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Fiction General

The Woman in the Attic

by (author) Emily Hepditch

Flanker Press
Initial publish date
Apr 2020
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Apr 2020
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Apr 2020
    List Price

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On the coast of rural Newfoundland, Hannah Fitzgerald's mother has lived her life in near total isolation. When Hannah returns to the lonely saltbox house to prepare her mother for the transition into assisted living, her childhood home is anything but welcoming. Dilapidated from years of hoarding and neglect, the walls are crumbling, leaving Hannah’s wellness crumbling along with them.

While packing her mother's things, Hannah discovers a trap door to the house’s attic, the one she believed for most of her life had been permanently sealed shut. Blinded by curiosity, Hannah enters the attic and finds a mysterious bedroom riddled with dark secrets. Desperate to know more, Hannah begins to scramble for answers, combing the house for clues that may lead her to the truth.

Hannah must navigate through the violent outbursts of her senile mother, the prying questions of a nosy hospice nurse, and the rage of the coastal wind that threatens the structure of the house. Piece by piece, she assembles a picture of her mother’s not-so-distant past—a twisted tangle of infatuation, lies, and maybe even murder.


The Woman in the Attic is a claustrophobic psychological thriller wrought with suspense. This novel will put you on the edge of your seat . . . and make you wary of the unused spaces collecting dust in your home.

About the author

Emily Hepditch is an award-winning author from Mount Pearl, Newfoundland.In 2020, her debut novel, The Woman in the Attic, was published by Flanker Press and quickly became the #1 bestselling book in Newfoundland and Labrador. The book has remained on the Atlantic Books Today top five bestsellers list since its release. Emily's second thriller, Alone on the Trail, is also an ABT top-five bestseller. Sweater is her first children's illustrated book.Emily is a graduate of Memorial University of Newfoundland, where she studied linguistics, psychology, and criminology. When she is not writing novels, she is studying law, working on an illustration, or hiking the East Coast Trails.The Woman in the Attic has won the following awards and honours:Winner: Rakuten Kobo Emerging Writer Prize—Mystery Winner: NL Reads 2021—Margaret Duley Award Gold Medal Winner: Independent Publisher Awards—Canada, East, Regional Fiction Finalist: Crime Writers of Canada Awards—Best First Novel Long-listed: BMO Winterset Awards

Emily Hepditch's profile page


  • Winner, NL Reads
  • Winner, Rakuten Kobo Emerging Writer's Prize - Mystery

Editorial Reviews

Described as a "claustrophobic psychological thriller", The Woman in The Attic is a novel that I simply could not put down until I turned the final page. Emily Hepditch does a superb job at developing true to life characters through a storyline that mirrors the lives of real life people in rural Newfoundland. Readers can't help but feel compassion and empathy for Hannah as she is faced with the tragic realities that having a parent diagnosed with dementia brings but also feel the same torment, anguish and sadness that is revealed bit by bit as the plot develops. Through beautiful writing and wonderful use of figurative language, Hepditch creates vivid sensory images for readers, inviting them to become participants in the story.-- Fireside Collections --

Emily Hepditch has taken a classic haunting format and given it a fresh and youthful makeover. The brooding atmosphere in the house, the building tension in the weather outside, the erosion of land at the edge of the cliffs: all the required elements are assembled and re-animated and peppered with her own energy and wit.-- Joan Sullivan - The Telegram --

"Hepditch builds the suspense nicely to a dramatic conclusion and the setting makes the story all the more intriguing. This is a solid first effort from an author who will clearly make her mark in the mystery/suspense genre.-- Denise Flint - Downhome Magazine --

The Woman in the Attic is a psychological thriller that takes you on a ride of unexpected events that lead to an ending you would never imagine. Spine tingling! The characters are well developed with surprises popping out at you along the way. You think you have it all figured out and lo and behold, the author takes you along a narrow, twisting path that makes you hold your breath. The surprises brings the reader to tears and anger. A suspenseful read from a young author who has talent!-- Darlene Kettle - The Wreckhouse Weekly --

So, as I have mentioned many times before on my blog, Thrillers are not my favourite genre of books… But this book has made me re-think that statement! The Woman In The Attic was easily one of my favourite books – even though it is a thriller!...The unique setting of rural Newfoundland added a level of intrigue for me and will help the book always stand out in my mind. This is a must read for fans of the thriller genre! Only small issue, outside of NL it could be difficult to find a hardcopy on your typical channels (Indigo, Amazon, etc), but you can order directly from the publisher, Flanker Press. Rating: 9.5/10-- Erin Wolf - Sleep Less, Read More Book Review --

I’m chucking down my pen, so to speak, before I “slip” and reveal all. Finally, a promise — at times Woman in the Attic will give you the shivers -- Harold Walters --

Fireside Collections

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