The Night Guest - Tor Nightfire
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The Night Guest

Hildur Knutsdottir; translated by Mary Robinette Kowal

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The Night Guest is an eerie and ensnaring story set in contemporary Reykjavík that’s sure to keep you awake at night.

Iðunn is in yet another doctor’s office. She knows her constant fatigue is a sign that something’s not right, but practitioners dismiss her symptoms and blood tests haven’t revealed any cause.

When she talks to friends and family about it, the refrain is the same — have you tried eating better? exercising more? establishing a nighttime routine? She tries to follow their advice, buying everything from vitamins to sleeping pills to a step-counting watch. Nothing helps.

Until one night Iðunn falls asleep with the watch on, and wakes up to find she’s walked over 40,000 steps in the night . . .

What is happening when she’s asleep? Why is she waking up with increasingly disturbing injuries? And why won’t anyone believe her?


Hildur Knútsdóttir was born in Reykjavík, Iceland, in 1984. She has lived in Spain, Germany, and Taiwan and studied literature and creative writing at The University of Iceland. She writes fiction both for adults and teenagers, as well as short fiction, plays, and screenplays. Hildur is known for her evocative fantastical fiction and spine-chilling horror. She lives in Reykjavík with her husband, their two daughters, and a puppy called Uggi.


Praise for The Night Guest:
“The Night Guest is evocative and powerfully restrained. At times chilling, at others harrowingly familiar, The Night Guest is a fascinating examination of femininity, agency, and self, and a genuinely heart-pounding read.”—Olivie Blake, New York Times bestselling author of The Atlas Six

“From its opening pages, Hildur Knútsdóttir’s eerie and elegant The Night Guest wraps its icy fingers around you and pulls you in. It’s so atmospheric, so well-crafted, and so truly, deeply unsettling that by the end, you feel every bit as haunted as its sleepless heroine. If you’re a horror fan—or just a fan of great writing in general—you need to have this one on your radar!”—Rachel Hawkins, New York Times bestselling author of The Wife Upstairs

“I inhaled this book. Not since Sarah Gran’s Come Closer has every sentence sliced at the reader’s heart. This book will bleed you out before you’re done.”—Clay McLeod Chapman, author of Ghost Eaters

“The Night Guest casts a hypnotic spell from page one. Its sentences break like shards of ice to reveal a cold, dark truth at its center. You can’t put it down, once it has you in its thrall.”—Andy Davidson, author of The Hollow Kind

“Effortlessly alternating between dark humor and the darkest horror, The Night Guest hooked me immediately—and then proceeded to reel me in with a vivid, haunting story that evades easy answers and is all the more terrifying for it.”—Sam J. Miller, award-winning author of The Blade Between

The Night Guest is a tightly woven, nasty little fable that thrums with dread. If it keeps you awake at night, you just might be grateful.”—Christopher Buehlman, author of The Blacktongue Thief

The Night Guest offers that rare experience in a horror novel: a creeping scare and a total shock. I never knew where Knútsdóttir was taking me, and the hand she held in hers was shaking with terror the whole time. Both recalling the foundations of the horror genre and bringing something completely new, The Night Guest is a brilliant work of both narration and translation.”—Meg Elison, award-winning author of The Book of the Unnamed Midwife

“A beautifully written story: visceral, layered, and haunting. I loved every moment.”—Sunyi Dean, bestselling author of The Book Eaters

“Crisp, unsentimental prose accentuates the dread in this dark tale… there’s simply nowhere to hide and no way to look away from each new, unsettling development. The Night Guest never shies away from asking us to think about the last time we really saw someone, and what it means to feel seen… and what happens when no one is looking.”—Premee Mohamed, author of Beneath the Rising

The Night Guest pulls us by our throats down Reykjavik midnight streets in an unraveling nightmare, so much grief and fear and all we may be capable of leaving their marks beneath our fingernails and behind our eyes. This book moved, thrilled, and terrified me. Atmospheric, witty, frightening, electrifying, I would walk those nightmare streets again and again with Knútsdóttir. I absolutely loved it.”—CJ Leede, author of Maeve Fly


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