Meet The Author: Laure Van Rensburg

Laure Van Rensburg is a French writer living in the UK and an Ink Academy alumna. Her stories have appeared in online magazines and anthologies such as Litro Magazine, Storgy Magazine, The Real Jazz Baby (2020 Best Anthology, Saboteur Awards 2020), and FIVE:2:ONE. She has also placed in competitions including 2018 & 2019 Bath Short Story Award.

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What's Inside

The house will tell them what happened. Everything here tells a story. The truth will set you free, they say.

They’re wrong.

It begins with the silent heartbeat of blue lights pulsing through the windows, before the outside world invades the space with thuds and footsteps. Through the open front door cold sneaks in and rushes up the stairs. The house shudders and comes to life.

It spreads with voices, which shatter the silence further. Gradually, a few words rise through the pandemonium of noises—victim, unresponsive, Jesus Christ. They belong to a police

officer with a Burt Reynolds mustache. A shiny badge reads “Deputy Wilcox”—black letters etched on brass, the O almost scratched into another C. His eyes are full of questions as he tries to take in what happened here. He smells of coffee, the foam of it hemming the bristles of his mustache. Yellow teeth in need of cleaning peek from under his chapped lips. Palming his chin, he takes in a scene rarely witnessed in those quiet parts of the county. A car wreck, maybe, the odd wood-chopping accident. But this? This is what animals do to each other—and in the bowels of the forest, not in some fancy house. What’s happened here stains the carpet and the walls with red and reeks. He closes his eyes, but the images cling to him, trapped behind his lids. They follow him as he heads back downstairs. All around, the house unfolds like a scene in a pulp novel.

On the third step lies a discarded heart on a broken chain.

A present to a girl who no longer exists. One of Wilcox’s colleagues collects it, dropping it inside a little plastic bag where the romantic token becomes another clue to the gruesome events that have unfolded here. Once sealed, the bag joins others, mostly pregnant with what looks like shredded clothing. One of them holds the broken pieces of a mug.

On the first floor, there are more officers dotted around, more eyes asking questions, more chaos. An explosion of camera flashes; the static fuzz from police radios; the smack of latex gloves; a persistent smell which gets worse down here and forces Deputy Wilcox to breathe through his mouth. The stench of death and body fluids seeping out. Blood streaks the door frames and walls; the kitchen counter is smeared with it—riddles staining plaster and wood, written in cast-offs and spatters left to be deciphered. In the living room a wheelchair lies on its side like some wounded animal, while the charred remains of a bag smolder in the fireplace.

Everything here tells a story.

Leaving the mayhem behind, Deputy Wilcox shuffles toward the gaping mouth of the front door.

Outside, the sharp bite of cold air stings. Sunlight stains the horizon with pale yellow and orange, leading the way for a new day. No more overbearing clouds stretching over; blue has reclaimed the sky, where seagulls scream at the intruders disturbing the peace and quiet of the coast.

The snow out front is peppered with a trail of blood; at the end of it a gloved hand excavates a knife from its icy tomb. In the distance, the double doors of the garage yawn open and another officer on his haunches inspects the deep gashes in the flat front tire. Nobody was getting out.

Amid the askew police cars, there’s an ambulance waiting. Behind its bulky shape and flashing lights, the woods have stopped being an ominous presence; trees have disentangled themselves from the darkness. Everything is different under the light of day. But even if the snow is shimmering now with beauty, beneath it the ground is still dead.

Two paramedics jump from the back of the ambulance. The air inside is flavored with the strong smell of ammonia. The mattress on the stretcher is thin and squeaks with every move.

“Where to, guys?” asks the deputy.

“Mercy General Hospital,” replies the medic with blond hair in a low ponytail. He looks too young to be responsible for someone’s life.

After the ambulance’s doors slam shut, one word hangs in the air, acrid like sulfur from a lit match, one word that doesn’t belong in this place.


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"Read Laure's novels, which are amazing." —Gillian Flynn, author of Gone Girl
“Van Rensburg deftly manipulates the narrative, leading readers to root for Ellie’s ruthless and unnervingly clever machinations as Steven’s dangerous nature is slowly unveiled. This story of dueling mind-games and duplicity is a must-read for psychological-thriller fans, especially those with a taste for revenge.” —Booklist (Starred Review)
“Exceptional debut, a highly entertaining psychological thriller…This deliciously creepy haunted house tale skillfully explores the psyches of two people who carry their own ghosts with them.” —Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
“Filled with tension and twists and turns, you will not want to put it down.” —Red Carpet Crash
"Fierce, frightening, bold and beautiful. Clear your schedule for this one, Nobody But Us is savagely gripping." —Chris Whitaker, New York Times bestselling author of We Begin at the End
“An isolated house in the snowy woods, a cat-and-mouse chase, a story packed with secrets where nobody is what they seem ... I loved the flashbacks expertly woven into the tale to reveal the dark secrets of a relationship.” —Allie Reynolds, author of Shiver
"Brutal, tense, and utterly compelling, Laure Van Rensburg is an electrifying new voice." —Louise O’Neill, author of Asking For It
"Miserymeets MalcolmandMarie... An intoxicating, head-spinning and heavy-hitting revenge thriller." —Holly Seddon, author of Try Not to Breathe
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An “amazing” (NYT bestselling author of Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn) high-concept thriller in which a couple’s romantic weekend-getaway is not what is seems.

Named a Most Anticipated Book by Bookish

He’s not who he says he is.
Then again, neither is she.

Steven Harding is a handsome, well-respected professor. Ellie Masterson is a wide-eyed grad student.
Together, they are driving south from New York for their first vacation: three days in an isolated cabin, far from the city.
Ahead of them, the promise of long, dark nights—and the chance to get to know each other better, away from prying eyes.
It should be a perfect romantic getaway for two. But when a snowstorm strands them in the house, each realizes the other harbors a dangerous secret—and soon it becomes clear one of them won’t escape the weekend alive.
By turns tantalizing, surprising, and thrilling, Nobody But Us heralds the arrival of an incredibly talented author of literary suspense.