In this spine-tingling, atmospheric “nail-biter of a novel” (Shelf Awareness), a woman returns to her hometown after her childhood friend attempts suicide at an alleged haunted house—the same place where a traumatic incident shattered their lives twenty years ago.
Few in sleepy Sumner’s Mills have stumbled across the Octagon House hidden deep in the woods. Even fewer are brave enough to trespass. 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. 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.
Twenty years later, Clare receives word that Abby has attempted suicide at the Octagon House and now lies in a coma. With little to lose, Clare returns to her roots to uncover the darkness responsible for ruining their lives.
A “spellbinding horror story, where the terror comes not from ghosts, but from the haunted places we find within ourselves” (Elizabeth Brundage, author of The Vanishing Point), Beneath the Stairs is perfect for fans of Jennifer McMahon, Simone St. James, and Chris Bohjalian.
Jennifer Fawcett grew up in rural Eastern Ontario and spent many years in Canada making theatre before coming to the United States. She holds an MFA from the Iowa Playwrights Workshop. Her work has been published in Third Coast Magazine, Reunion: The Dallas Review, Storybrink, and in the anthology Long Story Short. She teaches writing at Skidmore College and lives in upstate New York with her husband and son.
“I binge-watched the Netflix series The Haunting of Hill House. I was soon hungry for a replacement, a novel that would delicately balance bone-chilling terror and deep sadness. Jennifer Fawcett’s debut Beneath the Stairs landed in my inbox at the right moment—and it wasn’t a replacement. It’s undoubtedly unique, an atmospheric and elegantly constructed novel about a woman’s descent into the heartland of mourning and guilt. Blending the best of horror, mystery, and suspense as we move through past and present storylines, this book will haunt you in more ways than one.”
—Loan L., Editor, on Beneath the Stairs
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio (February 22, 2022)