Announcing The Last House on Needless Street, a New Novel from Catriona Ward

Catriona Ward’s The Last House on Needless Street, a thriller with a horrifying psychological twist, will be published by Nightfire in October 2021!

Ted lives in the last house on Needless Street, at the edge of a wild forest, his only company a disapproving cat and his eleven-year-old daughter, Lauren. Ted has always been strange, but he’s becoming stranger. He sets up false online dating profiles, comes home late with the scents of bone and fear on his hands. He spends nights in the forest, digging amongst the silver birches. A mysterious woman, who believes Ted had something to do with her younger sister’s long-ago disappearance, moves into the abandoned house next door. When Lauren goes missing, suspicion turns to terror.

And if that’s not enough to excite you, the master himself is raving about this book:


Here’s what Catriona Ward has to say:

The Last House on Needless Street came to me in a blinding flash. I was researching the psychological effects of childhood trauma, watching survivors of abuse talk about their experiences online. I suddenly understood that the novel I had been tinkering with wasn’t just about a strange man who lived in a lonely derelict house with his cat. It was about not only the suffering and isolation of a wounded mind, but also survival, empathy and hope. The vast deep forests of the Pacific Northwest were the only possible backdrop for the unfolding of this tragedy and these dark, twisting deeds. For the next ten months I wrote like a person possessed. It felt like a dangerous and ambitious book – I was always writing on a knife-edge. Most of all I was determined to keep compassion at its heart. 

The Last House on Needless Street has found just the right home with Nightfire – I can’t wait for U.S. readers to meet Ted, Lauren, and Olivia the cat. I’m thrilled to entrust this book, as well as the Shirley Jackson Award-winning Little Eve to this exciting new imprint, with its passion for
innovative horror and commitment to seeking out new talent. I’m so glad to be part of Nightfire’s journey from the very beginning.”

And from Kelly Lonesome, senior editor at Nightfire:

“As soon as the submission hit my inbox, I cleared the rest of my afternoon and sank my claws into The Last House on Needless Street. Catriona Ward’s writing is so ensnaring, her characters so nuanced, and the unique structure of this twisty tale kept me guessing at every turn. By the time I finished reading (and was released from fear’s icy grip), I just knew I had to bring this book to Nightfire where it could really shine. It’s a one-of-a-kind horror story with a deeply empathetic message at its core, and you shouldn’t underestimate Ward’s ability to completely blind-side you. Nightfire is proud to bring Ward’s stories, including her Shirley Jackson Award-winning book Little Eve, to American readers who will want to devour her writing.”


Plus, a remarkable amount of horror and speculative authors are excited about The Last House on Needless Street – here are what just a few of them have to say:

  • “A chilling and beautiful masterpiece of suspense, cunningly plotted and written with the elegant imagination of a Shirley Jackson or a Sarah Waters. I was completely enthralled.” —Joe Hill, New York Times bestselling author of NOS4A2
  • “THIS IS THE BEST HORROR NOVEL I HAVE EVER READ. Even Shirley Jackson, her Majesty, would have to concede to this one.” —Natasha Pulley, author of The Watchmaker of Filigree Street
  • “Absolutely brilliant. This is extraordinary, high-wire-act horror, audacious as hell.” —Christopher Golden, New York Times bestselling author of Red Hands
  • “Incredible. Absolutely creep-inducing, skin-crawling, even agonising; and also so beautiful, both in writing and heart. One of my favourite things in ages.” —James Smythe, author of The Explorer
  • “Exceptional. Uplifting, terrifying, beautiful, and mesmerizingly dark.” —James Brogan, author of Hekla’s Children
  • “Incredible. Just incredible. Throughout, I didn’t know where to put my heart. A breathtaking, fiercely beautiful novel.” —Rio Youers, author of Halcyon

Photo by Robert Hollingworth

Catriona Ward was born in Washington, DC and grew up in the United States, Kenya, Madagascar, Yemen, and Morocco. She studied English at Oxford and later the Creative Writing Masters at the University of East Anglia. Her second novel Little Eve won the 2019 Shirley Jackson Award and the August Derleth Prize at the British Fantasy Awards. Her debut, The Girl
from Rawblood
, also won the 2016 August Derleth Prize, making her the first and only woman to win the prize twice. Her short stories have appeared in numerous anthologies. She divides her time between London and the remote English moors.

The Last House on Needless Street will hit shelves in October 2021!



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