The Last House on Needless Street by Catriona Ward

OK, so this mysterious book has been doing the rounds and luckily I didn’t come across any spoilers prior to starting it. Thank goodness!! 

Right, how to write the vaguest of vague reviews yet keep it interesting. Now that’s what I call a challenge!!

How have readers reviewed this without letting the cat out of the bag I’ll never know. It’s a tough one to write. But I’ll do my best. 

What/who’s it about then? 

Well, Ted, predominately. A recluse of a man who lives in a boarded-up house on the street in the books title. It’s situated on the edge of a wooded area somewhere in NW Washington state, US. 

He lives with his young daughter, Lauren and his religious pet cat Olivia. Yes, you read that right, a RELIGIOUS CAT.

There’s history of children going missing in the area, but none of them have ever been found and the crimes have never been solved. 

This is the first time I’ve read a book, finished it, and then had the pleasure of watching it being discussed on television. I was determined to watch Between the Covers on BBC2 last night with the smuggest face ever. Yes, even the guests talking to Sara Cox also struggled to say much about it in case they leaked spoilers!

Throughout reading I had to stop and hold onto my head for fear of my brain exploding! I lost count of how many times I said ‘wait, what, hang on a minute, that can’t be right’. I was re-reading sentences, dialogue, descriptions multiple times because I could not believe what I was reading. 

The Last House on Needless Street is a book I will never ever forget. I went to bed last night thinking about it. Working out how to write a review that would do it the justice it deserves.

I awoke this morning absolutely none the wiser so just thought I’d get a very basic synopsis down and then go from there. 

To be honest, you just need to read it. If Stephen King loved it, then it’s got to be something pretty special don’t you think? 

I will say that Kings’ fans will definitely see a few nods to the man himself throughout the book. Clever, Catriona, very clever indeed!

I can’t say any more about it really, apart from if you buy one book this year, make it this one. It will blow your mind. 

‘People who have lived together for many generations share a special kind of madness’.

Apparently the film rights have been snapped up already and it’s translation rights have been sold in 18 territories. 

Catriona Ward is an exceptional writer and story teller. I’ve read stacks of horror and to discover something of such high quality within this genre is a bit of a rarity these days. It’s dark, clever, incredibly well researched and it could quite possibly be my Book of the Year. 

One last thought, if I were to read it again, knowing what I know now, it would be a completely different story. I don’t re-read that often, but this one is just begging for it!!

Author: OwlBeSatReading

Hi! I’m Lisa the Book Owl. I spend so much of my spare time reading, so I decided to start a blog all about it. I mainly read Historical Fiction, Horror and Literary Fiction, particularly Domestic Noir style LitFic. This is my little blog where I share all things bookish 🦉

6 thoughts on “The Last House on Needless Street by Catriona Ward”

  1. I am not one that reads a lot of horror, but I do want to read this one. So many people are raving about it. I love you review, it tells us how you feel, which is what I need to know.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Carla, that’s very kind of you to say. To be honest, it’s not really a horror as such. It’s more like a psychologically thrilling mystery with a bit of horrific imagery and character detail. The balance of tension, the unknown and the macabre is spot on. Very humorous in places, particularly Olivia the cat 😹 No graphic content at all really. It just creeps inside your brain as you’re reading it and before you know it you’re confused but so sucked in 😆 I hope you enjoy it when you get to it. It’s very memorable.

      Liked by 1 person

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