If you’re a fan of thrillers, then you’ll love Jennifer Fawcett’s latest novel Beneath the Stairs. This book is full of suspense and mystery and will keep you glued to the pages until the very end. When I read it, I could not put it down!
In this spine-tingling, atmospheric book for fans of Jennifer McMahon, Simone St. James, and Chris Bohjalian, a woman returns to her hometown after her childhood friend attempts suicide at a local haunted house—the same place where a traumatic incident shattered their lives twenty years ago.
Synopsis of Beneath the Stairs
Few in sleepy Sumner’s Mills have stumbled across the Octagon House hidden deep in the woods. Even fewer are brave enough to trespass. One summer night, an emboldened fourteen-year-old Clare and her best friend, Abby, ventured into the Octagon House. Clare came out, but a piece of Abby never did. A man had killed his wife and two young daughters there, a shocking, gruesome crime that the sleepy upstate New York town tried to bury.
Twenty years later, an adult Clare receives word that Abby has attempted suicide at the Octagon House and now lies in a coma. With little to lose and still grieving after a personal tragedy, Clare returns to her roots to uncover the darkness responsible for Abby’s accident.
An eerie page-turner, Beneath the Stairs, is about the trauma that follows us from childhood to adulthood and returning to the beginning to reach the end.
review of beneath the stairs by jennifer fawcett
I’m a sucker for a good haunted house story, and this one didn’t disappoint! It’s the idea of a house as a living, breathing entity with its history that gets me every time.
Clare & Abby visited the haunted Octagon House as kids. They’d heard the stories. They saw something. Didn’t they? Clare is grown up now, lost and grief-stricken. When Clare receives the message that Abby returned to the Octagon House and now lay in a coma, she knows she’ll go back, too. The question is: What will she find?
This story gives me major Haunting of Hill House vibes with its dual timelines, rich imagery, and character development. The image of the basement door made my pulse race.
I felt invested in this story because I wanted to know the house’s secrets. I needed to find out why that childhood trip into the basement plagued Clare & Abby as adults.
Fawcett bounces back and forth between the present (told in first person POV) and the past (told in third). The POVs fit together seamlessly. The only exception was a few chapters told from Ben’s POV. He’s a minor player, and his voice added nothing.
There were a couple of surprises in this one, but the ending was a little too tidy for me. Life isn’t tidy. (Trauma most definitely isn’t.) But this is a solid haunted house story, friends. I’d pick up another Jennifer Fawcett book any day of the week!
books like beneath the stairs
Conclusion paragraph: If you’re looking for a unique and spooky read, I highly recommend Beneath the Stairs. Jennifer Fawcett does a fantastic job of creating a suspenseful story that will keep you turning pages until the very end. And if you’re like me and love to be scared, this book is definitely for you! For another great thriller review, see Just Like Mother Review: Creepy Dolls & Cults.
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