The Last House on Needless Street by Catriona Ward – Review

Published: September 28, 2021

Publisher: Tor Nightfire

Series: N/A

Genre: Horror

Pages: 341 (Hardcover)

My Rating: 4.0/5.0

Catriona Ward’s The Last House on Needless Street is a shocking and immersive read perfect for fans of Gone Girl and The Haunting of Hill House.

In a boarded-up house on a dead-end street at the edge of the wild Washington woods lives a family of three.

A teenage girl who isn’t allowed outside, not after last time.

A man who drinks alone in front of his TV, trying to ignore the gaps in his memory.

And a house cat who loves napping and reading the Bible.

An unspeakable secret binds them together, but when a new neighbor moves in next door, what is buried out among the birch trees may come back to haunt them all.

What a way to start 2023 (yes, it’s taken me a month to post the review). I sat around all day on New Years reading this strange and unputdownable tale and when I finally got to the end I was rather shocked.

The Last House on Needless Street is horror, but it’s the psychological horror kind. Ted Bannerman is a reclusive, strange man who mostly keeps to himself in his odd boarded up house at the end of Needless Street. His daughter, Lauren, seems to only be there sometimes and the cat, Olivia, is clearly not *just* a cat. The whole situation is unsettling – something is just not right about it and right off the bat, it seems to be a horribly abusive household. Where does Lauren go when she acts out? Why does the cat get her own POV chapters and why does she read the bible? To make it even more unsettling, there’s a fourth POV character who is obsessively searching for the person who took her sister Lulu eleven years ago from the lake near Ted’s home. 

My first thoughts were that Ted was definitely a sketchy fellow who had a sad childhood and the further I read the more I thought that Ted was a psychotic kidnapper who happened to keep his victims trapped in his house. The whole time I really wasn’t sure what to make of the cat, but being a cat it was also my favorite POV character. As you approach the end of the book, you realize that all of your assumptions are wildly incorrect about all the characters and those revelations shook me. It’s like finding out everything is a lie! What a twist! And then what a satisfying ending!

This was a really fascinating book and I’m glad I read it. While I didn’t love it, I will be thinking about it for a long time to come because at this point, I’ve read nothing like it.  I can see myself picking up another of Catriona Ward’s books in the future!


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