Small Spaces is a beautifully crafted psychological thriller. I couldn’t put it down.”
Fleur Ferris, author of Risk, Black and Wreck

“This gripping debut messes with your head and makes you doubt your own senses. With Small Spaces, Sarah Epstein smashes it out of the park.”
Ellie Marney, author of the Every series

Small Spaces is a deliciously creepy YA thriller that reeled me in, made my heart race and kept me guessing to the very end.”
Rachael Craw, author of the Spark series


• • •

As I trudge up Banksia Avenue, I can’t shake the feeling that something’s clinging to me like a shadow. I have to turn around once or twice just to check Mum isn’t hovering nearby in her car. She’s made a point all week of not mentioning the Fishers’ party until this afternoon when she offered to drive me over here. I lied and said Sadie was picking me up from the corner, afraid Mum would find an excuse to invite herself inside and keep tabs on me all night.

I double-check Sadie’s most recent text.

Follow driveway to the back door. We’re just setting up.

My eyes find the Fishers’ home near the top of the hill, its upper level painted with hazy evening sunlight. It’s been a warm afternoon, but now long shadows drape languidly across the road, a cool night promised in their murky depths. A light breeze dusts the fine hairs along the back of my neck, and I shiver a little in my black polo shirt. My watch tells me I’m–


What was–?

A footstep?

I glance over my shoulder at the street rolling out behind me, at the patchwork of paved driveways and trimmed lawns. A boat trailer here, a caravan there, a handful of pink galahs picking their way through a patch of dandelions.

Wiping my hands across the thighs of my pants, I feel foolish for being so jumpy.

Too much talk about the Fishers. Too much thinking about the past.

I resume walking, a little faster now, my black leather shoes slapping against the bitumen. The white So Delish van is parked three driveways away, the gates of number eight thrown open like welcoming arms. The party doesn’t start for thirty minutes, so Sadie and her mum will be getting down to the last minute–

There! Again!

I whirl around, my gaze sweeping left and right. Banksia Avenue mocks me with its robust walls and boxy hedges like an expert game of statues.

Don’t think about games.

Don’t think about him.

“Who’s there?” I call, causing one of the galahs to take flight. I feel conspicuous and silly, but I can’t deny that prickly sensation of being watched. As I turn to keep going, my eye catches movement. Two houses down are a pair of stacked stone columns flanking a driveway. A shadow moves behind one of them.


Panic roils in my stomach.

I spin and sprint flat out towards the Fishers’ house. When I reach the So Delish van, I skid around the side of it, placing it between me and the road like a shield. I press my back against the hard metal, clamp my lips together and listen.

The only sound I hear is the frenzied swish of blood in my own ears.

You’re being paranoid.

You really think you’re being followed?

I wait until my pulse slows before peeling myself off the van. This is ridiculous. I’m ridiculous. I need the distraction of work to stop my mind from sliding into dangerous territory.

No more than three steps further, a thick clump of azalea bushes quiver below the Fishers’ front window.

For a second I think I imagined it, then the branches rustle again. I want to write it off as a cat or a possum, but even in the dimming light I can distinguish the outline of somebody crouched against the house.

He’s come back.


Is it?

Hot saliva fills the back of my mouth.

Backing up to the letterbox, I seek out a garden stake or rock in the flowerbed. I snatch up a broken tree branch, sharp on both ends and maybe threatening enough if held the right way.

I creep towards the house again, stick raised. A mix of fear and anger roars up from my belly and into my throat.

“Come out!” I growl. “Come out and face me!”

The bushes shake violently as someone stumbles out of the garden bed. I jerk backwards, clutching my stick like a baton.


He’s too big, logic tells me. It’s not him.

Of course it’s not him, genius. He was imaginary.

• • •

Available April

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