Beneath the Stairs

Beneath the Stairs

Genre: Thriller/Mystery
Pub Date: 2.22.2022
Star Rating: ☆☆☆


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, 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.


I started this book before bed one night, and as soon as the Octagon House made its appearance, I had to shut the book and pick it up in the daylight. The beginning was challenging as it was a lot slower than I anticipated, but that was mainly due to the author setting the backstory for the house and its previous occupants. While it took me a bit to get into the story, I anxiously awaited the chapters centered around the Octagon House as they were terrifying.

There were aspects to the story that I didn’t love: The ‘mean girl’ vibe from the chapters from 1998 was over the top and made me roll my eyes, but they were a relatively accurate representation of just how terrible girls can be. Then there was the storyline involving the main character Clare and her husband Josh — in my opinion, it’s a backstory that I see too often in thrillers.

🕰 Multiple timelines (1936, 1965, 1998, present)
🏚 Terrifying house with all kinds of secrets
🐌 Slow to start
🙃 Predictable, but interesting ending

❌- Domestic violence, cancer, graphic miscarriage (probably one of the worst I’ve read)

Overall, it was an exciting story that kept my attention and gave me lots of goosebumps – especially when it came to the creepy Octagon House.

If you discovered a sealed door in an abandoned house, would you try to open it? Absolutely not; Beneath the Stairs is precisely why I wouldn’t. In fact, I think I’d leave the whole house alone and never come back.

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