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  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins

We Used To Live Here

Narrators: Jeremy Carlisle Parker,

Corey Brill

Simon & Schuster Audio

ISBN: 9781982198787

Publisher: Atria Books

Publication Date: 06/18/2024

Format: Other

My Rating: 5 Stars (ARC)

The Turn of the Key meets Parasite in this eerily haunting debut and Reddit hit—soon to be a Netflix original movie starring Blake Lively—about two homeowners whose lives are turned upside down when the house’s previous residents unexpectedly visit.

As a young, queer couple who flip houses, Charlie and Eve can’t believe the killer deal they’ve just gotten on an old house in a picturesque neighborhood. As they’re working in the house one day, there’s a knock on the door. A man stands there with his family, claiming to have lived there years before and asking if it would be alright if he showed his kids around. People pleaser to a fault, and Eve lets them in.

As soon as the strangers enter their home, uncanny and inexplicable things start happening, including the family’s youngest child and a ghostly presence materializing in the basement. Even more weird, the family can’t seem to take the hint that their visit should be over. And when Charlie suddenly vanishes, Eve slowly loses her grip on reality. Something is terribly wrong with the house and with the visiting family—or is Eve just imagining things?

My Review


Marcus Kliewer's psychological debut thriller, WE USED TO LIVE HERE, is a masterclass in suspense and horror. His writing is original, creative, and haunting, creating an atmospheric and unsettling experience that will leave you on the edge of your seat. If you're looking for a fright, you've come to the right place.

Book to screen...

Prepare for a rollercoaster of suspense and mystery in this knock-out debut and Reddit hit. Imagine Get Out meets Parasite and The Turn of the Key in a Netflix original movie starring Blake Lively. The story follows two homeowners whose lives are upended when the house's previous residents make an unexpected return.


3709 Heritage Lane. Oregon. 5 BRs 3BA with over 2,500 sq ft of timeless Victorian architecture, a wraparound porch, mountain views, and over 5 acres of Pacific Northwest rainforest to explore. Mountain living at its finest.

Step into a world of chilling isolation. The house, nestled in the middle of nowhere, is old and neglected. But the land, with its promise of a significant increase in value, is a beacon of hope. And of course, there's the basement and attic, ready to house the horrors that await.


Eve and Charlie, a devoted gay couple who have been together for a decade, embark on a new adventure. They purchase an old Victorian home in Oregon, nestled in an idyllic neighborhood surrounded by a lush forest. Their plan is to renovate and flip the house, but little do they know, this decision will change their lives forever.

One winter day, Eve is startled to see strangers on her doorstep. It's a middle-class family of five: a woman, a man, a girl, and two boys. They introduce themselves as Thomas, Paige, Jenny, Newton, and Kai. They claim to have lived there previously, passing through. They ask to take a quick look around the house. Eve, feeling a bit uneasy reluctantly agrees to let them in for a quick tour.

Her girlfriend, Charlie, was away but would be home shortly. The daughter says that her dad grew up there, and he wanted to give the kids a tour—just a quick look around (ten to fifteen minutes, tops). Eve is more of a pushover, and Charlie is direct. Strangely, there was no vehicle. They said it was down the road, as the drive was too steep and had too much ice.

Charlie returns, and they have dinner. One kid ends up hiding in the basement, and then the storm... As the severe weather conditions set in, the Kettle Creek Bridge is closed, trapping them in the house with the mysterious family. Strange occurrences start to unfold, leaving Eve to question her sanity. Is it just her overactive paranoia, delusion, her imagination, or is there something more sinister at play? Will the family ever leave?

Prepare for a psychological rollercoaster. Something is terribly wrong, and the tension is mounting. As things spiral out of control, they must find a way to rid themselves of this family. Is Thomas manipulating Eve's sanity, or is there a force pulling her into a labyrinth of no escape?

Who is this family, and what do they want? Find Charlie, find Shylo (the dog), and GET OUT!

My thoughts...

WE USED TO LIVE HERE is a riveting locked-room crime thriller that meets mind-bending horror. It is dark, mysterious, unsettling, terror, and creepy, with all the Stephen Kingish and Dean Koontz Hitchcockian horror vibes, evil spirits, asylums, twisted reality, clues, and more. This is not your typical haunted house novel. It is mind-blowing, eerie, eccentric, terrifying, and crazy.

You have no idea where the author is taking you, but you have no choice but to hang on for the wild ride! You must keep reading to find out the mystery behind the delusion and madness. There are no spoilers here. The author keeps you guessing with each twist, clue, and unreliable narrator.

Insanity, Vengeance, or Paranormal?

Interspersed between the short chapters, you'll find mysterious documents (highlighted in bold). These documents provide crucial information related to the story, such as side effects, events, news articles, connections, police reports, strange, bizarre encounters, psychological phenomena and reports, cults, conspiracy theorists, obituaries, lost hikers, etc. They add depth and intrigue to the narrative, inviting you to delve deeper into the mystery.

Full of spellbinding menace, I normally am not a horror fan; however, I enjoyed this twisty ride and cannot wait to see what this talented new voice in fiction has in store next!


For fans of authors Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Jennifer McMahon, Ruth Ware, Joyce Carol Oates, Paul G. Tremblay, and Get Out.

Thanks to Atria Books and Edelweiss for the introduction to this new author and for providing a gifted, advanced reading copy for an honest review.

@JudithDCollins | #JDCMustreadBooks

My Rating: 5 Stars

Pub Date: June 18, 2024


"Full of unease and stomach-churning dread, WE USED TO LIVE HERE creeps up to you like a sly shadow. I wanted to look away. I absolutely could not. Marcus Kliewer is destined to become a titan of the macabre and unsettling. Read this with every single light on."

―Erin A. Craig, #1 New York Times bestselling author of House of Salt and Sorrows

“There is a feeling that a small number of books conjure. It can be distilled to: Oh god, something ain’t right here. Their hallmark is a creeping, unaccountable, jangly dread that seeps into their pages until you almost wish you could stop reading—but of course, it’s too late. You’re in its grip. WE USED TO LIVE HERE is one of those rare books.”

―Nick Cutter, national bestselling author of The Troop

"WE USED TO LIVE HERE is a gem of contemporary horror that explores the places we call home with deft and terrifying command that will leave you shaken long after turning the final page."

― Matt and Harrison Query, authors of Wilderness Reform

"[A] devilish debut...What begins as mildly uncomfortable grows full-tilt terrifying...Stringing the whole thing together is Kliewer's gift for atmosphere and wicked sense of humor. This is a winner."

― Publishers Weekly

“Inventive and genuinely scary, WE USED TO LIVE HERE is the most impressive horror debut I've read in a long time. Marcus Kliewer is a talent to watch.”

―Alma Katsu, author of The Fervor

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About the Author

Marcus Kliewer is a writer and stop-motion animator. His debut novel We Used to Live Here began life as a serialized short story on Reddit, where it won the Scariest Story of 2021 award on the NoSleep forum (eighteen million members). Film rights were snapped up by Netflix, and it was acquired by Simon & Schuster in the US for publication even before it had been extended into a full-length novel. He lives in Vancouver, Canada.







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