Nobody But Us by Laure Van Rensburg

Blog tour: 10 November to 12 December 2022


One couple. Two liars.

You’re a handsome, well-respected professor.

This weekend, you’re heading out of the city with your latest conquest. She’s young and eager to please. Just how you like them. But there’s something about this girl that’s different. You just can’t put your finger on it yet …

You’re a smart, hard-working student.

You’re excited to be whisked away by this experienced man to an isolated cabin. Far from disapproving eyes, you’re crossing boundaries. Which can be dangerous. But you know what you’re doing. Right?

Two lives. One twisted path. A game of cat and mouse.

But who is the hunter? And who is the prey?

My review

When Ellie Masterson and Steven Harding escape New York for a romantic getaway in Chesapeake Bay to celebrate their six-month anniversary, it sounds like the perfect weekend. It’s a chance for them to relax, spend some time together and get to know each other better. Ellie is a 23-year-old student and Steven is a college professor and 15 years her senior.

After a shocking and bloody prologue, the story is told from the perspectives of the couple, interspersed with flashback chapters in which we hear from another person who appears to know Steven and has had a relationship with him in the past.

The house they’re staying at is very modern with big windows but located in a forest and close to the ocean. It’s rather creepy and both Ellie and Steven are unnerved by the darkness and remoteness of the location and there’s a strong sense of foreboding and unease, right from the start. No phone signal – what could possibly go wrong?!

This is no ordinary short break and, before long, Ellie and Steven are both in danger, discovering things they didn’t know about each other and experiencing the weekend from hell! They’re hiding secrets and, as the truths come out, they’re left reeling and confused by the shocking discoveries.

Told over three days, the story is intense, intriguing and cleverly plotted, and the isolated cabin setting is atmospheric and perfect for the situation that unfolds, especially when the temperature drops and the snow begins to fall. The main protagonists are well described too – they’re rather unpleasant and I hated them both at times.

Nobody But Us is a twisted, torrid tale that had me gripped! Full of twists and turns and numerous revelations, it’s a tense, claustrophobic and terrifying read. I was constantly on edge as I frantically turned the pages, racing through the short chapters, never knowing what was going to happen next! What exactly is going on? Are either of them going to get out alive?

Overall, I really enjoyed this one and it had some important themes and definitely stayed in my mind after I’d finished it! I’m looking forward to reading the author’s next book.

Buy the book

Nobody But Us by Laure Van Rensburg can be purchased from Amazon on Kindle and in paperback, and as an eBook from Kobo and iBooks. See also Ethical Book Search.

About the author

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 and 2019 Bath Short Story Award.

Her debut novel, Nobody But Us (originally titled The Downfall) was shortlisted for the 2019 First Novel Prize, 2019 Novel London Competition and 2019 Flash 500 Novel Opening. It was published by Michael Joseph in April 2022 and has sold in 14 territories, including Germany, Italy, Norway and the United States.

Laure’s current work in progress, Eden Lost, was longlisted in 2019 Exeter Novel Prize and more recently shortlisted in the 2020 Lucy Cavendish Fiction Prize.

Twitter: @Laure0901
Facebook: @LaureVanRensburgAuthor
Instagram: @laurevanrensburg

Blog tour

Thanks to Sriya Varadharajan at Michael Joseph Books for my copy of Nobody But Us and for my place on the blog tour.

See the banner below for more stops on the #blogtour.


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