Review: The Last House on Needless Street by Catriona Ward

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Title: The Last House on Needless Street
Author: Catriona Ward
Page Count: 352
Published: 18th March 2021
Genre: Fiction, Thriller, Horror, Mystery

What that actual fuck just happened?

Right, book. We need to have a talk because I’ve never been more blindsided in my entire life and I am shook. My poor brain has melted into a puddle of sadness and despair yet I loved every second of it.

I’m going to be honest – I don’t do horror. Well, at least I never used to. I can’t watch scary films or play jump scare-infused games because my heart just cannot deal with it and I’ll be a nervous wreck forever. And I thought the same would apply to books, yet I have a little more control over the pages. I can choose to remove myself from that world and it’s my brain that sets the scene.

This may have been the book that’s woo’d me over the genre. TL;DR incoming:

✨ A missing 6-year old (every parent’s nightmare).
✨ A revenge-driven sister hell-bent on finding her.
✨ A chap called Ted who happens to live in the last house on Needless Street who isn’t your average neighbour.
✨ A cat’s perspective. Yes, you read that right.

So who are these people? Glad you asked. Ted is an outcast whose humble abode is a run-down house at the edge of the forest complete with plywood over the window. Alongside Ted, you’ll find his daughter, Lauren, and their cat, Olivia. Except for the creepy house, it seems like any normal situation.

Except Dee is convinced that Ted is behind the disappearance of her little sister, Lulu, and goes all detective on our asses by moving in next door armed with a claw hammer and a bag full of suspicions. You’ll switch from all of their perspectives (yes Olivia is included in that) and you’ll be thrown into their own uniquely tantalising and despair-ridden worlds.

And that’s all I can honestly say because I’ll end up giving away too much. And I’m not all about that. This is absolutely something people need to experience for themselves.

That being said, this probably isn’t a book for everyone. I half expected to not finish it when a religious cat strolls into the picture and if you’re teetering on that edge too, try to keep going. It will all make sense – promise. I did, however, find myself losing the plot a little bit trying to figure out what was happening but that’s probably down to my poor brain struggling with the pace.

Once I was done, the characters wouldn’t leave my head. My Kindle thumped to the floor and I had to take a moment to just stare at the ceiling. I’d been captured by the twist (got me good with that one, you creative little scamp) and I had no idea to process all of these emotions.

There are a few aspects I NEED TO TALK TO SOMEONE ABOUT but only click/read if you’re happy with having VERY IMPORTANT bits spoiled for you.

This book isn’t horror – this is a book about trauma, survival and severe mental health issues that have been treated with the wrong things for the gain of others. Both parties have life-altering manifestations that have dictated their lives.

It is incredibly clever how it’s done, extremely fucked up and, whilst I always judge a book by its cover (I love a pretty book), it’s a stark reminder to not automatically label someone because they don’t fit the mould.

Be kind to each other and don’t get too cocky if you think you’ve killed the snake. The Last House on Needless Street is out on 18th March 2021.

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