Chamberlain (Big Lies in a Small Town) delivers the goods with this affecting and spellbinding account of a community’s buried secrets. In 2010, North Carolina architect Kayla Carter reluctantly prepares to move into her dream home with her three-year-old daughter, Rainie, after her husband, Jackson, died in a freak accident while building the house. Kayla is approached at her office by a woman named Ann Smith, who claims to be a potential client but unnerves Kayla by talking about Jackson’s death, and by telling her she is thinking about killing someone. After moving into the new house, Kayla and Rainie meet neighbor Ellie Hockley, who recently returned to the area to care for her aging mother and ill brother. In a parallel narrative set in 1965, Ellie joins a student group to help register Black voters. She faces danger from the KKK while working alongside other students from Northern colleges and the members of her local Black community in N.C., all of which is exacerbated by her attraction to a Black civil rights activist. As Kayla learns Ellie was once in a romantic relationship with Kayla’s father, she uncovers a series of terrible events that occurred in the woods surrounding Kayla’s property. Chamberlain ratchets up the tension with the ever-present mystery of what Ann might be up to, and the dual narratives merge beautifully before an explosive conclusion. This will keep readers enthralled. (Jan.)
From the Publisher
Diane Chamberlain is at her absolute best in this dual timeline about Ellie, a young crusader for civil rights in 1965; Kayla, the woman who moves into the house next door 45 years later, and the woods that connect more than just their properties. Sensitively and unflinchingly told, this novel will make you cry, seethe, swoon and rage. I’ve loved every book Diane Chamberlain has written, but The Last House on The Street is, without doubt, is her masterpiece.” Sally Hepworth, New York Times bestselling author of THE GOOD SISTER
"Diane Chamberlain elegantly braids together two stories, set apart by history, to render this taut, edge-of-your-seat tale of two women reckoning with the dark truth of the land they each call home. As compelling as it is important, the novel's focus on the efforts of a group of college students in the South during the Civil Rights movement will no doubt make it a favorite amongst book clubs everywhere." Chandler Baker, New York Times bestselling author of THE WHISPER NETWORK
"A powerful novel of our time, both a searing indictment of racism and the power of humankind and a page-turning thriller. It is a very powerful book. Strong and fierce." Cathy Kelly, bestselling author of OTHER WOMEN
The USA Today Bestseller
The Publishers Weekly Bestseller
One of Marie Claire's Most Eagerly Anticipated of 2022
January Indie Next Pick
AARP The Girlfriend Book Club pick for March
"[A] twisty, riveting ride." —People Magazine, People Pick
"Chamberlain (Big Lies in a Small Town) delivers the goods with this affecting and spellbinding account of a community’s buried secrets. . . . Chamberlain ratchets up the tension with the ever present mystery of what Ann might be up to, and the dual narratives merge beautifully before an explosive conclusion. This will keep readers enthralled." —Publisher's Weekly (Starred Review)
“Chamberlain never disappoints with her well-crafted narratives and The Last House on the Street is one of her finest works, a swiftly paced story replete with intrigue, history and social justice.”—Augusta Chronicle
"When it comes to cozy dramas with a side of suspense, nobody does it better than Diane Chamberlain." — Marie Claire
“A mystery with a moral quagmire at its heart.” —Kirkus
“Diane Chamberlain delivers another riveting, dramatic read sure to be a bestseller.” —Woman's World
“A high-tension plot structures the consideration of equity and inclusion, especially as it relates to voting. Sure to appeal to fans of readers who like their tension wrapped in social issues.” —Booklist
“The Last House on the Street is an extraordinary must read for fans of historical mystery fiction. I also highly recommend it to fans of mystery and suspense. This book richly deserves to be the buzz of 2022.” —Mystery & Suspense
“Diane Chamberlain does it again with a compelling story in The Last House on the Street.” —Good Book Fairy
“[A] timely piece of fact-based historical fiction.” —Wilmington Star-News
“So atmospheric, you may want to swat a mosquito…A strong, suspenseful and very good read.” —St. Louis Dispatch
"The sense of imminent danger in both time frames keeps the plots moving and the reader glued to the stories, as the women’s lives become increasingly embroiled in the secrets and tragedies of the past. The Last House on the Street is Chamberlain at her very best. Book clubs take note." —Fran Wood
“Timely, topical, and brilliantly compelling.”
—Pamela Klinger-Horn, The Valley Bookseller
—Sherry Fritzsche, Bank Square Books
—Laura Harvey, Copper Dog Books
“A rollercoaster of emotions.”
—Suzanne Lucey, Page 158 Books
In the No. 1 New York Times best-selling Chamberlain's The Last House on the Street, Kayla Carter is mourning the husband who died building their dream house in a North Carolina community as warnings from not one but two older women not to move into the house eventually lead to a story of prejudice and violence that rocked the community a half-century earlier (150,000-copy first printing). A librarian like her creator, debut novelist Jurczyk, Liesl Weiss is shocked to discover that a valuable manuscript has gone missing from The Department of Rare Books and Special Collections but is told not to raise a ruckus—but she starts investigating when a colleague goes missing as well. Getting readied for television by the BBC, May's debut novel, Wahala ("trouble"), features three British Nigerian women whose close friendship is blown to bits when a glamorous and ultimately venomous outsider insinuates herself into the group. In No. 1 New York Times best-selling Mitchard's The Good Son, Thea Demetriou must find a way to support her son emotionally when he returns home from prison after having committed a heinous crime. Patterson and Lupica join forces with The Horsewoman, the story of a mother and daughter who are both champion riders—and are up against each other in competitons leading to the Paris Olympics. In Shalvis's series starter, The Family You Make, Jane is dangerously stranded on a ski lift with Levi Cutler, who impulsively tells his parents by cellphone that she is his girlfriend—a charade she agrees to keep up when she finds herself falling for him and his warm, embracing family. Sorell follows up her well-rendered small-press debut, Mothers and Other Strangers, with Three Wise Women: an officious advice columnist and her two troubled adult daughters. In Steel's latest, a young woman who survived a neglectful childhood by hunkering down can remain Invisible no longer when her dream of becoming a film director unexpectedly puts her in front of the camera. Revisiting Perdita Street, the setting of Wiggs's beloved The Lost and Found Bookstore, Sugar and Salt makes love bloom between San Francisco baker Jerome "Sugar" Barnes and barbecue master Molly Salton, trying to forget an unhappy past in Texas.
Chamberlain’s tale of mid-1960s freedom fighters intersects with contemporary tragedy.
This is a novel of alternating timelines, each unspooling in or near Round Hill, a small town in North Carolina. In 2010, architect Kayla Carter is visited by Ann Smith, a “sixty-five or seventy”-year-old woman in mirrored sunglasses, who comes to her office seemingly intent on scaring her. Ann, a stranger, knows too much about Kayla, including that she has a small daughter, that she’s about to move into a new house in an upscale but isolated new development, and that it's a house she had intended to share with her husband, Jackson, who died of an accidental fall at the construction site. In 1965, 20-year-old Ellie Hockley, a student at the University of North Carolina, joins SCOPE, a summer project recruiting mostly White, Northern college students to help Black Southerners register to vote in anticipation of the passage of the Voting Rights Act. Ellie is the rare White Southern volunteer. Her father and mother are vehemently opposed, her brother, Buddy, somewhat less vehemently. Fatefully, Ellie is assigned to work with a SCOPE contingent operating in her home county. Early on, we learn Kayla’s new house is on Hockley Street, where Buddy still lives in the family home that once was the only house in this wooded area. It’s not long before past wrongs come home to roost. Ellie, now 65, returns after decades in San Francisco to care for her ailing brother and mother. The moment when Ellie, who at first warms to her new neighbor, realizes that Kayla is the daughter of Reed, the beau she forsook for the Civil Rights movement, is a classic Chamberlain complication. The plot will only get more complicated because, in contrast to a White rescue story, we find even well-meaning Whites endangering Black people. The forbidding, kudzu-choked forest, complete with a treehouse, a murky pond, and an ominous clearing, is ideal for a coverup that compromises even the most irreproachable characters.
A mild-mannered mystery with a moral quagmire at its heart.