate as the modern classic it's destined to become. My lovely friend Kat was gracious enough to gift me her copy after she wrote her own excellent 5-star review. I also subsequently received the audiobook courtesy of Macmillan Audio via NetGalley, so I was able to experience both formats. The narrator, Christopher Ragland, is superb and should be a contender for an Audie Award. If he doesn’t receive one, it would be as much of a crime as if you didn’t add this novel to your Must Read list. Blog: www.confettibookshelf.com IG: @confettibookshelf

  7. 4 out of 5

    preoccupiedbybooks

    *Now avaliable in the UK! Also I'm so excited that Andy Serkis and Jonathan Cavendish’s Imaginarium Productions are making it into a film!! * A horrifying, atmospheric and unexpected book, which will challenge what you think, and make you question everything the entire time! Ted lives in the last house on Needless street, right next to the woods, with his cat and his daughter. Next door, a woman moves in, looking for her missing sister. You might think you see where this story about a serial killer *Now avaliable in the UK! Also I'm so excited that Andy Serkis and Jonathan Cavendish’s Imaginarium Productions are making it into a film!! * A horrifying, atmospheric and unexpected book, which will challenge what you think, and make you question everything the entire time! Ted lives in the last house on Needless street, right next to the woods, with his cat and his daughter. Next door, a woman moves in, looking for her missing sister. You might think you see where this story about a serial killer, a stolen child and revenge is going, but you have no idea.. Ok, I finished this late last night, and didn't know what to think, or how to feel, I needed to process. I lay in bed after with a sour, unsettled feeling in my stomach because this book was not AT ALL what I thought it was going to be! Even with the cryptic synopsis! This wont be a book for everyone, at times it was one of the strangest things I've ever read! I would say, if you're finding it too weird, and I've seen a lot of DNFs at a certain point when a cat is introduced, then persevere. I can see why people give up there, I almost did, but at that point you're not even scraping the surface of this story! This is a very difficult review to write, because I can't really say anything about any of the characters without giving spoilers! Just know that there are multiple POVs from very unreliable narrators, and that the POV is constantly shifting. I felt lost and confused at times reading The Last House on Needless Street, but that style is important to the book, you are not meant to know. I would love to discuss this with others who have read the book! At times, I thought to myself do I even like this book? I wasn't sure! But was I absorbed by the chilling and unusual story? Definitely! It was a complicated, layered look at trauma and survival. It was heart-breaking and tragic, intense and creepy. I hated Ted, and thought I had everything figured out, but was repeatedly wrong! Every time I thought that I had a handle on the plot, the ground would shift. Catriona Ward was always one step ahead of me, and her excellently constructed book, with it's beautiful and powerful writing kept me off balance, feeding me tiny clues at just the right time! I had a sense that there was something that I wasn't quite grasping, and had to find out what it was, I felt blind! This book had me murmuring to myself, commenting out loud, and even discussing theories with my husband. The further I got, the darker, more twisted and crazy it seemed! I just couldn't stop thinking about it. I'm not even sure what genre to put this in, is it dark gothic horror, fantasy, a psychological thriller? All of the above? I have no idea! But whatever you think is going on, you are wrong🤷‍♀️ As things began to unfold, I thought my head would explode! And as I got even further, my emotions felt raw. When it came to the conclusion, I was truly shocked, like speechless, sat downstairs on my own. Looking back I could slap myself, as there were clues, but then again, I don't think many will really see until they get to the end?! Everything was just so cleverly disguised in the writing! Pay attention to everything! I kind of feel like I would like to read it again, now knowing what I know... Overall, I would recommend this if you like gothic horror with a psychological element, if you like books that are a little bit different, because this was definitely original, I've not read anything like it! 🐱🐱🐱🐱 Many thanks to NetGalley UK and Serpents Tail/Profile books for the ARC, in exchange for an honest review!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Charlotte May

    I am overwhelmed. And I think I have whiplash from all the twists! “There’s a monster inside each of us...if you let yours out, Ted, it might not eat you.” Ok, I’ll keep this short because I think going in blind is the best option with this one. We have 4 POVs. Ted, a loner who lives on Needless Street, no job, no friends and comes across as creepy. Olivia, his pet cat (this is a weird POV but trust me, go with it) and Lauren, Ted’s ‘daughter’ who frequently comes to visit. But something isn’t I am overwhelmed. And I think I have whiplash from all the twists! “There’s a monster inside each of us...if you let yours out, Ted, it might not eat you.” Ok, I’ll keep this short because I think going in blind is the best option with this one. We have 4 POVs. Ted, a loner who lives on Needless Street, no job, no friends and comes across as creepy. Olivia, his pet cat (this is a weird POV but trust me, go with it) and Lauren, Ted’s ‘daughter’ who frequently comes to visit. But something isn’t quite right. Meanwhile the last POV is Dee. A desperate woman searching for her baby sister who disappeared 11 years earlier. She finds herself on Needless Street, looking into Ted. But just how much danger is she in? What starts as a fairly recognisable thriller/horror set up soon spirals into something entirely different. You will not guess. I am telling you now! What I loved was how this book takes so many tropes - like the kidnapped girl, and the weirdo loner and completely changes our perspective. I found this book impossible to put down. I was prising it out of my fingers when I had to work. A truly gripping and surprising page turner. ********************** Library copy available for pick up Yessss! I have so been looking forward to this one!

  9. 4 out of 5

    karen

    come on, everybody! as you may have heard, this book is all about the twist. there are some books whose whole appeal is hinged on their SHOCKING TWIST SURPRISE (like the disappointing We Were Liars, which wendy darling summed up perfectly in her review). this is not one of those books. however, talking about what makes it so great apart from the resolution becomes a review-challenge of landmine-avoidance. this book is sort of the reversal of books like Behind Her Eyes or The Man from Primrose Lan come on, everybody! as you may have heard, this book is all about the twist. there are some books whose whole appeal is hinged on their SHOCKING TWIST SURPRISE (like the disappointing We Were Liars, which wendy darling summed up perfectly in her review). this is not one of those books. however, talking about what makes it so great apart from the resolution becomes a review-challenge of landmine-avoidance. this book is sort of the reversal of books like Behind Her Eyes or The Man from Primrose Lane, whose fairly straightforward storylines are abruptly infiltrated by GENRE, changing the entire trajectory of reader expectations. this one, blurbed succinctly by alex north is: A perfect horror novel, but not in the way you expect. and since we're on the subject of blurbs, this next blurb is why i love t. kingfisher/ursula vernon so much: 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. and i might as well drop paul tremblay's here as well, because he was kind enough to name-drop me into A Head Full of Ghosts: A breathtakingly ambitious book, gorgeously written, and never once shies away from showing you its fangs and its beautiful, blood-filled heart. there are many more enticing, intriguing blurbs—long story short: many excellent writers i admire admire this book. with good reason. so let me add my less-accomplished words to theirs while tiptoeing around the specifics. i've never read anything by catriona ward before, although i think i have a couple of her books in my towering bookstacks. this book is full of, clean, tight, careful writing; tricksy and propulsive, VERY well-plotted, and you do not want to put it down for anything. and once things start unraveling, your brain just starts going ping ping ping with noticing, but i sure as hell wasn't putting it all together—i didn't know what to do with all of my noticings. it's like—sometimes you're reading an ARC and there's a mistake and you just dismiss it, but here, nothing is a mistake. the details might cause a little hitch in your reading, a "wait, wasn't that...?" and as the conflicting details accrue, it starts to break your whole damn brain, but by the end, you understand everything, and you're broken in a whole different way—in your FEELS. you're in good hands with this one. and this sentiment? hard agree. I judge people two ways—on how they treat animals, and on what they like to eat. If their favorite food is some kind of salad, they are definitely a bad person. Anything with cheese, they are probably OK. p.s.—do not skip the afterword, but do save it for after. *********************************************** update: THOSE WEREN'T DIAMONDS! review to come *********************************************** prepare yourself for a long string of slightly-blurred photos... yesterday i went to get covid-shot #1, and while i was waiting, i realized that my shirt, my bag, and my mask all had cats on them, and i thought to myself "welp, that's certainly one way to be an adult." i was between books and had already chosen my next read, but when i got home, there was a package waiting for me, a box with fake hinges and shiny trim and a little cat sticker adorning the front and inside... whaaaaat? such BOUNTY! a book i already wanted to read, PLUS this awesome cat pin and little baggies of mysterious items one of these pens writes SILVER this one has catnip tea with not one but TWO additional cat stickers and this one has hot sauce and jelly and honey and one million diamonds! even the little paper clip holding together the promotional material is cat-shaped in short, i will be changing my plans and starting this book immediately, because cats. come to my blog!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Holly B

    A challenging story to review. A challenging story to read. Once invested, a hard story to put down. While reading the book and listening to the audio, I was confused, puzzled, and disturbed. It is more than a horror story, it made my pulse race. 3 locks turning - let me in- let me in..... A feeling of doom, a decrepit house, broken things, a clever cat, shock and surprise and a need to know. You won't know until you know. Sayonara An excellent audio!! Thank you Macmillan Audio and NG! OUT in US on A challenging story to review. A challenging story to read. Once invested, a hard story to put down. While reading the book and listening to the audio, I was confused, puzzled, and disturbed. It is more than a horror story, it made my pulse race. 3 locks turning - let me in- let me in..... A feeling of doom, a decrepit house, broken things, a clever cat, shock and surprise and a need to know. You won't know until you know. Sayonara An excellent audio!! Thank you Macmillan Audio and NG! OUT in US on March 18, 2021 I also purchased my own paperback copy from Book Depository.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Michael David

    First word that came to mind after reading this: WOW! I was essentially speechless and needed to get my thoughts in order. Ted lives in an old house that is dirty, uncared for, and on the verge of being decrepit. He shares the house with his cat, Olivia, and his daughter, Lauren...when she’s able to visit. He values his privacy for many reasons and is not happy when a suspicious woman moves in next door. As the synopsis states: “All these things are true. And yet some of them are lies.” Told from mu First word that came to mind after reading this: WOW! I was essentially speechless and needed to get my thoughts in order. Ted lives in an old house that is dirty, uncared for, and on the verge of being decrepit. He shares the house with his cat, Olivia, and his daughter, Lauren...when she’s able to visit. He values his privacy for many reasons and is not happy when a suspicious woman moves in next door. As the synopsis states: “All these things are true. And yet some of them are lies.” Told from multiple perspectives, including Olivia the cat, I couldn’t determine if I was enjoying what I was reading. I was confused at times, and yet I had this propulsive need to flip the pages as my mind tried to process the bizarre events. And then everything comes together. And it is a DOOZY! This has got to be one of the most original novels I’ve ever read, and it’s brilliant how author Catriona Ward lays everything out and makes it all work splendidly and cohesively in the end. I really can’t say too much about this one without giving anything away, but I’ll just say you should read it to believe it! I have no idea what genre I would put it in. Psychological Horror? Thriller? Something else? NO CLUE! I may have to read this, or at least parts of it, again to fully wrap my head around it. It’s a mindf- - k, and I can understand why it seems to be one of the most anticipated books for many readers. There are triggers, but I won’t discuss them here as I don’t want to spoil anything. 4 stars, but may move up as I am really still processing this SMART story. You do NOT want to miss this one! Thank you to Tor Nightfire for sending me a widget of the ARC through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The book will be published in the U.S on: 9/28/21. Review also posted at: https://bonkersforthebooks.wordpress.com

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jayme

    ONLY 3 ⭐️ for my enjoyment level of the story BUT...5 ⭐️ for the spectacular Audible performance by Christopher Ragland! (I still cannot believe this was just one narrator!) Sssh! Do you want to know a secret?🤫 👏🏻 Bravo to the marketing team of this novel for saying VERY little, and making us ALL want to know the secrets contained within the pages of this book. What is said: That it’s a story of a man named Ted, who lives with his daughter Lauren and his cat Olivia in a house at the end of Needless ONLY 3 ⭐️ for my enjoyment level of the story BUT...5 ⭐️ for the spectacular Audible performance by Christopher Ragland! (I still cannot believe this was just one narrator!) Sssh! Do you want to know a secret?🤫 👏🏻 Bravo to the marketing team of this novel for saying VERY little, and making us ALL want to know the secrets contained within the pages of this book. What is said: That it’s a story of a man named Ted, who lives with his daughter Lauren and his cat Olivia in a house at the end of Needless Street. And, that it’s a story of a murderer, a stolen child and revenge. Also said: That all of these things are true. And, at the same time that some of them are lies. BUT that is all that the beautiful book jacket will tell you. 👏🏻 Bravo to the reviews that have come before mine, which revealed almost nothing more-making this THE MOST INTRIGUING BOOK OF 2021! AND! MY MOST ANTICIPATED READ OF THE YEAR! The story INITIALLY reveals itself through the perspectives of Ted and Olivia. YES-Olivia the cat! And, while I struggled to believe that any woman would’ve gotten intimate with Ted-I had no trouble believing in a talking cat! 🙀 As the author will tell you in the afterword (which you MUST read) , the book does begin as HORROR. But then it evolved into.....something else. And, it’s the something else we are all not telling you about. You have to read it for yourself. Unlike, apparently everyone else, this book WON’T make my favorites list this year. I didn’t really enjoy the story. BUT-I can’t argue with the fact that the misdirection was flawless and that I was dying to be in on the secret! Unique and Creative-4 ⭐️ final rating. Thank You to Macmillan Audio for providing a listen 🎧 through NetGalley shelf! And, to my friend Susan for providing a gifted copy 🎁 which I read simultaneously! Available now in the UK Available September 28, 2021 in the U.S.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Debra

    Wowza! What a story! All these things are true. And yet they are all lies... When I first starting reading this, I was instantly intrigued!! A missing girl, a cat that reads the bible and a man with mental health issues! Bring-it-on! And she does! Catriona Ward brings it on in this book. Try to go in knowing as little as possible. The synopsis is all you need to begin this book. Because things get interesting and then *BAM* your socks will get knocked off. I loved how original this book was an Wowza! What a story! All these things are true. And yet they are all lies... When I first starting reading this, I was instantly intrigued!! A missing girl, a cat that reads the bible and a man with mental health issues! Bring-it-on! And she does! Catriona Ward brings it on in this book. Try to go in knowing as little as possible. The synopsis is all you need to begin this book. Because things get interesting and then *BAM* your socks will get knocked off. I loved how original this book was and how it was told. I enjoyed all the characters, but I will admit, Olivia the bible reading cat won me over! Holy Moly, a bible reading cat! Why yes! Aren't all cats’ readers? They sure like hanging out in bookstores. But I digress.... Did I mention this book has a bizarre feel to it? No, well there is a bizarre feel to this book. An uneasy feel which permeates throughout the book. It's unnerving and will have you scratching your head... Initially, we know two things: a young girl has gone missing while enjoying the day at the lake with her family and a man named Ted lives in the house, he grew up in. He is basically reclusive and has mental health issues. I am being purposely vague as a.) I want readers to go in blind and b.) I think knowing too much will ruin parts of the book for you. Whew! What a book! Again, go in blind. Along the forty percent mark, I started thinking hmmm....and wondering.... believing I had some things figured out..... Then the author brought it a little further in the book. There is a part where everything will make sense, you will understand why things feel bizarre, now things are becoming clear.... but not everything, not yet! Ward is not giving away the farm- all at once. She still saves some until the end. This was a highly creative, original, and well thought out novel. Plus, it has a fantastic 'aha' moment! My head is spinning! I cannot wait to read what Ward writes next. If this book is not on your radar, it needs to be! Thank you to Macmillan-Tor/Forge and NetGalley who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All the thoughts and opinions are my own. Read more of my reviews at www.openbookposts.com

  14. 5 out of 5

    Sheyla ✎

    Ted is a loner. He lives in Needless Street and avoids his neighbors. His only companions are his cat, Olivia, and his daughter Lauren who comes for short visits too. Ted's parents are both gone and his childhood home is now his house. He tries to maintain the upkeep of his property but he doesn't do a very good job. When he was a kid he used to go to school but he never really developed close friendships. His mother was a nurse and she took care of him after his father left. Ted became a reclus Ted is a loner. He lives in Needless Street and avoids his neighbors. His only companions are his cat, Olivia, and his daughter Lauren who comes for short visits too. Ted's parents are both gone and his childhood home is now his house. He tries to maintain the upkeep of his property but he doesn't do a very good job. When he was a kid he used to go to school but he never really developed close friendships. His mother was a nurse and she took care of him after his father left. Ted became a recluse when his face was in the newspapers. His face was associated with the disappearance of a young girl. She disappeared near the lake and her body was never found. People said Ted had an alibi, but the girl's sister, Dee is not too sure. Is Ted the monster who took Lulu? Did Ted kill her? If so, can Dee find out the truth? You would have to read (or listen to it as I did) this book to know what really happens. Yes, this book is unconventional. Olivia, the cat, has her own chapters which might dissuade some readers. I will say, persevere, IT'S WORTH IT. Furthermore, I think Olivia became my favorite character. The audio was superb and the narrator did a wonderful job at interpreting each character and their own turmoil. Cliffhanger: No 4/5 Fangs A complimentary copy was provided by Macmillan Audio/Macmillan-Tor/Forge via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. MrsLeif's Two Fangs About It | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

  15. 5 out of 5

    Char

    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 h 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!*

  16. 5 out of 5

    Kat (Books are Comfort Food)

    The Last House on Needless Street is not a thriller, nor is it your average psychological story. Oh, it’s very dark, frightening and creepy, no doubt. But it’s more than that and herein lies the book’s genius. Ted is a recluse, living in an old house, stifled of living energy. He lives with his cat, Olivia, and his daughter, Lauren, who sometimes visits. Her visits are odd and she comes and goes. Teds favorite places are outdoors, including the dense, dark woods that hold on to secrets come night The Last House on Needless Street is not a thriller, nor is it your average psychological story. Oh, it’s very dark, frightening and creepy, no doubt. But it’s more than that and herein lies the book’s genius. Ted is a recluse, living in an old house, stifled of living energy. He lives with his cat, Olivia, and his daughter, Lauren, who sometimes visits. Her visits are odd and she comes and goes. Teds favorite places are outdoors, including the dense, dark woods that hold on to secrets come nightfall. At times, I was frustrated because it’s a slow-burn book that felt slower because I read some, then stopped to think about what I read and then I was back pushing pages again. There were a few parts I reread over again, because surely I was misreading that I just read. Not to mention there were times I thought the author slipped off her rocker. This is an excellent read! And when you read it, stick with it and you will thank yourself for doing so. Note, I’ve kept this very generic as I do t want to give anything away.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Carolyn Walsh

    4.5 stars rounded up to 5. This book was splendid, sinister, startling and surprising. It was beautifully written and the story unique, containing dark, eerie, complicated, and mind-blowing elements. There were also undercurrents of compassion, tenderness, and hope along with the dread. The storyline was wise, sad, and creepy. How to categorize this brilliant book? Is it a literary Gothic mystery, a domestic thriller about a dysfunctional family, a horror story, or a creepy tale about a serial 4.5 stars rounded up to 5. This book was splendid, sinister, startling and surprising. It was beautifully written and the story unique, containing dark, eerie, complicated, and mind-blowing elements. There were also undercurrents of compassion, tenderness, and hope along with the dread. The storyline was wise, sad, and creepy. How to categorize this brilliant book? Is it a literary Gothic mystery, a domestic thriller about a dysfunctional family, a horror story, or a creepy tale about a serial killer? Was it all of these, some of them, or something entirely new and original? It was truly an extraordinary and disturbing read. The only drawback for me came at a point where my mind felt it would explode with the storyline's complexities and revelations. I had to go back to figure out what was real in the far and near distant past, and their implications for the present and future. I will not summarize any of the plot. I highly recommend this book, and urge readers to approach it without any surprises and there will be plenty. This was an absorbing, complex read and it should put its author, Catriona Ward, in the must-read category for this and her future novels.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Christina

    Haunting, horrifying, touching, and weird - this book really puts the “psycho” in “psychological thriller,” and is one of the best books of 2021. I listened to the audiobook, which was full of absolutely stunning and spectacular vocal performances by Christopher Ragland. I really trust the master, Stephen King, for my horror book recommendations, so my when I read his blurb saying this book blew him away, I had to read it. Despite my sky-high expectations, I was NOT disappointed by this twisty, g Haunting, horrifying, touching, and weird - this book really puts the “psycho” in “psychological thriller,” and is one of the best books of 2021. I listened to the audiobook, which was full of absolutely stunning and spectacular vocal performances by Christopher Ragland. I really trust the master, Stephen King, for my horror book recommendations, so my when I read his blurb saying this book blew him away, I had to read it. Despite my sky-high expectations, I was NOT disappointed by this twisty, gothic horror book full of mysteries and secrets. It’s pretty hard to discuss this plot without giving any of the fun away, but here goes my small and vague attempt: Ted lives in a decrepit old house on Needless Street. It has boarded up windows and is poorly kept. Soon, we learn that Ted is not alone in the house. At about the same time, we learn about a kidnapping years ago. Is Ted connected to this event? The very best thing about this book was the characters. Wait, or was it the twisted, perfectly constructed plot? Anyway, I absolutely loved the character of Olivia, to start, and as I went along I found myself loving all the characters...even the ones that seemed like monsters.. This book is constructed in such a way that each character’s narration gives you more and more clues to not only the central mysteries (there are several!) but also enlightens you about the other characters and their parts in the mystery, as well as their unique and creepy roles in each others’ lives. I must pause to note that the audiobook narrator does one of the best jobs I’ve ever heard voicing numerous very different characters in this extremely complex and varied audiobook. His narration contributed greatly to my listening enjoyment. He was just perfect. But I think the plot of this story is the real star. It is just spectacular. It has SO many layers, which peel away until you get to the core of one mystery, only to begin uncovering another. The reveals are shocking, crazy, weird, horrifying, and yet there is so much humanity and compassion in this difficult tale. It has been a long time since I felt so drawn in and connected to characters in a book. I did not want them to leave me when it was over. If you have read this book, at this point you might be a little worried about my mental health. But seriously, all the characters,dark though they may be, were so beautifully and emotionally drawn, and they way they all related to each other was very special. I will say that I did not find the central mystery of this story too hard to figure out. The author leaves a LOT of clues. But this in no way took away from my enjoyment. It is a super creative, always unfolding and developing mystery that just sucks you in and doesn’t let go. I really cannot praise this book enough. I foresee awards and probably a movie adaptation in its near future. I’m also planning on reading the physical version of this book to see if it’s different from the audiobook experience, and to see what else I get out of it, knowing what I now know about the ending. Bravo to Catriona Ward for doing something so creative, new and different in the horror and suspense genre. A truly engrossing, powerful, shocking mystery that will surely stay with me for a long time. Bravo too to this amazing audio narrator for pulling this book off flawlessly! Thanks to Macmillan Audio, NetGalley and the author for one of my most anticipated, and now favorite, books of 2021. I need more than 5 stars for this one! 🌟

  19. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    I Needed This Book! It’s not often that such a unique book comes around. I was so anxious to read it that I pre-ordered from The Book Depository in December for a UK March release. It’ll be available here in the US on September 28 this year. The first thing I noticed after opening the spooky cover were the accolades from other published authors. Over thirty quotes including Steven King (!) affirmed my anticipation that I was in for a special reading experience. Following in the wake of other review I Needed This Book! It’s not often that such a unique book comes around. I was so anxious to read it that I pre-ordered from The Book Depository in December for a UK March release. It’ll be available here in the US on September 28 this year. The first thing I noticed after opening the spooky cover were the accolades from other published authors. Over thirty quotes including Steven King (!) affirmed my anticipation that I was in for a special reading experience. Following in the wake of other reviewers, I’ll skip the plot elaboration. It belies the sum of its parts and is more than a description. I enjoyed wondering how I would categorize this and vacillated between genres. This book was riveting. At once mystical, foreboding, and dense with original elements, I had to pay attention in an attempt to figure out timeline placement and what was real or imagined. I was challenged in a good way! This is also very dark. The tempered horror seeped into me and I hadn’t comprehended how fully I ingested the story until I woke up at 4 AM thinking about it. I couldn’t fall back asleep - it had found a home in my subconscious. An unsettling hangover now remains. Rx the cozies and rom-coms for the cure? Eeek!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Joanne Harris

    In my experience, books like this don't come around too often. An intelligent, well-written, stylish psychological thriller, written in mutiple distinct voices; with a perfectly-structured plot arc and a perfectly satistfying whammy at the end - I would say I inhaled this in one, but I think I was too busy holding my breath throughout. Bravo. In my experience, books like this don't come around too often. An intelligent, well-written, stylish psychological thriller, written in mutiple distinct voices; with a perfectly-structured plot arc and a perfectly satistfying whammy at the end - I would say I inhaled this in one, but I think I was too busy holding my breath throughout. Bravo.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*

    EXCERPT: A long gallery stretches before her, running the length of the house. The gallery has no windows. The air is cool, controlled to a fraction of a degree. Display cases and framed photographs line the walls, each lit by a single low spotlight. This is his collection; the museum, he calls it. She has heard of it. It is well known, if your interests lie in that direction. The man obtains things that most people can't. Things that no one should see. He collects artifacts of death. Photograph EXCERPT: A long gallery stretches before her, running the length of the house. The gallery has no windows. The air is cool, controlled to a fraction of a degree. Display cases and framed photographs line the walls, each lit by a single low spotlight. This is his collection; the museum, he calls it. She has heard of it. It is well known, if your interests lie in that direction. The man obtains things that most people can't. Things that no one should see. He collects artifacts of death. Photographs, vials of blood stolen from evidence, letters in spiky Victorian copperplate, pieces of the unclaimed dead, the pieces the killer did not have time to eat before he was caught. ABOUT 'THE LAST HOUSE ON NEEDLESS STREET': 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... MY THOUGHTS: The Last House on Needless Street is one of, if not THE strangest book I have ever read, and loved. It is told from three points of view: Ted, overweight, a recluse with a disabled daughter, who has episodes where he loses time; Olivia, the cat he rescued as a kitten and who is never allowed outdoors; and Dee, whose little sister Lulu (Little Girl with Popsicle) disappeared at the lake eleven years ago, and who has a pathological fear of snakes. Or, maybe it's not. The Last House on Needless Street is weirdly compelling. Twelve hours after finishing it (another one sitting read!) I am still unsure what I read. I am buzzing. It is mind-bending. Unsettling. Almost alive. It twisted and slithered and changed shape as I read. A hall of mirrors with an uneven floor, one that suddenly drops away into a void, one that moves as you walk. Alice in Wonderland for adults with darker tastes. ⭐⭐⭐⭐.4 #TheLastHouseonNeedlessStreet #NetGalley I: @catward66 @serpentstail @viperbooks T: @Catrionaward @serpentstail @ViperBooks #contemporaryfiction #crime #horror #mentalhealth #mystery #suspense THE AUTHOR: CATRIONA WARD was born in Washington, DC and grew up in the United States, Kenya, Madagascar, Yemen, and Morocco. She read English at St Edmund Hall, Oxford and is a graduate of the Creative Writing MA at the University of East Anglia. DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Serpent's Tail, Viper Books via Netgalley for providing a digital ARC of The Last House on Needless Street by Catriona Ward for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions. For an explanation of my rating system please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the about page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com This review and others are also published on Twitter, Amazon, Instagram and my webpage

  22. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    The first thing I hate is called a Russian doll. It holds a smaller version of itself inside it, and another inside that and so on. How awful. They are prisoners. I imagine them all screaming in the dark, unable to move or speak. The doll’s face is broad and blankly smiling. It looks so happy to be holding its children captive. You won't find any descriptions here as this book needs to be read blind. The Last House on Needless Street is a wonderfully dark and uncomfortable psychological horror. I The first thing I hate is called a Russian doll. It holds a smaller version of itself inside it, and another inside that and so on. How awful. They are prisoners. I imagine them all screaming in the dark, unable to move or speak. The doll’s face is broad and blankly smiling. It looks so happy to be holding its children captive. You won't find any descriptions here as this book needs to be read blind. The Last House on Needless Street is a wonderfully dark and uncomfortable psychological horror. Its plot is wall-to-wall twists and turns and complex layers of human trauma, both beautiful and ugly, full of horror and hope. The night flows in, pools in the corners, spreads across the floor like a tide. She looks at the dark and the dark looks back at her. I had more fun than I can remember trying to unravel the secrets of this story. It was the perfect book for a buddy read...Thanks inciminci!!... because I was constantly speculating on every detail, big and small, important and often not so important. Each chapter would invariably turn my theories on their head and I'd have to start anew. 5 stars simply because I thoroughly enjoyed myself from beginning to end.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Liz Barnsley

    The first book in a long time that I'd like to be able to give more than 5* to, The Last House On Needless Street is a deeply disturbing, atmospheric gothic novel that you will find almost impossible to put down. When you get to those final pages trust me you'll have a visceral reaction. Which will be individual to you. A stunning piece of fiction. If it doesn't win every relevant prize going in 2021 there's something wrong somewhere. Full review upon release. The first book in a long time that I'd like to be able to give more than 5* to, The Last House On Needless Street is a deeply disturbing, atmospheric gothic novel that you will find almost impossible to put down. When you get to those final pages trust me you'll have a visceral reaction. Which will be individual to you. A stunning piece of fiction. If it doesn't win every relevant prize going in 2021 there's something wrong somewhere. Full review upon release.

  24. 4 out of 5

    L.A.

    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 character 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.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Tonya

    The Last House on Needless Street is a story that will stay with you for a long time. It is told from different perspectives, mainly a reclusive childlike man named Ted, his cat Olivia, and his daughter Lauren. The plot is complex and layered. Gradually the various pieces come together to create an eerie, unsettling and at times an extremely disturbing read. Christopher Ragland’s narration of the story is expertly performed. His portrayal of each character is brilliantly executed adding a creepy The Last House on Needless Street is a story that will stay with you for a long time. It is told from different perspectives, mainly a reclusive childlike man named Ted, his cat Olivia, and his daughter Lauren. The plot is complex and layered. Gradually the various pieces come together to create an eerie, unsettling and at times an extremely disturbing read. Christopher Ragland’s narration of the story is expertly performed. His portrayal of each character is brilliantly executed adding a creepy thread that ties everything together. Parts of this book were very difficult to read. The story is heartbreaking, gut wrenching and terrifying. TW: child abuse Thank you NetGalley and Macmillan Audio for my audiobook.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Blair

    The Last House on Needless Street is very much one of those 'I have to read the whole thing NOW' books. Gripping and moreish as hell, always promising another twist, setting up new mysteries at every turn... If you're the kind of reader who loves devising theories about What's Really Going On and needs to keep reading to see if you're right, you will LOVE this book. The last house on Needless Street is a bleak, tumbledown sort of place, and it's inhabited by Ted, our first narrator. He has an idi The Last House on Needless Street is very much one of those 'I have to read the whole thing NOW' books. Gripping and moreish as hell, always promising another twist, setting up new mysteries at every turn... If you're the kind of reader who loves devising theories about What's Really Going On and needs to keep reading to see if you're right, you will LOVE this book. The last house on Needless Street is a bleak, tumbledown sort of place, and it's inhabited by Ted, our first narrator. He has an idiosyncratic voice that tells us the way he sees the world is a little off-kilter. He loves watching the birds in his yard, and the book's first mystery appears when someone sets up traps there to catch and kill them. This happens on the eleven-year anniversary of a little girl's disappearance in the area, something Ted spends a lot of time thinking about: back then, he was a suspect, but CCTV footage proved he was elsewhere. The girl's sister hasn't forgotten about Ted, though, and has finally managed to track him down. She moves into the house next door, intent on proving his involvement, and their stories become entwined. This is a compelling, twisty thriller that also plays with language and form. Nowhere is this clearer than in the chapters related by one of our other regular narrators: Olivia, Ted's cat. This could easily seem gimmicky or silly, but Ward handles Olivia's voice so well that I barely questioned it, with weird and funny little details (like the fact that Olivia uses the word 'brouhaha' for dog, or her reverence for a personal god whom she refers to as the ʟᴏʀᴅ). As anyone familiar with Ward's debut Rawblood will know, she's brilliant at writing vibrant, illusory scenes – and her style really comes into its own towards the end, when everything starts to unravel. And that's all I can really say about The Last House on Needless Street without giving too much of the story away. It's likely you will guess at least some of what's going on, but still be surprised, if only by the way the material is handled. More importantly, it keeps you hooked; it's a great combination of tension and thrills with excellent writing. I received an advance review copy of The Last House on Needless Street from the publisher through NetGalley. TinyLetter | Linktree

  27. 5 out of 5

    Corey Woodcock

    ”The gods are closer than you would think. They live among the trees, behind a skin so thin you could scratch it open with a fingernail...” First I gotta say, this is a very difficult book to review without spoiling anything. It’s a carefully crafted novel that doles out information slowly and very deliberately, and I think it’s done pretty well. Catriona Ward is a new author for me, and one that will be on my radar now. I was very impressed with her writing throughout the book - I found it to ”The gods are closer than you would think. They live among the trees, behind a skin so thin you could scratch it open with a fingernail...” First I gotta say, this is a very difficult book to review without spoiling anything. It’s a carefully crafted novel that doles out information slowly and very deliberately, and I think it’s done pretty well. Catriona Ward is a new author for me, and one that will be on my radar now. I was very impressed with her writing throughout the book - I found it to be thought provoking and well thought out. It’s true that I had some mixed feelings throughout the novel, but looking back on that, I have to blame myself more than the book itself. Things were not clicking, and I felt like they should’ve been. I had some pieces of the puzzle put together but something big was still eluding me around the halfway point. But shortly after that, the real ride began, which is the second half of this book. Heavy themes and issues are dealt with here; mental illness in particular. Although this book is very much fiction, I felt that Ward handled these issues well and respectfully. Perhaps a bit exaggerated, but that is to be expected in fiction. In the Afterword, Ward talks about the year-long research she did while preparing to write this book, and also talks about her original idea and how it grew into TLHONS. I found this all very interesting, and I’m glad she went the way she did ultimately. One thing from the book I must mention is that this book contains some chapters from the point of view of the cat, Olivia. I loved these chapters—they were entertaining, and even funny at times. It seems to me that Ward is probably a cat person (as am I), as she really seems to understand many of the subtleties of cat behavior, and this made for some great reading. Overall, I think the buzz is deserved. This book is filled with twists and turns, and is a unique spin on a plot device that has been done before. Although I’m sure many readers will have this figured out quickly, I think there are enough surprises along the way to keep most people interested. She hides what she wants hidden pretty well, while dropping hints all along the way. In my opinion, this is a psychological thriller disguised as horror, but that doesn’t mean it’s lacking horrific moments. 4.5/5

  28. 5 out of 5

    Boston

    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 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. *thank you to the publisher for sending me an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

  29. 5 out of 5

    Whispering Stories

    Book Reviewed on www.whisperingstories.com Told from various viewpoints, including a cat called Olivia, The Last House on Needless Street is a chilling and at times disturbing story of a recluse called Ted who has mental health issues and has periods of time he doesn’t remember. Ted lives alone in the house on Needless Street, except for his cat and when his daughter Lauren comes to visit. Lauren is like an explosion. She causes so much noise and mess and hates the cat, which in turn hates her too Book Reviewed on www.whisperingstories.com Told from various viewpoints, including a cat called Olivia, The Last House on Needless Street is a chilling and at times disturbing story of a recluse called Ted who has mental health issues and has periods of time he doesn’t remember. Ted lives alone in the house on Needless Street, except for his cat and when his daughter Lauren comes to visit. Lauren is like an explosion. She causes so much noise and mess and hates the cat, which in turn hates her too. We also meet Dee whose younger sister Lulu went missing when she was a child from a day at the lakes. Not long after her disappearance Dee’s mother left and then her father died and so she has been all alone since her teenage years. She is determined to find out who took Lulu and Ted was one of the original suspects, though his house was searched and nothing turned up and he had an alibi, but that won’t stop her delving deeper. The book has a gothic feel to it. The atmosphere radiates from the pages and the writing draws you into the strange and unusual life of Ted and yet it is so intriguing. I was a little surprised to see chapters from the POV of Ted’s cat at the beginning and didn’t think they would work in a book like this, but I was so wrong. The cat has plenty to say and is very wise. The plot is very twisty and you have to stay with it. This is a book that is going to be a bit like marmite, you will either love the weirdness and mild horror/gothic thriller feel to it or you will think it is too out there and hate it. All I can say is that it is certainly captivating and the pieces of the puzzle fall into place the more you learn about the characters, though make sure you are paying attention as you just might miss some!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Dannii Elle

    The last house on Needless Street has plyboards covering every window, so no one knows what goes on behind them, and leaves covering each step leading to it, so the man inside can hear you coming. This man is named Ted. He might live alone. He might not. He is haunted by horrors from the past, but he is not the only one. Dee once had a bright future ahead of her and was due to begin her dream of attending ballet school when one summer day ripped it all away from her. Her family visited a nearby l The last house on Needless Street has plyboards covering every window, so no one knows what goes on behind them, and leaves covering each step leading to it, so the man inside can hear you coming. This man is named Ted. He might live alone. He might not. He is haunted by horrors from the past, but he is not the only one. Dee once had a bright future ahead of her and was due to begin her dream of attending ballet school when one summer day ripped it all away from her. Her family visited a nearby lake and her younger sister never returned from it. The grief and they worry tore her family apart and every single day of her existence since then has been dominated by attempting to puzzle out who took her Lulu. Four perspectives are used to narrate this tale - one of them being a cat - and all converged in a way I could never have anticipated. When I use the term 'plot twist' in the future I am referring to this book and this book only! It started out as a horrifying tale before a mystery overtook it and concluded on an emotional and unprecedented note. This was so strange and so unsettling and I loved it so much!

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