Someone in the Attic by Andrea Mara

Someone in the Attic is about Dublin born Julia and Gabe, who move back to Ireland from the US for reasons they don’t like to discuss. They’re settling into a luxury house in a gated complex when teenage daughter, Isla, spots a TikTok video that shows someone living in their attic and creeping around their house when they’re not there. 

Julia assumes it’s part of a viral TikTok campaign for reality show, The Loft, using clever editing. However her son, Luca, is terrified, convinced that someone is coming into his room when he’s asleep. Meanwhile, an old schoolfriend-turned-frenemy dies in unusual circumstances, reigniting difficult memories. Julia begins to wonder if this is linked to what’s going on in her house, as she tries to work out if it’s all a trick, or if there’s really someone in the attic?

The book was inspired by real life – I was sitting at my desk in my office, home alone, when I heard a noise above me. It was coming from the attic, and for a moment, I really thought there was someone up there. Common sense kicked in, and I realised something  must have toppled over. I did what we all do with these kinds of fears  – I used common sense and rationality. There’s nobody under the bed or inside the wardrobe or up in the attic. But then I wondered, what if there was? What if our irrational childhood fears were not irrational after all? 

So the book is partly an homage to childhood fears and things that go bump in the night. It’s perhaps an homage to attics too – I’ve always loved stories about what’s going on up above, from Flowers in the Attic to Tana French’s Broken Harbour. It’s also an exploration of bullying, and parenting through bullying, and the things people do to protect their children. It’s about social media – the positive side as well as the negative side, and at its core, it’s a mystery thriller for whodunnit fans – an opportunity to try to guess what’s going on before it’s revealed, and to work out if there’s someone in the attic! 

You can now shop Someone in the Attic by Area Mara on

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