web analytics


Justine Jameson is approaching her eighteenth birthday. She had a brief relationship with Keith that ended after only four months. Pregnant and alone, she returned home to live with her father, Brett, the owner of a boot manufacturing company, and her stepmother, Pamela. Now, following the birth of her beautiful daughter, Abigail, Justine is suffering from post-partum psychosis which causes panic attacks, extreme anxiety, paranoia, and hallucinations. At the age of fourteen, Justine was hospitalized for a year as a result of cocaine abuse. Her current condition causes her to believe that because her parents have tried to help her by having her see a physician who prescribed medication to treat her symptoms, they want to have her permanently committed and steal Abigail from her.

Both Brett and Pamela are harboring secrets about their lives that, if revealed, could cause their family to implode. Pamela’s relationship with Justine is tenuous on a good day. Justine knows that Pamela resents the fact that it was Pamela’s daughter, Allison, who died suddenly a few years ago. Pamela also bears full responsibility for caring for her elderly mother. Brett had no idea that he had fathered a child until Justine was eight years old and her mother died. He of course took Justine into his life and raised her, but their relationship is rocky, as well. In addition, Brett is dealing with the stress of a failing business — his company is on the verge of insolvency and dissolution.

Still, the Jamesons somehow manage to purchase a beautiful, secluded home in the country at the edge of the woods where they believe they will be happier and more at peace away from the noise and pace of Manhattan. They swing the deal because they get a good price for their condominium and the house is a bargain since it is a foreclosure property.

What they don’t know is that the former owner, Rory Madden, is about to be released from jail due to a legal technicality: The police searched his home and seized his property prior to obtaining a valid search warrant. Thus, rather than face at least twenty years in prison for, among other crimes, drug trafficking, Madden is about to be a free and extremely angry man. After all, his former attorney stole the hundreds of thousands of dollars Madden had stashed in a secret hiding place in the garage, and then lied to Madden, telling him that the police found the money and confiscated it. Because of his attorney’s malfeasance, Madden was unable to make his mortgage payments, and the home and property he lovingly built was auctioned off by the bank. Madden emigrated to the United States from Northern Ireland, where he was a soldier and killer. In fact, he sees killing as no more remarkable than putting on a clean pair of socks.

And he wants his house back.


No family is Norman Rockwell-worthy perfection, and the Jamesons are no exception. Brett loves his wife, but their marriage has been in deep trouble for quite some time, even though he knew about Pamela’s sordid past when he married her. He also loves his daughter, although he is rather inept at parenting, no doubt because he did not even know of Justine’s existence until she was eight years old.

Pamela, aka Stephanie, is absorbed in her own set of problems. She is mourning the sudden and senselessly tragic death of her own daughter, Allison, while bearing the full burden — financial and emotional — of her dying elderly mother’s care, coupled with the strain of Brett’s self-made business failing. She loves her husband, but carries on a secret identity and life for reasons that are not explored deeply.

With such distracted and fragmented parents, not to mention her ongoing resentment for her prior hospitalization, Justine is determined to handle her problems in her own way. She is frightened by her own thoughts — panic attacks send her scurrying back to safety and her continuing insomnia only makes her condition increasingly fragile. She hallucinates regularly, imagining that people are popping out of the walls to warn her that her parents are going to commit her to a mental hospital and take custody of Abigail. Although medication briefly improves her symptoms, she does not tell her parents when the prescription needs to be refilled, and they are plainly too busy to notice. Spending days at a time alone in the house, secluded from the local small town and isolated from her friends back in Manhattan, Justine’s condition deteriorates.

Meanwhile, Rory Madden is getting revenge, one victim at a time, for the wrongs he believes have been visited upon him. An encounter by the mail box one day leaves Justine wondering about the handsome, fit Irishman with the piercing blue eyes. Is he a friend or foe? She feels herself drawn to him because he is, like so many sociopaths, charming and charismatic, but she is also wary. Gradually, he ingratiates himself into her life and her heart, preying upon her youth, naivete, and fragile mental state. Justine is unaware, of course, that as he is wooing her, he is terrorizing her parents.

is an impressive second novel from author Julia Madeleine that will have readers checking to make sure their doors and windows are locked, taking a second glance at the stranger who strolls by their house, and reading with the lights on. As Rory gradually worms his way into Justine’s life, his character is revealed at perfectly timed intervals to be a fascinating conundrum of sorrow, regret, longing, and unrepentant, unforgiving, revenge-seeking evil. His lilting Irish brogue and tender-hearted inquiries about Abigail, the “wee small angel,” are infectious and deceiving, even though Madeleine described just a few paragraphs earlier how he concealed a loaded weapon under his jacket and murdered an old friend in cold blood with no regret or remorse. In short, he is a perfectly crafted villain who inspires readers to hope there is a chance for his redemption when, of course, it is clear that, because of his heinous and callous crimes, there cannot be.

Justine is more enigmatic, a frustrating mixture of innocence, purity, and a desire for a stable family life who allows herself to be charmed by Rory. Is her reaction to him caused solely by her post-natal mental instability or is there something more deeply rooted in her psyche that causes her to be sucked into Rory’s scheme to regain ownership of his house. She describes feeling as though a curtain opens and closes, and her thought processes are cloudy, consistent with a mental disability. Will the curtain rise in time for Justine and her family to be saved from Rory’s vengeance?

No One to Hear You Scream is part pulse rate-elevating adventure and part cautionary tale about the ready availability of information about our lives that can be utilized by an unscrupulous crook to take advantage of us or our loved ones. It is also a frightening reminder that we are all vulnerable, in varying degrees, and need to be mindful of our whereabouts and the persons we invite into our lives. Most of all, No One to Hear You Scream is entertaining in the good, old-fashioned Saturday matinee in a darkened theater style. I look forward to reading more of Madeleine’s work.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one copy of No One to Hear You Scream free of charge from the author in conjunction with the Pump Up Your Book review and virtual book tour program. I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own. This disclosure complies with 16 Code of Federal Regulations, Part 255, “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Enter to Win a Copy of No One to Hear You Scream

Author Julia Madeleine has generously provided one copy of No One to Hear You Scream to be given to a lucky reader, selected at random.

To enter, simply post a comment in which you answer these two questions:

1. What is the title of the scariest book you have ever read?

~ and ~

2. What was it about that particular book that makes you consider it the all-time scariest you have ever read?

Be sure to include your email address (for notification and delivery purposes). The book can only be shipped to a United States or Canadian address (no P.O. box).

The comment posted by C. E. Hart was selected at random and a copy of No One to Hear You Scream was sent to her!

Thanks to all who participated!


  1. Marjorie

    By far, the scariest book I ever read was See Jane Run by Joy Fielding.
    The storyline was about a woman whose husband was trying to kill
    her and had tried to hide the fact he sexually abused their daughter.
    It is a story I will never forget.

  2. I would have to say that Salem’s lot was the scariest book I ever read. I think that the description of the surroundings (old houses, scary people) makes it very scary.

  3. Well, first instinct says it has to be a Stephen King book… The trouble lies in picking which one creeped me out more – The Shining, or Carrie. They both gave me the shivers and had me sleeping with a night light for quite some time.

    Stephen King has a way of slithering into your psyche and needle pricking the sensitive freak-out spots of my brain. He writes in such a way that you never doubt what he is saying, or that the impossible could definitely happen.

    I guess if I had to pick between the two, I’d have to choose Carrie. I read it when I was young and could relate to the whole ‘prom and crazy mom’ issues. lol


    Little Danny Torrance saying REDRUM in the middle of the night was super creepy!

    (I might just have to sleep with the light on tonight. lol Thanks a lot!)

    nicnac63 at hotmail dot com
    C.E. Hart recently posted..The Finish LineMy Profile

  4. hands down Id have to say IT by steven King

    The vividness of all the scenes as well as the scenes in it i was so scared king has away of twisting and moving and makeing things that you know could happen and could never happen feel like they have happend and will


  5. The scariest book I’ve ever read was The Shining. Part of it was because I read an intense bath tub scene while I was in the bath. To this day I can’t take a bath without picturing that scene in my mind.

    The book IT by Stephen King is a close second, but I had seen the movie before I read it which took away a lot of the unknown fear factor.

    Kimmel Tippets recently posted..Race to 100 Giveaway!My Profile

  6. Stephanie

    The Devouring by Simon Holt. It involves people being trapped inside their fears with no way out. Reading this made me think of all my fears and how I would handle being trapped inside them. Its one of the scariest concepts ever.

    thegirlonfire27 at gmail dot com

  7. Krystal Larson

    I would go with a Stephen King novel too, particularly Cujo (we have a massive German Shepherd and scenarios of her attacking us ran through my mind). Hannibal-can’t remember the author-but it was a book off of the movie, also scares me. That kind of “devil may care” and ambivalence towards performing horrific acts will never fail to make me turn on a nightlight. edysicecreamlover18@gmail.com This looks like a good book, thanks!

  8. Lisa Garrett

    The Shining is definitely the scariest for me. I will never forget the REDRUM! The image of that isolated hotel is disturbing.

  9. This is going to sound super lame, but Gremlins, the picture book version. I’ve read Stephen King, Let the Right One In, and other stuff, but Gremlins trump them all. It’s so freaky, those big-eyed, bat-eared monsters. They used to haunt my childhood dreams. They’d open their eyes randomly and shuffle slowly towards me in a dark room. That was really scary to the four-year-old me. Now, those childhood memories are what make them scary.
    Hikari Black recently posted..Book Review- MatchedMy Profile

  10. mamabunny13

    I thought Pet Cemetery was scary. Animals and a human coming back to life looking all messed up (shivers) is creepy!

  11. Samantha

    The scariest book ever is Ubik by Philip K. Dick!!! I read it for an English Lit class and it gave me nightmares. So first of all, this book was motivated by poverty and powered by epinephrines (not sure of the spelling, but it’s a drug). The entire book doesn’t make sense! Are the people dead or alive? And just when you THINK it makes sense, the book takes you on a whole different spin. Long story short, it creeped me out.

  12. Meredith

    Stephen King’s IT. I haven’t read another one of his books since! It was just a lot creepier than my usual romances!

    meredithfl at gmail dot com

  13. I have to admit that I have never read a scary book before but would love the opportunity to read this one.

  14. Denise Z

    I have not read many “scary” books. I have read a lot of suspense and enjoy the moments of OH what is in the cellar moments. This book has nabbed my interest and I would love to read it. Thank you for the opportunity to win the giveaway.


  15. Linda Kish

    Silence of the Lambs was the scariest. Everything Hannibal Lecter said to Clarice pretty much was creepy.

    lkish77123 at gmail dot com

  16. Pingback: Life in Review: “No One To Hear You Scream” by Julia Madeleine « Life In Review

  17. Mona Garg

    Thanks for the giveaway 🙂 This book looks really good.

    1) The title of the scariest book I ever read? THE BAD SEED by William March. I saw the movie first and then read the book. Both were disturbing, yet memorable.

    2) The book was about a woman whose young daughter was a sociopath. It scared me b/c I just couldn’t imagine how I would handle a situation like that.
    My feelings would be conflicted.

  18. Sheila K.

    I found The Amityville Horror to be really scary!

    • JHS

      @Sheila: I remember reading The Amityville Horror by the pool and being afraid to go back into my apartment! That was way back when the book first came out. I thought the book was much scarier than the movie. Still, I avoided all sequels.
      JHS recently posted..Book Review and Giveaway: Before I Go to SleepMy Profile

  19. Vanessa Agee

    Sadly unforgettable, the scariest book I have read is “Monster” by Frank Peretti. I have a bit of a morbid streak so it takes an expert to get me shaking in my boots. Peretti accomplished it!

    “Monster” is scary because of who the bad guy is. If you want to read it, I won’t give away the answer. Let’s just say that certain things should never be created in a science lab. Additionally, those creations can be quite frightful when they are imagined and penned by a skillful author!

    Someone…keep the lights on!

    Vanessa 😯

Pin It