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Midnight on Beacon Street: A Novel (Paperback)

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Midnight on Beacon Street is a lot of things. It’s a taut thriller about a babysitter and two kids surviving one weird night. It’s a celebration of classic horror movies. It’s a creepy narrative that involves a ghost and late night home break-ins. And, most important, it’s a lot of fun. . . Verona plays with home invasion tropes by delivering a tale with multiple breaches, each offering differing types of frights. . . With its feverish pacing and startling plot twists, this is an impressive debut.” — New York Times Book Review

“My nineties heart was warmed and thrilled by Emily Ruth Verona’s debut novel, Midnight on Beacon Street. The shade of Shirley Jackson haunts this page-turner, which abounds in classic horror movie references, both revisiting and critiquing the tale of a babysitter left alone with kids she may or may not be able to protect. I loved every minute of it.” —Polly Stewart, author of The Good Ones

A suspenseful and entertaining debut thriller—and love letter to vintage horror movies—in which a teenager must overcome her own anxiety to protect the two children she’s babysitting when strangers come knocking at the door.

October 1993. One night. One house. One dead body.

When single mom Eleanor Mazinski goes out a for a much-needed date night, she leaves her two young children—sweet, innocent six-year-old Ben and precocious, defiant twelve-year-old Mira—in the capable hands of their sitter, Amy. The quiet seventeen-year-old is good at looking after children, despite her anxiety disorder. She also loves movies, especially horror flicks. Amy likes their predictability; it calms the panic that threatens to overwhelm her.

The evening starts out normally enough, with games, pizza, and dancing. But as darkness falls, events in this quaint suburban New Jersey house take a terrifying turn—unexpected visitors at the door, mysterious phone calls, and by midnight, little Ben is in the kitchen standing in a pool of blood, with a dead body at his feet.

In this dazzling debut novel, Emily Ruth Verona moves back and forth in time, ratcheting up suspense and tension on every page. Chock-full of nods to classic horror films of the seventies and eighties, Midnight on Beacon Street is a gripping thriller full of electrifying twists and a heartwarming tale of fear and devotion that explores our terrors and the lengths we’ll go to keep our loved ones safe.

About the Author


Emily Ruth Verona received her Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing and Cinema Studies from the State University of New York at Purchase. In 2014 she won the Pinch Literary Award in Fiction. She is a Bram Stoker Award nominee, a Jane Austen Short Story Award finalist, and a Luke Bitmead Bursary finalist. Her previous publication credits include fiction and poetry featured in several anthologies as well as magazines such as The Pinch, LampLight Magazine, Mystery Tribune, The Ghastling, and Nightmare Magazine. Her essays and articles have appeared online for Tor.com, BookBub, Litro, BUST, and Bloody Women. She lives in New Jersey with a very small dog.

Praise For…


“Emily Ruth Verona’s Midnight on Beacon Street is a lot of things. It’s a taut thriller about a babysitter and two kids surviving one weird night. It’s a celebration of classic horror movies. It’s a creepy narrative that involves a ghost and late night home break-ins. And, most important, it’s a lot of fun. . . Verona plays with home invasion tropes by delivering a tale with multiple breaches, each offering differing types of frights. . . With its feverish pacing and startling plot twists, this is an impressive debut.”
New York Times Book Review

“A riveting thriller and a thoughtful love letter to horror films. . . . Told in short chapters, this intensely unnerving novel moves swiftly, while well-placed flashbacks provide the necessary background details to flesh out the main characters and anchor the story in its perfectly rendered setting. Both Amy and Ben are compelling narrators, whose different perspectives enhance the full gamut of emotions this book elicits. Readers will want to gulp this one down all at once.” — Library Journal

"In her chilling debut novel, Emily Ruth Verona crafts a compelling and intricately drawn puzzle of home invasion populated with rich, palpable, and deeply authentic characters. Skillfully weaving the tensions of past and present together, Midnight on Beacon Street is a razor sharp and utterly surprising tale of suspense." — Eric LaRocca, author of Things Have Gotten Worse Since We Last Spoke

"Propulsive and riveting from the very first page, Emily Ruth Verona promises to be a dazzling new voice in suspense!" — Wendy Webb, #1 Amazon Charts bestselling author of The Stroke of Winter

“A delightfully twisted, poignant shot of 90s nostalgia, Emily Ruth Verona’s Midnight on Beacon Street is a treat for anyone who’s been, or been babysat by, a scrappy teenager in a dark house at night.” — Julia Fine, author of Maddalena and the Dark and The Upstairs House

“My nineties heart was warmed and thrilled by Emily Ruth Verona’s debut novel, Midnight on Beacon Street. The shade of Shirley Jackson haunts this page-turner, which abounds in classic horror movie references, both revisiting and critiquing the tale of a babysitter left alone with kids she may or may not be able to protect. I loved every minute of it.” — Polly Stewart, author of The Good Ones

"Emily Ruth Verona knocks it out of the park with Midnight on Beacon Street. A wonderful homage to classic horror and a great nod to all those incredible Final Girls out there, this debut novel is the beginning of what's sure to be an incredible career."  — Gwendolyn Kiste, Lambda Literary and Bram Stoker Award-winning author of Reluctant Immortals and The Rust Maidens

Midnight on Beacon Street is a domestic puzzle box of a thriller, offering sliding timelines, subtly planted clues, and multiple viewpoints, all of which interlock to form one terrifying night on a quiet suburban street where a babysitter will be pushed beyond her most extreme limits to survive. A suspenseful, page-turning delight.” — Gillian French, author of Sugaring Off and The Lies They Tell

“Verona’s entertaining debut pays homage to classic horror movies with a 1990s-set whodunit about a New Jersey babysitter’s night from hell. . . . Horror fans will delight in [her heroine] Amy’s Scream-level genre literacy, and Verona maintains a brisk pace from start to finish. This giddy exercise in nostalgia pays off.”
Publishers Weekly

"For readers of other teens-in-jeopardy horror novels like The Night House by Jo Nesbø, or even Stephen King's Carrie. . . . Horror readers will [also] be thrilled by this tale of a babysitting gig gone awry.”
Booklist

“Verona’s debut is a panic attack wrapped in a puzzle box and soaked in cinematic nostalgia. This heartfelt thriller will keep you turning the pages long past midnight . . . just don’t forget to check on the children.” — Brian McAuley, author of Curse of the Reaper

"Midnight on Beacon Street is an instant horror classic rich with honesty and heart. Verona fully immerses you in the moment, making sure you see, hear, and feel everything her characters do. Her skill is evident in how deeply real these characters feel from the first page." — J.A.W. McCarthy, Bram Stoker Award and Shirley Jackson Award nominated author of Sometimes We're Cruel and Other Stories and Sleep Alone

 "A solid, twisty thriller." — Red Carpet Crash

"Midnight on Beacon Street takes the classic babysitter horror story and repackages it for a new generation of readers. . . . The twists and turns built into the storyline serve up an unexpected dose of chills." — Novels Alive

"A thrilling debut novel blending suspense and horror movie nostalgia....Midnight on Beacon Street by Emily Ruth Verona is a gripping tale of fear, devotion, and electrifying twists." — Bibliolifestyle "Best Thriller Books & Mysteries"

Product Details
ISBN: 9780063330511
ISBN-10: 0063330512
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Publication Date: January 30th, 2024
Pages: 208
Language: English