The Girl on the Stairs by Louise Welsh.
Review by Amanda Donovan
The Girl on the Stairs is full of gothic spookiness that will keep you turning the pages and make you jump at any strange noises from the neighbours. It is set in a Berlin apartment that overlooks a gloomy church graveyard. A mysterious backhouse looms over Jane and Petra’s apartment. Unease set in as soon as I started reading, due to Louise Welsh’s skilful way with words. She creates a chilling atmosphere from the very first pages and the voices through the wall from the neighbouring apartment added to the tense atmosphere. I could not put the book down. Readers should be prepared to be scared!
Who killed Greta Mann? Did her husband, Alban Mann murder her? What is his daughter, Anna up to at night? Jane follows Anna at risk of her life and her pregnancy. Are the old couple who live in the flat downstairs, as nice and as safe as they seem?
The backhouse casts a shadow over Jane and Petra’s apartment as well as over Jane’s life. It darkens the baby room where Jane often sleeps. Is she paranoid or is Alban Mann, her landlord and next door neighbour trying to kill her? When Petra, her life partner is away on business, events take a turn for the worse. Rebellious and heavily pregnant Jane is determined to get to the bottom of the disappearance of Greta Mann.
I am still wondering who murdered Greta, especially after reading the ending. Is Frau Becker’s memory reliable and could Alban Mann be trusted after all? Did Jane get away with murder? If a few loose ends were tied up, the ending would have been strengthened.