Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Murders of Molly Southbourne (Molly Southbourne, #1)” as Want to Read:
The Murders of Molly Southbourne (Molly Southbourne, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Murders of Molly Southbourne

(Molly Southbourne #1)

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  2,956 ratings  ·  624 reviews
Every time she bleeds a murderer is born. Experience the horror of Tade Thompson's The Murders of Molly Southbourne.

The rule is simple: don't bleed.

For as long as Molly Southbourne can remember, she's been watching herself die. Whenever she bleeds, another molly is born, identical to her in every way and intent on her destruction.

Molly knows every way to kill herself, but
Kindle Edition, 128 pages
Published October 3rd 2017 by
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Murders of Molly Southbourne, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
mj depends on your definition of inappropriate. it's a horror novel, so there's a lot of graphic violence. there is sex, though not graphically. some tor…moredepends on your definition of inappropriate. it's a horror novel, so there's a lot of graphic violence. there is sex, though not graphically. some torture. (less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.84  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,956 ratings  ·  624 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Murders of Molly Southbourne (Molly Southbourne, #1)
Jul 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
We all bleed, right?
Yes. Yes, we do.


So. This is an addictively creepy little short(ish) story about a girl named Molly Southbourne.
And it's weird as fuck. Like, the premise makes no sense and it shouldn't work, but it totally does.
Every time Molly bleeds a doppelganger intent on killing her rises up from a hole in the ground.
WTF? <--is what you're probably thinking.


But if you are even slightly intrigued by the idea that someone might spend their entire life killing themselves over and over agai
Jan 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: novella, horror
I read this in two sittings. That might not sound impressive due to its shortness, but I hardly ever read books, however short, this quickly. But I could not put this down, I needed to keep reading, and I needed to see where Tade Thompson would take this story next. He takes an already brilliant premise and then manages to make the execution an allegory for growing up female in a way that I found surprising. He does not shy away from from the most disturbing parts of his premise (like: what happ ...more
my very first monthly horror box from pagehabit!!

and for the first time ever with seeecret subscription boxes, i already had the book inside, but now i get to give my old, unannotated copy to greg as a halloween prezzie! and i get to hog for myself all the author notes and the booklet of deleted scenes, and a short story by Carmen Maria Machado as well as a bloody shower curtain(!!!!!!) and a bookmark and a library card pillow case and a little plastic pumpkin keychain that does this

while making
Heidi The Reader
Oct 28, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction, horror
The Murders of Molly Southbourne is a short story about a girl who is born with a horrifying condition. Whenever she bleeds, the blood changes into a homicidal version of herself that won't stop until it, or Molly, is dead.

"The rules are simple. If you see a girl who looks like you, run and fight. Don't bleed. If you bleed, blot, burn, and bleach. If you find a hole, find your parents. Molly recites the lines to herself many times." pg 24.

I'm not sure I understood what the author was going for w
Mar 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a very nice genre-bender, parts SF, Fantasy, and Horror, all surrounding the multiple instances of Molly every time she bleeds. Each time rising from the ground or floor to become a complete copy of herself.

This isn't a humorous novella, however. Indeed, the creep-factor is turned up rather high. Every time a duplicate comes up, she's forced to murder herself.

It works well on several levels. The literal is bad enough, managing to reach over to normalcy while being very horrific, but when
Aug 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing is killing it with their novella line. I loved this. So strange and well-written and well-conceived. I read it in one sitting (when I wasn't planning to).
Schizanthus Nerd
Oct 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
💉 Halloween Haemorrhage Book! 💉

Trigger Warning: self harm

Molly Southbourne's parents teach her four very important rules:
"If you see yourself, run.
Don't bleed.
Blot, burn, bleach.
Find a hole, find your parents.

Sorry, but that's about all you're getting from me about The Murders of Molly Southbourne. If I tell you any more than what you read in the book's blurb I'm going to spoil the story for you.

This novella is a quick read and I needed to keep reading to find out how it was all going to be res
Cece (ProblemsOfaBookNerd)

I thought this was striking and scary as a novella, but it concluded feeling a bit incomplete. As much as I loved the entire middle section as a story of Molly and the other mollys, I felt like the framing device for the novella itself was a bit weak and it made the entire thing a bit unbalanced. But overall, if you’re looking for a super creepy, quick read, I would still recommend this one.

TW: self harm, cutting, suicidal thoughts, body horror

Thanks to for sending along a copy of
Sep 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
I really liked this one despite the story being downright bizarre.

It's about a girl who has to avoid bleeding because if she does a duplicate of herself is created from the blood and is intent on killing her!

The strength of the main character Molly kept me interested and made this work so well.

It's short, brutal and absorbing.

Richard Derus
Jul 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindled-no-lend
A near-enough future novella that blends the horror inherent in a mutating, collapsing Earth and the human response to it with the species-level will to live no matter what.

I was utterly sucked into the narrative early on:
An example has aspects of a thing, but is that the thing itself? The mollys have aspects of Molly, but that doesn't make them Molly, does it?

I'm not going to tell you what mollys are because this is a very difficult concept to get across. I want the whole reading experience to
Mar 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: novella, 2018-read
Gripping and creepy. I loved the writing style and the compact yet complete storytelling Thompson accomplished here. I'm definitely up to read more by him.
Lee  drunkonbookz
Jul 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: novella
"The rules are simple. If you see a girl that looks like you, run and fight. Don't bleed. If you bleed, blot, burn, and bleach. If you find a hole, find your parents. "

Such an original concept I was disappointed the story ended so abruptly. I will definitely be reading more by this author.
K.J. Charles
Oct 04, 2017 added it
Shelves: horror
This was amazing. I mean, glom-in-a-sitting, cold-sweat, 'going to have to buy the whole backlist now' amazing. What a terrifying, imaginative, scary ride.

The premise is deceptively simple and weird: when Molly bleeds, it generates an identical copy of herself which after a short time becomes murderously determined to kill her. This is fun when her periods start. At first Molly's parents kill the mollies, and teach her self defence; as she grows, the mollies become more cunning and powerful, an
Feb 26, 2018 rated it liked it
“Words used to be homework, a chore, but books make words do magic tricks.”

What a strange and creepy book. This has such an original concept, I’ve never read anything like this before.. and I also haven’t been so disturbed by a book in a long time.
Oct 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Don’t bleed.

I really enjoyed this, and despite it only being a novella I found the story incredibly well written and unique in its concepts.
Ever since she can remember Molly has watched herself die, hundreds of times. Whenever she bleeds, a ‘molly’ is born. Her twin in every way. Except all the mollys want to do is kill Molly. And as she grows, the mollys do too - and they get better at fighting back.

I’m amazed at how much detail t
Mar 04, 2018 rated it liked it
Deeply unsettling and horrific in parts, this novella follows the life of Molly Southborne whose spilt blood generates doppelgangers bent on destroying Molly herself. Much of the horror comes because these doppelgangers seem to have been happening since she was a baby, painting an interesting picture of Molly's parents and what they've been doing to get her this far.

Ultimately it's all a fairly horrible philosophical metaphor made real, which makes for a predictable ending if you're familiar wit
Mar 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Fascinating and super creepy story of a girl who generates doppelgangers (hellbent on killing her) whenever she bleeds. Writing style is clear, oftentimes matter-of-fact, and makes for a very intriguing read.

Finished the book and feeling very unsettled and slightly uncomfortable.
Mar 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Well that was creepy AF!
lucky little cat
Pitch-perfect creepy novella, where the young heroine unintentionally produces a murderous doppelgänger every time she bleeds.

Science prodigy Molly doesn't mean to be threatening. But that doesn't mean she's not a menace. And since she's also cursed with a healthy sense of decency, she has to figure out what to do about herself. (Not unlike the reader's cursed dilemma: what will I do when I run out of Tade Thompson books to read? Must. read. more. slowly.)

Thompson's such an intelligent writer I
Apr 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
If you see yourself, run.
Don't bleed.
Blot, burn, bleach.
Find a hole, find your parents

Molly Southbourne creates a perfect copy of herself every time she bleeds. Regardless of how much she bleeds or why (monthly periods, for instance) Molly creates another Molly every time she spills a drop of her own blood. And while the Mollys are initially docile and friendly, they soon become killing machines, bent on murdering their creator.

Molly's family has been dealing with Molly's condition since she wa
Michael Hicks
Nov 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror, netgalley
Every time Molly Southbourne bleeds, a new molly is born. With every opening of her flesh or her monthly period, a hole forms in the ground and a mysterious, murderous, doppelganger appears.

It's a fresh and bizarre concept played wonderfully straight by Tade Thompson, who delivers a smattering of scares and genuine creepiness alongside some soft sci-fi mojo in the book's latter half. But what really impressed me was the character of Molly herself.

Molly is a psychologically complex figure, and
Oct 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This haunting novella will grab you by the throat and won’t let go, even after you’ve turned the last pages. I woke up this morning thinking about it, it fills me with morbid fascination. While the novella has a perfectly fitting end, I can’t help but beg for more.
Stephanie (That's What She Read)
I really enjoyed the imaginitive premise in this novella. Everytime Molly bleeds, a new Molly appears that she must kill before it kills her. I thought this had a great mix of horror and science fiction with some genuinely creepy parts.


Creep-tastic & Weird AF
WTF did I just read?
First Half of A Complete Story
Duology (of Short Stories)
Sort of Science Fiction &
Sort of Fantasy


I got this free from and on the one hand, it's cool that I got a book for free...but on the other hand, I have to buy the second book for $3.99 and it's barely over 100 pages.  Under-handed is what that is.  You sucked me in...and I caved, I needed the ending to this wholly unique experien
Rosaline (Rosaline's Rolls & Scrolls)
Jul 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: People who are stuck in a loop of similar books and are seeking to escape to something more fresh
This was fun!

I have not read a book like this ever! For me this story is very original, and I honestly did not know what to expect the entire time I was reading. I was glued to the pages and eager to see what would happen next. I was so curious where Tade planned to take this story, and I don't think there was any way I could be disappointed.

This is a story about Molly, a girl who has doppelgangers created out of her blood who are eager to kill her. This book made me realize how easily the huma
Sabrina Grafenberger
What a strange book. Every time Molly bleeds, a short time later an exact duplicate of herself appears and tries to kill her. You can guess that this is a bit problematic when she's on her period.

The plot is weird but interesting and Molly works perfectly as the narrator. She is intriguing and strong and I practically teared through the pages to know what happens next. I also enjoyed the writing style and pacing.

The only thing that bothered me was the conclusion at the end. It felt weak compared
Rachel (TheShadesofOrange)
Jan 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
4.0 Stars
The concept behind this novella was incredibly imaginative. This story reads like a tragedy, examining the psychological effects of living with such an unusual medical ailment. While more weird than outright scary, there are still some visceral and disturbing scenes in this little book.
Amie's Book Reviews


Release Date: OCTOBER 3, 2017 

Rating: 4 OUT OF 5 STARS 🌟🌟🌟🌟 


Despite only consisting of 128 pages, and officially being considered a "novella" rather than a "novel," THE MURDERS OF MOLLY SOUTHBOURNE does not lack readability. Yes, it is a quick read, but that is due to the fact that once begun, it is nearly impossible to put down.  

The concept of the "Doppelganger" is not new, even so, author Tade Thompson has taken the co
Aug 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This review is also featured on Behind the Pages: The Murders of Molly Southbourne

If you bleed, blot, burn and bleach.

This is the mantra Molly lives with day after day. If she doesn't follow it, she must kill herself. Every time Molly bleeds, there is a risk a new molly will be created. The mollys start off innocent, wanting simple things like comfort and companionship, but it is only a matter of time until they turn against her and anyone that gets in their way.

This macabre story will take hold
Jun 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Wow that was intense. While it is horror, I never felt terrified or felt like putting the book (or my ereader most like) down. I was eager to know what was going on and how it would end. It's pretty gory, bloody, and at times really weird in a gruesome way. I must mention this story needs a trigger warning for self-harm.
I really had a great experience reading this novella and had already been recommended the SF novel of this author out in 2016, pretty sure I'll read it this year then!

I received
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Persons non grata
  • Els dits de la bruixa
  • The Necessary Beggar
  • La mestra del te i la investigadora (Recull de relats de l'univers Xuya, #1)
  • Helstrid
  • The Lamb Will Slaughter the Lion (Danielle Cain, #1)
  • Silver in the Wood (The Greenhollow Duology, #1)
  • Sisters of the Vast Black
  • L'horror de Rèquiem
  • Prosper's Demon
  • Passing Strange
  • Les Attracteurs de Rose Street
  • The Haunting of Tram Car 015
  • A Taste of Honey (The Sorcerer of the Wildeeps, #2)
  • The Man Who Ended History: A Documentary
  • Worst Laid Plans: An Anthology of Vacation Horror
  • Drowned Country (The Greenhollow Duology, #2)
  • Night of the Mannequins
See similar books…
Tade Thompson is a British born Yoruba psychiatrist who is best known for his science fiction novels.

Other books in the series

Molly Southbourne (2 books)
  • The Survival of Molly Southbourne (Molly Southbourne, #2)

Related Articles

You can't boldly go anywhere if you only stick with what's familiar. Imagine if Frodo Baggins had stayed home or if Ender had...
158 likes · 43 comments
“She loves that writers make words their servants and bend them to their will.” 2 likes
“Fuck children for being creepy.” 0 likes
More quotes…