Hey everyone! I’m back sooner than I thought I would be with another review. I also realized that I read a lot of books that deal with pretty dark subject matter. If you mind that at all, I completely understand. I don’t always intentionally seek out dark books, but I do have an inherently morbid sense of curiosity. This is also another book I saw circulating on people’s must reads for horror/suspense novels. If that is what you are looking for, stick around and listen to my review for The Last House of Needless Street.
Content Warning: Death of Children, Graphic Bodily Injury, Discussions and Depictions of Mental Illness, Alcohol Abuse, Death of Animals, Self-Harm
Ted Bannerman has done his best to live a quiet life. He keeps his daughter, Lauren, safe despite how much she fights him. His cat Olivia lives her own life, napping and reading the Bible when no one is around. A terrible secret is what keeps them together. Their secret is at risk when a neighbor moves in across the street and seems to know that Ted is hiding something. The thing is he is trying so desperately to hide, however, no longer wishes to be buried.
I am just going to come right out and say that I felt that this book was also a bit of a swing and a miss for me, as far as being a compelling horror or thriller. That is not to be too negative, either. I really did enjoy the different character voices that Catriona Ward utilizes and the ways that those voices begin to blend together was one of the best parts of the novel. It is also an atmospheric read with plenty of visceral and unique details that make the writing all the more interesting. I am, however, unsure how obvious the “twist” of the novel was supposed to be. I’m honestly feeling a little conflicted overall on this book. Spoiler Warning: The main “twist” comes from one of the character’s mental health conditions. I always get wary whenever something along those lines is being used as shock factor, in any capacity. I understand that the author was coming from a place of sympathy, based on the afterword. I tend to stay away from any sort of horror media that utilizes metal health or mental illness as something “shocking” or “scary.” I am not going to say to not read this book since, overall, it wasn’t a bad book by any means. I am saying, though, that sometimes we need to step back and think about what we find “shocking” or “scary.”