Horror, Psychological

Little Eve by Catriona Ward


From Catriona Ward, author of The Last House on Needless Street, comes the Shirley Jackson Award-winning novel Little Eve, a heart-pounding tale of faith and family, with a devastating twist.

“A great day is upon us. He is coming. The world will be washed away.”

On the wind-battered isle of Altnaharra, off the wildest coast of Scotland, a clan prepares to bring about the end of the world and its imminent rebirth.

The Adder is coming and one of their number will inherit its powers. They all want the honor, but young Eve is willing to do anything for the distinction.

A reckoning beyond Eve’s imagination begins when Chief Inspector Black arrives to investigate a brutal murder and their sacred ceremony goes terribly wrong.

And soon all the secrets of Altnaharra will be uncovered.

My Thoughts

Atmospheric, cunning, and with surprises all along the way, this early novel by Catriona Ward is wild. She writes in her forward that this was her second novel and it challenged her considerably. Now that she has published other novels and established her residency among the best horror writers of her generation, Little Eve has made a reappearance.

This is not the first book I’ve read recently where an established author has gone back and re-worked earlier stories. To a book, these re-workings have been some of the best work I’ve read, and Ward continues the trend with this masterful and haunting story.

Ward’s work often examines horror emanating from a human source. There are no mysterious monsters here – the monsters are all carried within the hearts of the characters. What will people do when driven to a point of madness? While there have been a few excellent tales told in recent years that feature remote villages and what can happen when even just one person becomes unstable and evil, Ward takes that trope and builds a fleshy, gruesome story that will haunt you.

Put simply, this is a goddamn great story. Read it on a cold, gray weekend and I bet you won’t sleep for a couple of days.