2021 Reading Challenge

2021 Reading Challenge
Jill Elizabeth has read 3 books toward her goal of 245 books.

Book Review: The Last House on Needless Street by Catriona Ward (Audio book)

Wow. Just – wow. This was SUCH an intense, atmospheric, creepy story!! I honestly don’t want to say much beyond that, as far as the actual story, because it would be too easy to give something away and this is DEFINITELY a story best read blind, so you can take everything in as it is delivered to you.

To help with that, I found the narrator, Christopher Ragland, to be excellent – he really differentiated the characters and made them come alive for me. The narrator in an audiobook often makes or breaks the story for me – and Ragland most assuredly helped make this one as unique an experience as it was. He was a marvelous credit to Ward’s exceptional story!

The writing in the first half of the book was incredible – I was hooked and imagining a million different ways that things might go… The second half felt a little more meandering and as things started to come to a head it became pretty obvious to me where a lot of this was going. I didn’t mind really – the story was captivating in a darkly fascinating way throughout – but it definitely felt slower-going at times than the first half did, and I occasionally wondered how on earth Ward was going to pluck another 5 hours of story out of the air!

This is not a tale for the weak of heart – it’s disturbing on a number of levels, but it’s written with compassion and care not to become gruesome or voyeuristic for the sake of attention-grabbing. I give Ward a LOT of credit for that, because it seems like many authors lately are going down that path. She doesn’t have to – she has demonstrated that she has great storytelling instincts, and I will definitely be looking for more from her!

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for my obligation-free review copy.

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