The Girl on the Stairs

by Louise Welsh

If you are heavily pregnant, do not move to a strange city where you do not speak the language. Do not get involved with the more bizarre of your neighbours. Above all, do not investigate the derelict building at the back of your home. Jane does all of this, and has to deal with the consequences. This is a truly scary book, and is not for the easily frightened. You have been warned.


It was strange being out at night on her own, the rush of lights and people disorientating after the white silence of the apartment. This must be how it felt to be released from jail, or set ashore after a long sea voyage; a blast of noise and colour that quickened the blood with nervous expectation.

Jane had dressed as if she was going to an expensive restaurant with Petra, spending time on her make-up, teasing her curls into an artful mess and choosing one of the empire-line dresses she had brought with her from London. She thought she might have grown bigger in the past week. Her tummy led the way, proudly tenting the folds of the cleverly cut coat Petra had found for her.


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