Friday, September 24, 2021

The Last House on Needless Street by Catriona Ward

Ted lives on Needless Street. Ted is odd. He's quiet and keeps to himself. He likes things just the way he likes them. 

Lauren is Ted's daughter. She only lives with Ted part time. Sometimes, Lauren gets in trouble. 

Olivia is Ted's cat. She takes care of him, though he thinks it's the other way around. Olivia knows that she's been tasked by God to take care of Ted. 

This story is not the one you think it is...

The Last House on Needless Street really reads like a gift, with layers of paper and wrapping being pulled away to reveal new secrets as the story progresses. 

It's a hard book to describe without giving things away. And, like I said, it's not the story you think it is. 

It's a story about Ted, and Lauren, and Olivia. It's also about Ted's mom. And a missing girl. And the sister determined to find out what happened to her so many years ago. 

This is actually the first book I've read by Catriona Ward. She'd been recommended to me a while back, when I was looking for my annual Christmas Eve ghost story (The Girl From Rawblood). So when people started talking about The Last House on Needless Street well before it was ever released, I knew I had to read it! And then Stephen King blurbed it :)

This is a subversive thriller. It begins with Ted on the anniversary of the day a girl went missing. He calls her Little Girl With Popsicle. And what Ted doesn't know is that the girl's own sister, Dee, has been searching for clues about what happened that day. 

Ted, Dee, Lauren, and Olivia all get their own say in this book. The chapters are short and clipped, the kind that keep bedtime readers up much later than is healthy :) begging to be read! 

And what a read it is! It released in March from Viper in the UK (I cheated and ordered an overseas copy because I just couldn't wait!) and is due out next Tuesday from Nightfire. Amazingly, I haven't actually seen anyone spoil the book even with such ample opportunity! And I'm glad because it means so many people will get the chance to read this with fresh eyes and absolutely no idea what is coming!

Which is why this is such a vague review!

Catriona Ward is clearly a massive writing talent. I've got The Girl From Rawblood and Little Eve both in my TBR as we speak. I'm frothing at the mouth for a chance to read her upcoming Sundial, too. (Both the UK and US editions of that one will release in March.) And until then, I can't wait to see what everyone thinks about The Last House on Needless Street!

Order a copy from your favorite indie via Bookshop!

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