Ted lives at the end of the forebodingly named Needless Street, in a house with boarded-up windows at the edge of a forest. There he hosts visits with his daughter and tries hard to hold his life together by keeping to himself as much as possible. The novel opens, quite unsettlingly, on the anniversary of the disappearance of a young girl, a disappearance that Ted was initially suspected of causing. Ward's layered plot is slowly but compellingly unveiled, raising new questions at every turn. The multiple points of view, featuring vivid characters with honest but clearly incomplete narration, also draw us deeper into the various mysteries entangled within the central plot. The result is a stunning and immersive tale of psychological horror. It's terrifyingly real and physically upsetting, yet, like the best of the genre, it leaves space for hope to ultimately shine through. VERDICT Disguising itself as a straightforward serial killer story, this strikingly original work quickly evolves into a more special story. It will push readers to their limit, but also make them glad they stuck it out. It's a good match, in this way, to Stephen Graham Jones's My Heart Is a Chainsaw, Paul Tremblay's The Cabin at the End of the World, or Carmen Maria Machado's memoir In the Dream House.
An Indie Next Pick!
A LibraryReads Top 10 Pick!
A Library Journal Editors' Pick! STARRED reviews from Library Journal and Publishers Weekly!
One of Library Journal's Best Horror Books of 2021
One of Bustle's "Most Anticipated Books of September"
"[A] terrifying exploration of human consciousness that excavates character like an ice pick chipping through an ancient glacier: The deeper one goes, the chillier it gets." —The New York Times
"[T]he most powerful narratives in the genre manage to create an unshakable sense of unease, and that's exactly what this novel does ... a must-read for those who like the kind of labyrinthine narratives that pull the rug out from under you, sending you tumbling into a dark, dark room." —NPR
“This masterful horror novel packs an emotional wallop that lingers.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review
"A stunning and immersive tale of psychological horror. It’s terrifyingly real and physically upsetting, yet, like the best of the genre, it leaves space for hope to ultimately shine through." —Library Journal, starred review
“Full of twists and turns, this high-concept gothic horror is going to be huge.” —Guardian
“The buzz building around Catriona Ward's The Last House on Needless Street is real. I've read it and was blown away. It's a true nerve-shredder that keeps its mind-blowing secrets to the very end. Haven't read anything this exciting since Gone Girl.” —Stephen King
“Sensational….I can’t recall another novel in recent years that dares so much and succeeds so wildly.” —A. J. Finn, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Woman in the Window
“A chilling and beautiful masterpiece of suspense, cunningly plotted and written with the elegant imagination of a Shirley Jackson or a Sarah Waters. I was completely enthralled.” —Joe Hill, New York Times bestselling author of The Fireman
"A breathtakingly ambitious book, gorgeously written, and never once shies away from showing you its fangs and its beautiful blood-filled heart. Stop reading this blurb already and open the damn book." —Paul Tremblay, author of A Head Full of Ghosts
"A masterpiece. Beautiful, heartbreaking and quietly uplifting. One of the most powerful and well-executed novels I've read in years." —Alex North, author of The Whisper Man
“Absolutely brilliant. This is extraordinary, high-wire-act horror, audacious as hell.” —Christopher Golden, New York Times bestselling author of Red Hands
"Dark and creepy, sad and wonderfully strange. It kept me glued and guessing right up to the end—I loved every inch of it." —Mike Mignola, creator of Hellboy
"Brilliant. Breathtaking. Terrifying. A masterpiece to read at your own peril." —Alma Katsu, author of The Hunger
"A risky, gleeful descent into a house without windows or doors. It's a must-read for horror fans." —Sarah Langan, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of Good Neighbors
“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.” —T. Kingfisher, author of The Hollow Places
"Ward ably handles the series of nested revelations of the truth about the house's inhabitants and how they connect to Ted's own childhood, all the while maintaining a propulsive, suspenseful tone. Recommended for anyone interested in horror with well-realized characters and a claustrophobic, intense setting." —Booklist
“What did I just read?! One perfect sentence after the other ... this is a story I wish I knew how to write—and I'm thrilled that Ward pulled off this trick of a book.” —Rachel Howzell Hall, author of And Now She's Gone
“THIS IS THE BEST HORROR NOVEL I HAVE EVER READ. Even Shirley Jackson, her Majesty, would have to concede to this one.” —Natasha Pulley, author of The Watchmaker of Filigree Street
“Books like this don't come around too often... I would say I inhaled this in one, but I think I was too busy holding my breath throughout. Bravo.” —Joanne Harris, New York Times bestselling author of The Gospel of Loki
"The new face of literary dark fiction." —Sarah Pinborough, New York Times bestselling author of Behind Her Eyes
“You don’t read The Last House on Needless Street—you survive it. This isn’t just a thriller; it’s a sleek, diabolical, stress-inducing machine.” —Jonathan Janz, author of The Siren and the Specter
“Incredible. Absolutely creep-inducing, skin-crawling, even agonising; and also so beautiful, both in writing and heart. One of my favourite things in ages.” —James Smythe, author of The Explorer
“Incredible. Just incredible. Throughout, I didn't know where to put my heart. A breathtaking, fiercely beautiful novel.” —Rio Youers, author of Lola on Fire
“Breathtakingly brilliant. Dark and relentlessly twisty, the best thing I've read this year.” —Lisa Hall, author of The Party
“Not only edge of the seat, terrifying suspenseful horror, but it also broke my heart into tiny pieces. Such exquisite writing.” —Muriel Gray, author of The Ancient
"It’s one eerie mind-bender of a novel in the best way." —Bloody Disgusting
"[A]n immersive, head-shaking, game of a novel that speaks to the horrors of a person’s past and how a horrific event can leave people unchanged for the worse." —SFF World
"This is a true page-turner. Just when you think you’ve figured out what is really going on, you’ll probably realize you were wrong." —Book Reporter