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The Last House on Needless Street

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Goodreads Choice Award
Nominee for Best Horror (2021)
The must-listen gothic thriller of 2021.

This is the story of a murderer. A stolen child. Revenge. This is the story of Ted, who lives with his daughter Lauren and his cat Olivia in an ordinary house at the end of an ordinary street.

All these things are true. And yet some of them are lies.

You think you know what's inside the last house on Needless Street. You think you've read this story before. In the dark forest at the end of Needless Street, something lies buried. But it's not what

Audible Audio

First published March 18, 2021

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About the author

Catriona Ward

20 books3,348 followers
CATRIONA WARD was born in Washington, DC and grew up in the United States, Kenya, Madagascar, Yemen, and Morocco. She read English at St Edmund Hall, Oxford and is a graduate of the Creative Writing MA at the University of East Anglia. Her fourth novel, the gothic thriller Sundial (2022 - Viper, Tor Nightfire) was Observer Thriller of the Month and a USA Today, CNN and Apple Books selection for best new fiction. Stephen King called Sundial ‘Authentically terrifying…. Do not miss this book.’

Ward’s third breakout novel The Last House on Needless Street (2021 - Viper, Tor Nightfire) won the August Derleth Prize and has been shortlisted for the Kitschies, the British Book Awards, the South Bank Award, and the World Fantasy Award. Esquire magazine listed it as one of the top 25 best horror novels of all time. Rights have been sold in twenty-nine territories, it was a Richard and Judy Book Club selection, a Times Book of the Month, Observer Book of the Month, March Editor’s Pick on Radio 4’s Open Book, a Between the Covers BBC2 book club selection and a Sunday Times bestseller. The Last House on Needless Street is being developed for film by Andy Serkis and Jonathan Cavendish’s production company, The Imaginarium. Stephen King said of The Last House on Needless Street, ‘I 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.’

Ward’s second novel Little Eve (2018 - W&N, Tor Nightfire) won the 2019 Shirley Jackson Award, the August Derleth Prize at the British Fantasy Awards and was a Guardian best book of 2018. Nightfire will publish Little Eve for the first time in the US in 2022. Ward’s debut Rawblood (2015 - W&N, Sourcebooks) also won the 2016 August Derleth, making her the only woman to have won the prize three times. Her short stories have appeared in numerous anthologies and have been shortlisted for various prizes. She lives in London and Devon.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 14,005 reviews
Profile Image for Nilufer Ozmekik.
2,306 reviews44k followers
August 31, 2023
My dear friends, please add this brilliant book to your reading list! Okay, I’m making quick connection: not only to add to your list, please read it! This is smart! This is so well written! This is finally out!

First time I am out of words! Anything I may write about this book will be so worthless! None of the words come out my mouth, letters I click, sentences o try to form or expressions I barely articulate will never be enough to reflect how I feel!

I’m extremely flabbergasted, shocked, startled! And for the first time after I finish a horror- thriller- gothic- psychological thriller-mystery ( the good dances between all those genres) I deeply feel soooo sad! I deeply cared for characters!

If I tell you more, I may give away more about the story! So I’m just shutting my mouth because I don’t want to do anything affecting how you’ll feel about this book and I don’t want to ruin your epic reading experience!

I can only see this book truly exceeded my expectations and it’s extraordinary work!
It’s not only a serial killer story! It’s not only about a cat recites the Bible perfectly! It’s not only about a girl who is adamant to find the killer who hurt her sister! Or is not about a wild child she needs to be trapped in the house to protect herself from the violence of the outside ( or the outer world should be the one to get protected from her)! And it’s not about bulky, introvert, outcast man who wears same clothes, dealing with her wild daughter and sarcastic cat who hates crime thriller shows on TV, trying to blend in but hardly failing.

This book is so much more than these! Just read it and prepare to get shaken to the core! You may start to pick up the pieces in the middle about the big mystery but trust me it’s even bigger and uglier than you may hardly imagine.

I have to say this is so different from the horror books I’ve recently read and it’s one of the unique and original works of the year I highly recommend you to give a shot!

Profile Image for Yun.
521 reviews21.8k followers
October 21, 2022
There is something odd going on in the boarded-up house at the end of Needless Street. Its inhabitants include a man who drinks a lot, an angry teenage girl who isn't allowed out, and a religious cat. When a new neighbor moves in next door, it seems all their secrets will finally come to light.

Talk about a riveting story. It took me a few chapters to get into the rhythm of this, but once I did, I could not put it down. There is this chilling and discordant atmosphere that permeates the pages and kept me coming back for more. When I wasn't reading it, I was thinking about it, mulling over what was real and what wasn't, and trying to puzzle it all out.

A lot has been said about the twists in here, but I don't want to talk them up too much because I think it sets up unreasonably high expectations. Either you'll get an inkling of what's going on or you won't, but in both cases, there are still plenty of surprises in store.

I'm not afraid to admit that this book got under my skin. At times, it feels so raw and dark and uncomfortable. I even had a dream about it, though my subconscious subbed in much scarier details than what was actually in the book, which thoroughly freaked me out.

This feels like one of those books that everyone will read and talk about. It's wild, engrossing, and thoroughly memorable. If you read this (which I highly recommend), don't skip the afterword. It adds a new dimension to the story, and I appreciate it even more for what the author said in there.

My heartfelt thanks for the advance copy that was provided for my honest and unbiased review.

See also, my thoughts on:

Profile Image for Emily May.
1,992 reviews298k followers
April 28, 2021
"Everyone has a monster inside them," he says.

Layers under layers under layers.

The Last House on Needless Street is one of those books that starts very strange and then gradually reveals itself over the course of the novel. If you think you have it figured out, I'd wager you're wrong about at least some of it.

Other reviewers said "twist", but this is not one of those books that hands you a kaboom of a reveal and that's it. Be shocked or disappointed, depending on whether or not you figured it out. Nope. This book is a slow unravelling of the truth. It could be regarded as a little bit scary in parts, but this is far from your standard horror novel.

We meet several narrators over the course of the story. First, Ted. A man who lives in a ramshackle house with his cat and, sometimes, his daughter Lauren. It is obvious that Ted's mind might not be working as it should, whether due to alcohol or some underlying condition, who can say? Then, in come the perspectives of Lauren and even the cat, Olivia. One thing quickly becomes clear: all is not well in the last house on Needless Street.

Then there's Dee, the sister of a young girl who went missing years ago, and she is convinced Ted is responsible. He had been a suspect at the time, but had provided a flimsy alibi. Dee moves into the house next door to Ted, determined to prove his guilt.

Ward's afterword is a must-read and I really liked hearing her reasons behind writing a book like this. In a way, it is a kind of Fascinating, unsettling, and sad.

CW: Child abuse.
Profile Image for Katie Colson.
676 reviews6,885 followers
February 13, 2023
May 2022: 5⭐️
Rereading this changed everything. Seeing how in-depth and sensitive Catriona Ward was with the sensitive topics of this book was not only eye-opening but heart-breaking. I felt so bad. The amount of ignorance and negativity in this book is directly reflective of our current society.
I'm so glad this book exists and people have a chance to recognize that trauma does so much more to our brains than depression. The brain can do so many amazing and horrible things. We are not in control. Sometimes chemicals win. Sometimes everyone averts their gaze and no one helps. It's just so damn sad.

January 2022: 4⭐️
This had my jaw on the FLOOR
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Paromjit.
2,710 reviews25k followers
February 14, 2021
Having read the award winning Catriona Ward's incredible debut, Rawblood, it is not surprising that her latest novel, an atmospheric gothic horror, the darkest of fairytales, is one of the books of 2021. In a place that echoes with lost boys, 11 years ago, the haunted Dee lost her little 6 year old sister, Lulu, the Popsicle Girl, disappearing, never to be seen again. Unsurprisingly, Dee's family disintegrated, and her father is now dead. Dee is left petrified of snakes, thinking she knows who took her sister, she fixates on Ted Bannerman, even though there was CCTV showing he was in a store, with scores of witnesses at the time, proving he had nothing to do with the taking of Lulu. The determined and watchful Dee takes up residence next to Ted's dilapidated home, intent on locating Lulu, convinced of Ted's involvement. At the end of the street are the eerie Woods where the gods are buried.

The unprepossessing, oddball and bulky Ted is a strange man, a prisoner of his reclusive and lonely life, living for the times when his young daughter, Lauren, comes to visit, accompanying her as she trundles and tears round the house on her bike. The novel opens with the menacing act of someone massacring the birds in his garden, leaving Ted devastated and upset, trying to work out who would do such a thing. He is often drunk, visits the bug man, is terrified of the green boys in the attic, and has issues with his memories and there are indications that they are unreliable. Ted is desperate for close contact, going on dates, assuming right from the start that he will be rejected. One of the main perspectives comes from Olivia, Ted's beloved cat, an indoor cat all too conscious of the dangers of the outside world, her god given mission to take care of and protect Ted, although there are occasions when she is so furious with him that she looks for her own forms of revenge, although she can never manage to dislodge and smash the picture of Ted's parents. As the story progresses, the ever creeping feelings of unease, tensions, dread and fear, build ever stronger.

Ward's storytelling veers towards the genius in its unsettling structure, the never ending spiral of twists and turns, the complexities and layered depths of the characters are a marvel to behold, including that of Olivia, at no point did I feel secure about understanding what was going on. The author is remarkably adept at keeping the reader off kilter, underlining and compounding the strong sense and threads of continuous instability with the indeterminate circles of time. This is a riveting, standout and utterly unforgettable read that grabs you by the throat and never lets go until the final pages, a tale of terror, trauma, mental health issues, survival and hope. I have absolutely no doubt that this is going to be a book that will do amazingly well, a wonderful must read. Hugely recommended! Many thanks to Serpent's Tail/Profile Books for an ARC.
Profile Image for megs_bookrack.
1,612 reviews10.7k followers
July 1, 2023

In a quiet town, at the end of a typical neighborhood street, sits a well-worn home with boarded-up windows. In the house lives an eccentric man named, Ted.

Ted's daughter, Lauren, sometimes visits. Although she's never seen playing outside, the neighbors can hear her sounds of joy, and sometimes discontent, well enough, ringing through the walls.

Also, residing in the home, is Ted's furry companion, Olivia the cat.

Told through the alternating perspectives of Ted, Olivia and a neighborhood woman who just moved to the street, their intertwining tales of horror begin to unfold and their connections are laid bare.

It's clear Ted's musings may be unreliable. Can you trust what he is thinking? The way he wants you to see the story? What about Olivia? She's just a cat. Could she possibly understand the intricacies of the human mind?

And what of the neighbor woman? She seems to have an unhealthy obsession with Ted, but is she correct about what he is?

Y'all, this is definitely one of those books that it is best to go into knowing as little as possible. I listened to the audiobook and feel it's an excellent way to take in this story. I was pulled in from the very start.

The writing style is quirky and a perfect fit for this story. In my experience, it added to the overall sense of unease, because it took my mind a couple of seconds after each sentence to string it all together.

That sounds like a negative, but it's not. It was like my mind was clicking through all it had learned, trying to figure out the truth, but couldn't.

You know intensely from the start that all is not as it appears to be. It's not cut and dry.

It's a head-scratcher and beyond compelling. There are clever misdirections, shocking revelations and soul-crushing snaps back to reality. It's a dark and heavy tale that breaths the sinister unknown out of every pore.

Overall, I found this to be a satisfyingly unique and stirring Horror novel. It's 100% memorable and will stick with me for a long time to come.

Thank you so much to the publisher, Macmillan Audio, for providing me with a copy to read and review. It was an ideal way to kick off my Spooky Season reading!!!

Profile Image for Regina.
1,136 reviews3,330 followers
September 28, 2021
*Now available! Just in time for October's spooky reading season.*

The Last House on Needless Street is a 5-star book that you may not end up liking, but mark my words - you WILL be hearing about it.

In fact, if you listen hard enough, you may even hear the buzz building already. Though it was published in the U.K. in March, it won’t be available in the U.S. until September. So what are North American bibliophiles doing to get copies? Firing off requests to publishers, buying them online from U.K.-based Book Depository, and mailing them off to one another. Then after they’ve finally read the story, they’re discussing it with one another.

And there is A LOT to discuss.

What is it actually about, you ask? The genius is that people who’ve read it can’t really tell you. The back cover of the U.K. version sums it up quite well:

“This is the story of a murderer. A stolen child. Revenge. This is the story of Ted, who lives with his daughter Lauren and his cat Olivia in an ordinary house at the end of an ordinary street. All these things are true. And yet some of them are lies.”

Intriguing, huh? I thought so, and I found the reading experience itself to be unsettling as well. Not only do unsettling things occur, but I also was never quite sure what was going on. “What am I reading here?” was a phrase that ran through my head for the duration. While I did have a fairly good hypothesis, which ended up being correct, I wasn’t let down by not being completely blindsided by each reveal. That’s a true testament to author Catriona Ward’s writing. Putting the pieces of her puzzle together felt like a win rather than a loss.

The Last House on Needless Street is being primarily shelved as horror, but that doesn’t feel entirely accurate. It’s a creepy, gothic thriller that 50% of your book club will hate, and the other 50% will appreciate as the modern classic it's destined to become.

My lovely friend Kat was gracious enough to gift me her copy after she wrote her own excellent 5-star review. I also subsequently received the audiobook courtesy of Macmillan Audio via NetGalley, so I was able to experience both formats. The narrator, Christopher Ragland, is superb and should be a contender for an Audie Award. If he doesn’t receive one, it would be as much of a crime as if you didn’t add this novel to your Must Read list.

Blog: www.confettibookshelf.com
Profile Image for MarilynW.
1,198 reviews3,038 followers
September 29, 2021
The Last House on Needless Street by Catriona Ward (Author), Christopher Ragland (Narrator)

Eleven years ago Dee and her six year old sister visit a lake with their parents. By the time they leave, the six year old is missing and Dee's family is shattered forever. But Dee is determined to find her sister. 

Now, or is it before...time is so twisted and confused and missing for Ted. He lives in the family home, with the windows covered with plywood, the house dusty, cluttered, dark, and falling apart. Ted loses time for hours or days and he can't remember names at all or anything else very well. He narrates things on an old cassette tape on an old cassette recorder because he knows he can't remember anything. He has a daughter who is out of control and a cat who is his only comfort. He tries not to think about his mother or father. He hides from the neighbors. He doesn't know how long he can go on like this but he also doesn't know how he has gone on like this. 

Not much more can be said about this strange, disturbing book. It's better to let Ted, Dee, and Olivia, the talking cat, tell the story. Be aware that there is massive amounts of abuse of people and animals. This story is suffocating, claustrophobic, and horrifying. The audio of this story is excellent and chilling and adds to everything that makes this story so frightening.

Published September 28th 2021 by Macmillan Audio

Thank you to Macmillan Audio and NetGalley for this ARC.
Profile Image for Susan's Reviews.
1,107 reviews533 followers
January 30, 2022
Whaaaaaaaaaaat!?!?! I am officially all freaked out!!

. . . . . .

I was so close to DNFing this Audiobook because, at first, it was slow going, listening to Ted's description of his cloistered life with his daughter, Lauren, and his cat, Olivia. (I now admit that I should have paid a bit more attention to this part!)

Then, as the story progressed, the bizarre hints of something dark and horrible lurking in the background began to make me feel extremely anxious. I did suspect dissociative personality disorder, but not the extent of it, and that ginormous twist at the end had me shaking my head with bewilderment and spluttering, "but..... but..... but.....!"

This is a book you should read - or, as in my case, listen to - twice. (But I just don't think I could bear to listen to it again! Oh my nerves! My poor nerves!!)
Holy smokers, this was a jaw dropper!

I therefore highly encourage you to stick with it and get past the first few chapters. Nothing really makes total sense until the very end. Everyone has secrets that they are hiding, even Dee, who devotes her life to searching for her abducted sister, Lulu. The twists just kept coming: and that ending - I'm scarred for life now!

I totally understand why the movie rights for this novel were snatched up even before it hit the proverbial bookshelves.

I'm going to rate this one a 5 out of 5 stars just because I was so, so, so, so, so, so WRONG!!! And the part that I got right just did not matter in comparison! I've never been so flabbergasted in my life! You won't know what hit you in the end!

My thanks to the author, publisher and NetGalley for an advance copy of the Audiobook, which was brilliantly narrated and dramatized by Christopher Ragland. His range of voice is incredible: and his imitation of female voices was equally superb and totally convincing!!

P.S. Here is a pic of Christopher Ragland: great looking AND a fabulous narrator!

(Please visit our Blog https://crossingthepond.reviews/
We'd love to hear from you! Thanks!)
Profile Image for Maureen .
1,444 reviews7,062 followers
July 15, 2022
Hands up, when I started reading this, I thought it wasn’t going to be for me, but it turns out I was wrong, and I was duly rewarded with a strange, dark, but unique reading experience.

Ted is something of a recluse, he lives in a tumbledown house right beside a spooky forest on Needless Street, he has his cat Olivia for company, and occasional visits from his daughter Lauren. Lauren’s visits are a whirlwind of torment for Ted, (and Olivia) she’s noisy, aggressive, and defiant, but he does his best to instil some sort of discipline, or Lauren has to pay the price for her behaviour!

I don’t want to give anything away, so I’ll leave it at that, except to say that this is a tense, creepy but compelling and original storyline, that reads more like gothic horror at times!

* Thank you to Netgalley and Serpent’s Tail/ Profile Books for an ARC in exchange for an honest unbiased review *
Profile Image for Zain.
1,455 reviews154 followers
September 27, 2023
A Well Written Book.

Hundreds of my likes on this review have disappeared! Damn you, GoodReads!

A book written this well deserves to receive five stars. It deserves nothing less.

I don’t want to blab what the book is about, but I definitely think that if you choose to read this book, you will give it five stars.

Five wonderful stars. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Profile Image for Melissa ~ Bantering Books.
249 reviews993 followers
July 7, 2021
Be sure to visit Bantering Books to read all my latest reviews.

The Last House on Needless Street is . . .
No, it’s . . .
You see, the story is really about . . .

Gah! Sorry, but I just can’t tell you.

If I did, your fun would be spoiled. And believe me, Catriona Ward’s novel is one you do NOT want spoiled.

Here’s what you need to know:

The story is about Ted. Ted lives in the last house on Needless Street with his daughter, Lauren, and his cat, Olivia. A murder has occurred. A child has been stolen.

The novel is part horror, part gothic mystery, and part thriller. It’s disturbing and eerie. It’s hauntingly atmospheric.

And at its outset, not much of it makes sense. You will be utterly confused while you read it. It will feel like you are wearing blinders and have lost your peripheral vision, as the surrounding world of the characters is claustrophobically blurred and obscured.

But you will hang on Ward’s every word. Because The Last House on Needless Street is uniquely creative. It’s unputdownable. And by novel's end, you will find yourself far from where you began.

It’s pretty darn brilliant.

The Last House on Needless Street publishes September 28th, 2021. If you can’t wait until September to read it, you can do as I did and order the UK release from Book Depository.

Bantering Books
Profile Image for Meredith (Trying to catch up!).
815 reviews12.7k followers
July 25, 2021
Dark and Disconcerting

4.5 stars

“The world is full of stuff that doesn’t make sense. But maybe they are connected.”

The Last House on Needless Street is a dark and disturbing story about a man, his teenage daughter, and his bible-reading cat, Olivia. This is all I can say without giving too much away.

There are many layers to the plot and the characters. In the beginning, it is hard to grasp what is going on. The timeline is confusing, and the narration is disorienting: The characters’ version of reality often shifts, throwing another wrench into what the reader thinks they know. The narration of events is unreliable and, at times, frustrating. Slowly, things come together, revealing a dark and disturbing secret about one character and their past.

The characters are eccentric--they made me feel unsettled and uncomfortable. My favorite character was Olivia, the cat. Her voice was perhaps the most consistent and comforting.

Thankfully, there are bits of humor woven in to lighten the dark and heavy tone.

When I reached the halfway point, I figured out what was going on with the main character. I was a little disappointed as I thought it was a cover-up of their actions, but as more of the “why” was revealed, my feelings shifted, and I realized that there was a horrific aspect of this story that I completely missed.

This is a heartbreaking story of survival and perseverance told through the eyes of the suffering and wounded. The characters got under my skin; I won’t forget them anytime soon. Many props to Ward for taking an original slant on a popular trope--the missing child.

I received an ARC of this book from Macmillam-Tor/Forge and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Kat (semi-hiatus until October).
242 reviews664 followers
September 29, 2021
I have a little request for those of you who’ve already read this. Could you all raise your hand if the first thought after finishing this book was something like:

“WTF did I just read?!” 😳

Those of you who have yet to read it, and I recommend that you do … just wait. You’ll get what I’m saying soon enough.

Catriona Ward has written the only book I can think of in recent memory that I have no clue how to review without giving spoilers, but here it goes:

Ted lives alone in a boarded up house on Needless Street with his daughter, Lauren, and his cat, Olivia. By the way, the cat is one of the narrators, so that should give you some idea of the mind games this book will play with you, but c’mon … how could I not love that? Spoiler: I did.

In an alternate scenario, there’s a family out for a beach day, including sisters, Dee and Lulu - only by the end of it, one sister is nowhere to be found. What happened that day? What does this family’s experience have to do with Ted - or does it? That’s the twisted mystery that lies ahead for the reader, only I warn you - whatever you think you have figured out, you’re most likely wrong.

Have you seen a kaleidoscope? You know - the toy where you look into the hole on one end and twist the other end so the colors and shapes change and everything reconfigures in a new way? This book is like that. Just when you think you’re making out the shapes and colors you’re seeing, a twist happens and all those pieces come together in a completely different way. Personally, I loved those toys, and I enjoyed every new twist this book offered. You won’t know which way is up, the narrators are ALL unreliable, and the story will send you ten different directions so you can’t get your bearings, but that’s the beauty of it. If it were simple it wouldn’t be fun. The irony is that by the end of it, the actual explanation kinda made perfect sense, so I didn’t feel like I needed to suspend any disbelief.

Well, that’s the best I can do with this one. Read it and enjoy all those beautiful and colorful twists! I listened to this on audio, narrated by Christopher Ragland, and he did a brilliant job voicing all the parts. I HIGHLY recommend trying it in whatever form - print or audio - that makes you happy!


This and all my other reviews can also be found on my blog: https://acuriouskatreads.blogspot.com/

Thank you to Macmillan Audio, NetGalley, and author Catriona Ward for this audio in exchange for my honest review. It will be published September 28, 2021.
Profile Image for karen.
3,988 reviews170k followers
December 2, 2021
oooh, goodreads choice awards finalist for best horror 2021! WHAT WILL HAPPEN LET’S FIND OUT!

come on, everybody!

as you may have heard, this book is all about the twist.

there are some books whose whole appeal is hinged on their SHOCKING TWIST SURPRISE (like the disappointing We Were Liars, which wendy darling summed up perfectly in her review). this is not one of those books. however, talking about what makes it so great apart from the resolution becomes a review-challenge of landmine-avoidance.

this book is sort of the reversal of books like Behind Her Eyes or The Man from Primrose Lane, whose fairly straightforward storylines are abruptly infiltrated by GENRE, changing the entire trajectory of reader expectations. this one, blurbed succinctly by alex north is: A perfect horror novel, but not in the way you expect. and since we're on the subject of blurbs, this next blurb is why i love t. kingfisher/ursula vernon so much:

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.

and i might as well drop paul tremblay's here as well, because he was kind enough to name-drop me into A Head Full of Ghosts:

A breathtakingly ambitious book, gorgeously written, and never once shies away from showing you its fangs and its beautiful, blood-filled heart.

there are many more enticing, intriguing blurbs—long story short: many excellent writers i admire admire this book. with good reason. so let me add my less-accomplished words to theirs while tiptoeing around the specifics.

i've never read anything by catriona ward before, although i think i have a couple of her books in my towering bookstacks. this book is full of, clean, tight, careful writing; tricksy and propulsive, VERY well-plotted, and you do not want to put it down for anything. and once things start unraveling, your brain just starts going ping ping ping with noticing, but i sure as hell wasn't putting it all together—i didn't know what to do with all of my noticings.

it's like—sometimes you're reading an ARC and there's a mistake and you just dismiss it, but here, nothing is a mistake. the details might cause a little hitch in your reading, a "wait, wasn't that...?" and as the conflicting details accrue, it starts to break your whole damn brain, but by the end, you understand everything, and you're broken in a whole different way—in your FEELS.

you're in good hands with this one.

and this sentiment? hard agree.

I judge people two ways—on how they treat animals, and on what they like to eat. If their favorite food is some kind of salad, they are definitely a bad person. Anything with cheese, they are probably OK.

p.s.—do not skip the afterword, but do save it for after.



review to come


prepare yourself for a long string of slightly-blurred photos...

yesterday i went to get covid-shot #1, and while i was waiting, i realized that my shirt, my bag, and my mask all had cats on them, and i thought to myself "welp, that's certainly one way to be an adult."

i was between books and had already chosen my next read, but when i got home, there was a package waiting for me, a box with fake hinges and shiny trim

and a little cat sticker adorning the front

and inside...

whaaaaat? such BOUNTY!

a book i already wanted to read, PLUS this awesome cat pin

and little baggies of mysterious items

one of these pens writes SILVER

this one has catnip tea with not one but TWO additional cat stickers

and this one has hot sauce and jelly and honey

and one million diamonds!

even the little paper clip holding together the promotional material is cat-shaped

in short, i will be changing my plans and starting this book immediately, because cats.

come to my blog!
July 20, 2022
I am obviously an outlier on this one

Gothic-thriller - no !!!
A chilling masterpiece in suspense - hardly
Groundbreaking - nope not that either

Well now you might see why I was so disappointed. With hype like this I thought I was in for a real treat of a novel but this was such a let down.

A masterclass in horror - really??. This goes into the pile of 'least enjoyable horror books'. If that was what it was supposed to be.

It was tedious, laboured, uneventful, confusing and just weird. A talking cat even if had an important part to play, just didn't work. Fine if it’s Fantasy but I don’t think it was claiming to be in that genre.

Sorry to down grade again. It is now a one. I disliked this so much and know it had a huge following so please read other reviews because I am in a very small minority. I need not have read The Last House on Needless Street.
Profile Image for Kat.
270 reviews80k followers
June 13, 2022
Conflicted by this one. It started off with a strong atmosphere and intriguing set up. I enjoyed the switching POVs initially, as I was just trying to piece things together, before anything had been confirmed. Around halfway, I think things start to fall apart fast. The conclusion is somehow so predictable, while also being entirely chaotic in its execution. I did not like the last 20-30% at all when the big "reveals" happen. They felt haphazard and cheap.

Also saw a couple reviewers mention an author's note that really seemed to impact their ratings, which unfortunately my audiobook didn't include. Definitely going to have to dig around for it though, because I'd love to see what Ward said about her choices when writing these characters, and what her research process was like. Doubt it would change my opinion, but I'm curious to know.
Profile Image for Jayme.
1,189 reviews2,260 followers
September 28, 2021
ONLY 3 ⭐️ for my enjoyment level of the story
BUT...5 ⭐️ for the spectacular Audible performance by Christopher Ragland!
(I still cannot believe this was just one narrator!)

Sssh! Do you want to know a secret?🤫

👏🏻 Bravo to the marketing team of this novel for saying VERY little, and making us ALL want to know the secrets contained within the pages of this book.

What is said:

That it’s a story of a man named Ted, who lives with his daughter Lauren and his cat Olivia in a house at the end of Needless Street. And, that it’s a story of a murderer, a stolen child and revenge.

Also said:

That all of these things are true. And, at the same time that some of them are lies.

BUT that is all that the beautiful book jacket will tell you.

👏🏻 Bravo to the reviews that have come before mine, which revealed almost nothing more-making this THE MOST INTRIGUING BOOK OF 2021!


The story INITIALLY reveals itself through the perspectives of Ted and Olivia.
YES-Olivia the cat!

And, while I struggled to believe that any woman would’ve gotten intimate with Ted-I had no trouble believing in a talking cat! 🙀

As the author will tell you in the afterword (which you MUST read) , the book does begin as HORROR.
But then it evolved into.....something else.

And, it’s the something else we are all not telling you about.

You have to read it for yourself.

Unlike, apparently everyone else, this book WON’T make my favorites list this year.
I didn’t really enjoy the story.

BUT-I can’t argue with the fact that the misdirection was flawless and that I was dying to be in on the secret!

Unique and Creative-4 ⭐️ final rating.

Thank You to Macmillan Audio for providing a listen 🎧 through NetGalley shelf!
And, to my friend Susan for providing a gifted copy 🎁 which I read simultaneously!

Profile Image for Charlotte May.
720 reviews1,114 followers
May 17, 2021
I am overwhelmed. And I think I have whiplash from all the twists!

“There’s a monster inside each of us...if you let yours out, Ted, it might not eat you.”

Ok, I’ll keep this short because I think going in blind is the best option with this one.

We have 4 POVs. Ted, a loner who lives on Needless Street, no job, no friends and comes across as creepy. Olivia, his pet cat (this is a weird POV but trust me, go with it) and Lauren, Ted’s ‘daughter’ who frequently comes to visit. But something isn’t quite right.

Meanwhile the last POV is Dee. A desperate woman searching for her baby sister who disappeared 11 years earlier. She finds herself on Needless Street, looking into Ted. But just how much danger is she in?

What starts as a fairly recognisable thriller/horror set up soon spirals into something entirely different. You will not guess. I am telling you now!

What I loved was how this book takes so many tropes - like the kidnapped girl, and the weirdo loner and completely changes our perspective.

I found this book impossible to put down. I was prising it out of my fingers when I had to work. A truly gripping and surprising page turner.


Library copy available for pick up

Yessss! I have so been looking forward to this one!
Profile Image for Debbie W..
761 reviews569 followers
November 28, 2021
Do you remember watching the movie The Others (starring Nicole Kidman)? And when you got to the very end, you were, like, "I have to watch this one again!!" Well, it was like that for me with this book!

After reading so many of my Goodreads friends' 4-5 star reviews (thank you, everyone, for NOT spoiling it by spilling the beans!), I just had to get my hands on this book and read it NOW!

Some of my friends know that I prefer to read the Afterword/Author's Note first, but for some reason, I made the conscious decision not to do so with this book. Boy, am I ever glad! Even the author's first sentence in her Afterword states, "If you haven't finished The Last House on Needless Street yet, please don't read on - what follows is one long spoiler." Thank you, Ms. Ward, for the warning!

In short, I just couldn't put it down! I kept thinking (in a good way!) "What the heck is going on?" I would frequently reread sections while savoring the "messages"!

Onto my Favorites bookshelf it goes!

Profile Image for Debra .
2,421 reviews35.2k followers
April 25, 2021
Wowza! What a story!

All these things are true. And yet they are all lies...

When I first starting reading this, I was instantly intrigued!! A missing girl, a cat that reads the bible and a man with mental health issues! Bring-it-on!

And she does! Catriona Ward brings it on in this book. Try to go in knowing as little as possible. The synopsis is all you need to begin this book.

Because things get interesting and then *BAM* your socks will get knocked off. I loved how original this book was and how it was told. I enjoyed all the characters, but I will admit, Olivia the bible reading cat won me over! Holy Moly, a bible reading cat! Why yes! Aren't all cats’ readers? They sure like hanging out in bookstores. But I digress.... Did I mention this book has a bizarre feel to it? No, well there is a bizarre feel to this book. An uneasy feel which permeates throughout the book. It's unnerving and will have you scratching your head...

Initially, we know two things: a young girl has gone missing while enjoying the day at the lake with her family and a man named Ted lives in the house, he grew up in. He is basically reclusive and has mental health issues. I am being purposely vague as a.) I want readers to go in blind and b.) I think knowing too much will ruin parts of the book for you.

Whew! What a book! Again, go in blind. Along the forty percent mark, I started thinking hmmm....and wondering.... believing I had some things figured out..... Then the author brought it a little further in the book. There is a part where everything will make sense, you will understand why things feel bizarre, now things are becoming clear.... but not everything, not yet! Ward is not giving away the farm- all at once. She still saves some until the end.

This was a highly creative, original, and well thought out novel. Plus, it has a fantastic 'aha' moment! My head is spinning! I cannot wait to read what Ward writes next.

If this book is not on your radar, it needs to be!

Thank you to Macmillan-Tor/Forge and NetGalley who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All the thoughts and opinions are my own.

Read more of my reviews at www.openbookposts.com
Profile Image for Michael David (on hiatus).
656 reviews1,617 followers
September 28, 2021

First word that came to mind after reading this: WOW! I was essentially speechless and needed to get my thoughts in order.

Ted lives in an old house that is dirty, uncared for, and on the verge of being decrepit. He shares the house with his cat, Olivia, and his daughter, Lauren...when she’s able to visit. He values his privacy for many reasons and is not happy when a suspicious woman moves in next door.

As the synopsis states:

“All these things are true. And yet some of them are lies.”

Told from multiple perspectives, including Olivia the cat, I couldn’t determine if I was enjoying what I was reading. I was confused at times, and yet I had this propulsive need to flip the pages as my mind tried to process the bizarre events.

And then everything comes together. And it is a DOOZY!

This has got to be one of the most original novels I’ve ever read, and it’s brilliant how author Catriona Ward lays everything out and makes it all work splendidly and cohesively in the end.

I really can’t say too much about this one without giving anything away, but I’ll just say you should read it to believe it! I have no idea what genre I would put it in. Psychological Horror? Thriller? Something else? NO CLUE!

I may have to read this, or at least parts of it, again to fully wrap my head around it. It’s a mindf- - k, and I can understand why it seems to be one of the most anticipated books for many readers.

There are triggers, but I won’t discuss them here as I don’t want to spoil anything.

4 stars, but may move up as I am really still processing this SMART story. You do NOT want to miss this one!

Thank you to Tor Nightfire for sending me a widget of the ARC through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The book will be published in the U.S on: 9/28/21.

Review also posted at: https://bonkersforthebooks.wordpress.com
Profile Image for Denise.
509 reviews386 followers
October 18, 2021
Every year there is that one book that nearly all of my fabulous GR friends love, and I shake my head in bewilderment and think that I must have read a different book than everyone else ... well, here is that book for me in 2021! I went into this one expecting a dark, gothic, horror read, but instead it was just a bizarre, psychological mystery with a cat narrator. 🙄

From the second chapter when Olivia, the cat, is talking and quoting the Bible, I had an inkling where the plot was headed, as it is the most overused thriller trope out there, but I was hoping I was wrong. I wasn't. The only thing that kept this from being a one-star read for me was Dee's storyline. I did find it intriguing, and I was surprised by elements of it. If the whole book had been more Dee and her sister's disappearance and less Ted, I may have enjoyed it more. The ending of the book does tie things up succinctly and it makes a bit more sense, but by that time, I couldn't care less about any of it.

Needless to say, this could be "The Last Book on Any Street," and I still would not give it more than a lackluster 2 stars.
Profile Image for Char.
1,681 reviews1,554 followers
April 29, 2021
Rarely do I struggle to find words about a book that I loved, but I find myself in that position right now. THE LAST HOUSE ON NEEDLESS STREET blew me away.

There are many narratives here and several threads to follow-most of which lead down spoiler lane. But after mulling it over, here is what I've come up with:

This tale is beautifully written and I was immediately drawn to these characters and making assumptions about them. The author's skills in character building are nearly unmatched, and I had clear pictures in my head of all of them. Them being: Ted the awkward man who's overweight, and lives in a boarded up house; Lauren, Ted's daughter, who is rarely seen outside because it's much safer for her inside; Olivia, Ted's cat. Olivia likes to read the bible, worship the lord, nuzzle up to Ted and she doesn't go outside either. Lastly, there's Dee whose sister disappeared back when Dee was a teenager and that event has loomed over her life ever since, like a huge dark joy-sucking shadow.

The entire book is written in such a way that the mysteries keep piling up and the reader begins to wonder how all these secrets are going to be disclosed before the story comes to an end. But have no doubt, dear reader, when these secrets are unleashed it will leave you off centered and a bit stunned.

A sublime book of psychological dark fiction, both beautifully crafted and well told, I know that I'll be reading this book again. Even though it has already divulged all of its secrets to me, there is a certain joy in reading thoughtful, powerful prose. Beyond the enjoyment of the story itself, is the joy of words and how they are put together to create a flawless narrative. A narrative that, in the end, may have made this black-hearted horror lover break down and cry. Maybe.

You know what? I just can't do this book justice with my measly words, so I'll just say that THE LAST HOUSE ON NEEDLESS STREET has earned my highest recommendation!

*Thank you so very much to Tor/Nighfire and to NetGalley for the e-ARC. paperback ARC and the audio ARC in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it!*
Profile Image for Terrie  Robinson.
444 reviews715 followers
March 28, 2022
"The Last House on Needless Street" by Catriona Ward is definitely worth all the hype!

At the end of the Washington wild woods are a dead-end street and a boarded-up house. Inside are a man who drinks too much and can't remember enough, a daughter who isn't allowed outside, and a talking house-cat who sleeps on the stairs and reads the bible.

Are you curious yet?

Outside is a snoopy new next-door neighbor looking for answers in the woods beyond...

At no time did I have any idea what was going on in this crazy story. When I thought I did, I didn't. No kidding, there is one crazy-twisty-curly-yank-in-your-face turn after another! My heart was racing, my eyes were bulging and I felt like I had a tic. Seriously!

I listened to the audiobook narrated by Christopher Ragland who does an exceptional job and whose voicing adds to the 'full-on' entertainment of this story. When you listen at an accelerated speed, it sounds even more crazed and over-the-top! I was delighted and listening to the audiobook is definitely the way to go for the best 'hands-down' experience!

I wish I could tell you more, in fact I want to tell you more. But if I do, it will spoil everything for you. You must go in blind, you need to go in blind to truly enjoy the uniqueness of this crazy ride!

The few things I can tell you are if you have put this one on your TBR only to take it off over and over again, then you need to put it back on and listen to it ASAP! I highly recommend.
October 29, 2021
The best way to go into this book is completely blind to any information about it. I know that’s tough to do as you want to read everyone’s reviews and see if the plot is a good fit. But this is one of those books that you have to trust and take the plunge so you can ride a hell of a ride. So therefore, I won’t go into specifics on the book, just my thoughts on it overall.

I honestly can’t get over how intricate and well-thought-out this book was. Ward has incredible talent at story-telling and the complex web she weaves builds and builds. There is a constant twist after twist and you will continually ask yourself where this is going. It is such a neat challenge for the reader, especially those who despise the average predictable ending. It really is the book that keeps giving.

Also, it is important to read the Afterword. I can’t go into detail about it, but the message is incredible and will change your outlook on the book in a really cool way.

4.5 ⭐️!
Profile Image for Michelle .
912 reviews1,406 followers
June 23, 2021
Bravo and a round of applause to Catriona Ward!!! 👏👏👏

As I'm sure you have heard the less said is better with this one so I am going to keep this short and sweet.

We hear from 4 points of view. Ted a loner that lives on Needless Street, his cat Olivia, his daughter Lauren, and Dee whose little sister was kidnapped while vacationing at a lake that is close to Needless Street a decade before.

Let me start by saying that this book has a brilliant marketing campaign and a blurb vague enough to intrigue and allure readers. It sure did intrigue me. I even love both covers that I have seen for this book. Imagine my disappointment when I was declined by both NetGalley and Edelweiss. Meanwhile all my lucky and cool friends were getting copies while I was sitting here saying what the heck, why not me??? So, in a moment of weakness, I wrote to Tor Publicity explaining my woes and the kind Anna Mertz sent me a widget to download! Thank you from the bottom of my heart, Anna! 💗

(NetGalley: Why when you decline someone a book then decide to make it a "read now" for EVERYONE the declined person who showed early interest still has no access to the title? The injustice is real and a bit infuriating!)

While I was super intrigued I was also nervous and approached the book with a bit of trepidation. My concern: Olivia the cat's point of view. Can I suspend disbelief enough to go along with this? Turns out I can. I loved hearing from Olivia.

The real genius here though is Ward herself. She doesn't let you get your bearings. When I tell you I was clueless almost the entire time...well, I ain't kidding. I couldn't grasp what was happening but it wasn't in a bad way it was in a "I must get to the bottom of this way." As my friend and fellow reviewer, Karen, wrote in her review: "it starts to break your whole damn brain" and that is EXACTLY what it felt like. Again, in the best way possible.

I'm going to leave it at that. Do I recommend this? YOU BET I DO!!! 5 stars!

Thank you to NetGalley and Anna Merz @ Macmillan-Tor/Forge for my copy!
Profile Image for Rebecca.
265 reviews276 followers
November 13, 2021
Ted Bannerman lives alone with his cat Olivia in a boarded up house at the end of Needless Street. He's unemployed and drinks a lot. His daughter Lauren comes to visit from time to time, but they never go out when she does, and their relationship is always tense and often violent. When a woman named Dee moves into the abandoned house next door while on a quest to find her sister, who was kidnapped years ago, Ted's life begins to spiral into chaos.

All of these statements👆🏻are true, and yet some of them are lies……

The last House on Needless Street is the story of a murderer, a stolen child, revenge and healing. It is the perfect combination of psychological horror and thriller. The less you know about this book before you start reading the better and when you think you have it all figured out, you are miles away from knowing what is true.

Unhinged, original, thrilling. There is so much mystery and wierdness going on in this book. It’s an interrogation on abuse in all its forms. Complex and multilayered, it’s unsettling, beautiful, sad and wise.

I adored this book! It will stay with me for a long time. A masterclass in psychological horror. Up there with the best.

Highly Recommend 👌🏻
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