Natthuset The Night House

When the voices call, don’t answer.

In the wake of his parents’ tragic deaths in a house fire, fourteen-year-old Richard Elauved has been sent to live with his aunt and uncle in the remote, insular town of Ballantyne. Richard quickly earns a reputation as an outcast, and when a classmate named Tom goes missing, everyone suspects the new, angry boy is responsible for his disappearance. No one believes him when he says the telephone booth out by the edge of the woods sucked Tom into the receiver like something out of a horror movie. No one, that is, except Karen, a beguiling fellow outsider who encourages Richard to pursue clues the police refuse to investigate. He traces the number that Tom prank-called from the phone booth to an abandoned house in the Mirror Forest. There he catches a glimpse of a terrifying face in the window. And then the voices begin to whisper in his ear . . .

She’s going to burn. The girl you love is going to burn. There’s nothing you can do about it.

When another classmate disappears, Richard must find a way to prove his innocence—and preserve his sanity—as he grapples with the dark magic that is possessing Ballantyne and pursuing his destruction.

Then again, Richard may not be the most reliable narrator of his own story . . .

“Nesbø doesn’t spend any time fiddling about, building up, or misdirecting. In The Night House, the horror begins immediately. And it only keeps calling from there. There are lessons to be learned here: who to believe and what to believe in. And how a person can change, when the impossible turns possible and the unimaginable is laid bare. This horror fan loved it.”
—Josh Malerman, New York Times best-selling author of Bird Box and Spin a Black Yarn 

A Sunday Express “One of the Best Horror Reads of the Year”
A Library Journal “Horror Preview 2023”
A Chicago Tribune “Books for Fall 2023”
A New York Post “Best New Book to Read”
An E! News “Books Perfect For a Spooky Season Read”
A CrimeReads “The Most Anticipated Crime Fiction of Fall 2023”
A Novel Suspect “Our 21 Most Anticipated Books Coming This Fall”
A Town & Country “Fall Most Anticipated”
A The Real Book Spy “Fall Reading Guide”


  • “Nesbø deftly guides readers on a journey much larger than many will expect from the slim volume. Reminiscent of Joe Meno’s The Boy Detective Fails, initial expectations of genre, setting, and mood are subverted as a simple horror novel unfolds into a story that encompasses grief, mid-life crises, and more. Give this one to fans of Grady Hendrix or adults nostalgic for the “Goosebumps” series.”

    Library Journal, US

  • The Night House begins like something from the mind of H.P. Lovecraft /…/ And then at a little over the halfway mark of this slim horror novel, Nesbø begins “Part Two” and readers are forced to rethink everything they just read. It’s a remarkable about-face /…/ How things piece together for the remainder of the book shouldn’t be spoiled, but suffice it to say The Night House really isn’t a classic who-done-it horror novel, but a story of one traumatized young man’s search for meaning in the wake of a personal tragedy /…/ After readers turn the final page of the book, it’s fun going back and picking up all the foreshadowing.”

    Associated Press, US

  • “Wild and ambitious /…/ Nesbo shows a sure hand at crafting moments of terror.”

    Publishers Weekly, US

  • “Dark horror by the renowned Norwegian crime novelist. /…/ Scary fun that won’t cause nightmares—or will it?”

    Kirkus Reviews, US

  • The Night House is a fast-paced escape of a book /…/ Nesbø skillfully keeps the reader wondering where the story is going to go next and when, if ever, the main character will reach his happy ending—or if, in fact, he deserves to reach one at all.”

    Booklist, US

  • “[The Night House] follows 14-year-old Richard Elauved, who moves to a small town called Ballantyne after the death of his parents. But instead of normalcy, the town offers terror. Richard watches as a phone devours a classmate, sees a boy turn into an insect, and becomes obsessed with a creepy house and the story of the man who lived in it. Everyone blames Richard, and he is institutionalized until he escapes and, in a way, manages to find justice. Then the second part of the book starts, and everything in that synopsis changes.”

    New York Times, US

  • “A broad, entertaining haunted house legend.”

    Chicago Tribune, US

  • “The first horror story from the Norwegian author of the Harry Hole detective series feels like an homage to Stephen King. The Night House is a beguiling coming-of-age tale that becomes more terrifying as it builds, with plenty of tension and surprises packed into its pages.”

    Sunday Express, UK

  • “A fresh twist on the coming-of-age novel /…/ like something from the mind of H. P. Lovecraft”

    Mail on Sunday, UK

  • “This is an irresistible, single sitting read.”

    Irish Independent, UK

  • “[Jo Nesbø’s] language is, as always, musical. The rock musician Jo Nesbø cannot be denied. It is lucid and luscious to read. In the midst of all horror.”


    Berlingske, Denmark

  • “Jo Nesbø has written a furtive and deft horror novel that entertains, frightens, and surprises. /…/ As always, Jo Nesbø is good at building atmosphere, quite unhurried and stealthy. He also does that here, where you multiple times let yourself be lulled into the flowing story only to suddenly stop breathing. /…/ Of course, everything is not as it seems. The plot is efficiently and smoothly constructed by the author, worthy of a true horror writer. Stephen King and Dean R. Koontz are right to compare with, but also Danish authors Dennis Jürgensen and Steen Langstrup. They are all good at making us shudder at what lies just beneath the surface.”

    Litteratursiden, Denmark

  • A seductive nightmare from Nesbø. /…/ It is easy to be captivated by Jo Nesbø’s latest invention. The sentences flow nicely, as if carried by the current of a river. Jo Nesbø knows his craft after a long series of bestsellers for both children and adults. The Night House is a particularly well-composed and intricate story with surprising turns and transitions. And let it be said: The author does not let his readers down, here there are rounds of answers, red herrings, and astonishing revelations until the very last letter. /…/ Jo Nesbø once again shows what a seductively smart and elegant entertainment artist he is. /…/ The Night House is a fascinating and complex story that playfully leads the reader through dark rooms and nightmarish experiences and towards some kind of hope…

    Dagsavisen, Norway

  • Nesbø is a master of suspense /…/ With The Night House, he has moved onto a new sidetrack – a sidetrack which tells us that he also masters the psychological universe in a suspenseful way.


    Nettavisen, Norway

  • “Nesbø does what he does best. /…/ As part of Jo Nesbø’s authorship, The Night House is both exceptional and original. He also deserves praise for incorporating remarkable facts into such a novel.”

    NRK, Norway

  • The Night House proves that Jo Nesbø is in full control over all keys on his literary keyboard. Just let yourself be entertained! Gruesomely enjoyable from Jo Nesbø! An elegant take on the genre from an author who entertains both himself and the reader.


    Verdens Gang, Norway

  • “This is solidly executed and fast-paced – [Nesbø] is a true master in creating narrative engines which urge the reader forward. And the division of the book is effective too, it allows the reader to encounter the plot with fresh eyes each time. /…/ In terms of genre play, it is excellent and elegant entertainment.”


    Stavanger Aftenblad, Norway

Photo: Stian Broch Jo Nesbø
  • Horror
Reading material

Norwegian edition

English edition

Rights sold

Brazil, Record

Bulgaria, Emas

Canada, Penguin Random House

Catalonia, Proa

Croatia, Fokus

Czech Republic, Zlin

Denmark, Modtryk

Estonia, Varrak

Finland, Johnny Kniga

France, Gallimard

Germany, Ullstein

Greece, Metaixmio

Hungary, Animus

Italy, Einaudi

Korea, Viche

Latvia, Zvaigzne

Netherlands, Cargo

Norway, Aschehoug

Poland, Dolnoslaskie

Portugal, Dom Quixote

Serbia, Laguna

Slovakia, Ikar

Slovenia, Mladinska

Spain, Mondadori

Sweden, Albert Bonniers

UK, Harvill Secker

Ukraine, KM Books

US, Knopf

Film rights sold

Sweden, Hope Studios

More From Jo Nesbø

The Kingdom

Harry Hole

Short Story Collection

Doctor Proctor

Blood on Snow