No catches, no fine print just unadulterated book loving, with your favourite books saved to your own digital bookshelf.
New members get entered into our monthly draw to win £100 to spend in your local bookshop Plus lots lots more…Find out more
Catriona Ward was born in Washington DC and grew up in the US, Kenya, Madagascar, Yemen and Morocco. She now lives in London where she works as a writer and researcher for Bianca Jagger's human rights foundation. Rawblood is her first novel.
Quite simply a wow of a book, it’s almost too difficult to describe as I’m wary of spoilers. This story involves murder, abduction, and revenge, and yet, and yet, that is just a part of what lies before you in this beautifully written and startling read. The first few pages made me sit up with all my senses on full alert, Ted narrates, with his thoughts and feelings tumbling out, and I reread the first chapter to fully settle into the unique writing style. Catriona Ward’s ghostly and beautiful Rawblood was one of our debuts of the month back in 2015, it’s fabulous but I feel she has gone several steps further with Needless Street. You’ll enter heartbreak territory, but also find an enthralling and truly worthwhile read. Her exquisite writing almost hurts with where it takes you. She breaks down barriers to thought and throws open the door to exploration. The press reviews are fabulous, from Joanne Harris to Stephen King. Just one piece of advice, no matter how tempted, don’t read the Afterword until you’ve finished. With twisted poignancy The Last House on Needless Street squeezes, taunts, and heightens emotions. This is a book that will stay with me, tucked in my heart and soul, and of course it just had to be a Liz Robinson Pick of the Month.
Eve and Dinah are everything to one another, never parted day or night. They are raised among the Children, a community of strays and orphans ruled by a mysterious figure they call Uncle. All they know is the grey Isle of Altnaharra which sits in the black sea off the wildest coast of Scotland. Eve loves the free, savage life of the Isle and longs to inherit Uncle's power. She is untroubled save by her dreams; of soft arms and a woman singing. Dinah longs for something other. But the world is at war and cannot be kept at bay. As the solitude of Altnaharra is broken, Eve's faith and sanity fracture. In a great storm, in the depths of winter, as the old year dies, the locals discover a devastating scene on the Isle. Eve and Dinah's accounts of that night contradict and intertwine. As past and present converge, only one woman can be telling the truth. Who is guilty, who innocent?
Highly Recommended. Catriona Ward’s assured and artful first novel is a wonderfully gothic tale. Set in an Edwardian Devon haunted by the Great War it has its roots in some dark Victorian family secrets. The story revolves around Iris, last of the Villarca line, who lives in the eponymous Rawblood house. The Villarcas have died young for generation after generation; struck down by a curse that means they must be alone. So when Iris falls for farmer’s son Tom her father forbids her from seeing him. So far so melodramatic but this is no corny dark romance. Ward is an astonishingly adept writer with a wonderfully poetic turn of phrase and she is also in complete control of her characters and the plot. It quickly becomes clear that this is a many layered, complex and subtle novel and Ward has a real gift for sowing her horrors seamlessly into a psychologically real story. The west country setting and the period Ward has chosen add real flavour and while the obvious shadow of Thomas Hardy hangs over this Ward knows what she is doing and makes the book her own. Key to this is her prose style. There are real poetic touches here but they are always robustly rooted in landscape and nature – there’s more than a hint of Ted Hughes’ very physical poetry in her descriptions. If you enjoy Essie Fox or Sarah Perry Rawblood will haunt you. ~ Simon Spanton
Shortlisted for the Best Horror Novel at the British Fantasy Awards 2016. October 2015 Debut of the Month. A ghostly, achingly sad, yet excruciatingly beautiful debut. This is effectively one story, however there are a number of narrators covering a period of 80 years from 1839; at times it feels as though you are being kept at a considerable distance, at others as though you are at their shoulder, seeing, listening, feeling. The stories are not told sequentially, instead time meanders, darts, pulls and pushes, which initially creates a feeling of confusion, yet, yet…Rawblood gradually takes a grip and absorbs you, as a malevolent presence hovers over the pages, waiting. The house of Rawblood set within Dartmoor sits centrally in the storyline, described so vividly it feels as though you can reach out, touch it. As understanding grows, a fear develops for what is to come, for what has already been. To describe Rawblood just as a ghost story feels like an injustice, Catriona Ward has created a moving, original tale of love and destruction, one that is truly enthralling and memorable. ~ Liz Robinson
*** THE TIMES NO.4 BESTSELLER *** *** A BBC TWO BETWEEN THE COVERS BOOK CLUB PICK *** THE TIMES THRILLER OF THE MONTH AN OBSERVER THRILLER OF THE MONTH GUARDIAN 2021 IN BOOKS PICK WATERSTONES MARCH 2021 PICK RED MAGAZINE MARCH 2021 PICK REFINERY 29 MARCH 2021 PICK 'The buzz is real.. I haven't read anything this exciting since Gone Girl' - STEPHEN KING 'This spectacular gothic fantasy is one of the most extraordinary thrillers of the year' - DAILY MAIL 'This is the most gloriously complex, shifting story, deeply disturbing yet also, somehow, heartwarming' - OBSERVER 'A dark, audacious highwire act of a novel' - GUARDIAN ________________________________________ 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... From the multiple award-winning author of Little Eve and Rawblood, this extraordinary tale will thrill and move readers. A work of incredible imagination and heartbreaking beauty. *** FILM RIGHTS OPTIONED BY IMAGINARIUM PRODUCTIONS *** ________________________________________ 'Catriona Ward is the new face of literary dark fiction' - SARAH PINBOROUGH 'Books like this don't come around too often' - JOANNE HARRIS 'Believe the hype... a masterclass' - KIRAN MILLWOOD HARGRAVE 'A chilling and beautiful masterpiece of suspense. I was completely enthralled' - JOE HILL 'A masterpiece. Beautiful, heartbreaking and quietly uplifting' - ALEX NORTH 'Full of twists and turns, this high-concept gothic horror is going to be huge' - GUARDIAN
'Where is Evelyn? Oh, I remember. She took our eyes.' Winner of the British Fantasy Award for Best Horror and the Shirley Jackson Award for Best Novel. New Year's Day, 1921. Seven mutilated bodies are discovered in an ancient stone circle on a remote Scottish island. The victims are 'the Children' - members of a nature cult ruled by the charismatic, sadistic patriarch, the adder. The sole survivor of the massacre, Dinah, claims that Eve is the murderer, apparently drowned while attempting her escape. Yet as Eve's story of the years leading up the massacre intertwines with Dinah's account of the aftermath, a darker, stranger truth begins to emerge. The Isle is all Eve knows. Hidden from the world, the Children worship the Great Snake who dwells in the ocean, dance in the stones at dawn and offer their blood in sacrifice. The adder's word is law. When Eve is forced into the world beyond the Isle her faith and love are tested by unexpected friendships that make her question everything. As she begins to see through the adder's macabre fictions, the world Eve knows collapses. Does she lose her humanity with her belief? Does it drive her to kill? A heart-pounding literary thriller with a devastating twist.