Book Reviews

{Book Review} THE HAUNTING OF HENDERSON CLOSE by Catherine Cavendish

Ghosts have always walked there. Now they’re not alone… In the depths of Edinburgh, an evil presence is released.

Publisher: Flame Tree Press
Published: January 10th 2019
Pages: 288

Catherine Cavendish delivers an exemplary haunting tale that settles on your skin like a thick fog, sending shivers down your spine. THE HAUNTING OF HENDERSON CLOSE stands shoulder to shoulder with the Gothic classics. A killer lurks in the shadows of the crowded cobblestone streets of Edinburgh. Henderson Close’s rich history of murder, death, and ghosts makes for a great tourist spot. The main attraction is a bloodstain that always looks fresh. A good samaritan was killed in that spot many years ago, but they never found the killer.

Hannah and her friends, Mairead and George, are tour guides in Henderson Close. Hannah thinks she has found her dream job, but that feeling doesn’t last long. Strange things occur while they are on their respective tours. The past comes crashing into the present. Hannah finds herself in a strange place within Henderson Close. It’s as if she suddenly stepped into the past.

Catherine Cavendish does a great job describing Henderson Close and the people therein. The author has a great sense of space. She doesn’t have to use many descriptors with the buildings and streets. The scenes come to life. You can smell the city, especially the horse manure. You can feel the cobblestone beneath your feet, but you’ll have to watch your step. You don’t want to go stepping in horse droppings.

Anyways, Hannah finds herself in the same place, but in a different time period. 1891. I thought this was one of the coolest parts of the story. The first time travel episode occurs in the old print shop and only lasts a few minutes. Hannah stays in the past longer each time. One day Mairead goes missing. The police have no leads, so Hannah and George take matters into their own hands. What they find is mind-blowing. Mairead supposedly lived with her mother, but the house is abandoned and run down. They can’t believe what’s going on. My jaw hit the floor at this point in the book. I immediately had to know more.

The atmosphere is incredible. The dread keeps you on edge. THE HAUNTING OF HENDERSON CLOSE is a slow-burner, but in the best kind of way. The foreshadowing is spot on. The tension stays tight throughout the story. You don’t know what’s waiting for you around each turn. The reveals were great. They kept me on my toes for the most part. There are several characters involved at this point, though. You’ve got characters from the past and the present. The main characters are fully fleshed out. I enjoyed watching them grow and go through the wringer. Catherine Cavendish puts her characters through some tough situations.

I thought the latter third of the book was great. The author brings everything together nicely. That ending will stop you in your tracks. You won’t see it coming. I’ve been thinking about this book ever since I finished it. I couldn’t ask for a better reading experience. The mood was right. THE HAUNTING OF HENDERSON CLOSE is top-shelf historical horror. Everything just clicked for me and I sped through this one in one sitting.

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Ghosts have always walked there. Now they’re not alone…

In the depths of Edinburgh, an evil presence is released.

Hannah and her colleagues are tour guides who lead their visitors along the spooky, derelict Henderson Close, thrilling them with tales of spectres and murder. For Hannah it is her dream job, but not for long. Who is the mysterious figure that disappears around a corner? What is happening in the old print shop? And who is the little girl with no face?

The legends of Henderson Close are becoming all too real. The Auld De’il is out – and even the spirits are afraid.

Categories: Book Reviews

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