The Last House on Needless Street; Catriona Ward
Macmillan Audio - 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. But you’re wrong. In the dark forest at the end of Needless Street, something lies buried. But it’s not what you think…
Ted Bannerman lives on the "Last house on Needless Street." The house is boarded up, has triple locks on the doors and backs up to the forest. Ted is pretty much confined to his house, he's severely overweight, drinks too much but, he likes going out at night and also loves feeding the birds in his backyard. He has a cat named Olivia, who also narrates this story and, her POV provides some excellent perspective so readers need to pay attention to her POV. Ted also has a young daughter Lauren who only resides with him sometimes but, where she lives otherwise is a bit of a mystery. The neighbors think Ted is strange and his property is often the target of vandals and pranksters. Then there is Dee, a new neighbor, who moves in next door. She is definitely suspicious of Ted and she thinks he might know what had happened to her sister who disappeared when she a very young girl years earlier. What's up with Ted and did he have anything to do with the missing girls disappearance?
Ted comes across as very gentle and sincere but, something is definitely off with him. I viewed him with both suspicion and sympathy the more the story progressed. As he enlightens us to missing pieces of his childhood, it's easy to see his mother was a definite kook. Olivia the cat was another terrific POV that added insight into both Ted and Lauren as well as things that have been happening around the house.
When I first came across this book I thought it seemed like a perfectly awesome choice for my list of darker fall weather stories and, this one worked out great. The audio, read by Christopher Ragland, was excellent. Although this is described as falling into both the psych thriller and horror genres - there was no horror but, it is quite creepy at times. How can a creepy book make a reader feel sad and sympathetic toward a person like Ted? That's what made this story so good; this author has real talent and made this story so compelling. I can see why this has already been optioned for a movie as well. A perfect RIP Challenge pick. I'm so happy I listened to this one as well.
Rating - 4.5/5 stars
The audio book download was provided to me by Macmillan Audio and NetGalley in exchange for my unbiased review.