The Haunting of Henderson Close by Catherine Cavendish
Publication Date : January 10th 2019
Publisher : Flame Tree Press
Read Date : March 20th 2019
Page : 288
Genre : Horror / Supernatural / Fantasy-Fiction
Stars : ★★★★ /5
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.
The Haunting of Henderson Close was horror supernatural story that revolved around legends of Henderson Close, Edinburgh that involved, crime, murder, plague and trapped spirits.
This was more plot driven book than character. Oddly I was more interested in ghosts and their life rather than the physical/real ones. All characters were developed. I liked Hanna, protagonist, who was brave and wonderful at her job. George was good, I liked him for supporting Hanna all the time. I don’t know about Mairead, I’m still confused. I never liked Ailsa. It was odd she turned blind eye to all the strange experience.
Writing was amazing. This was my first book by author and I’m it won’t be last. Author brought legends and ghosts to life. Specters and Close description was so lifelike that if it would have been a movie, it definitely would have scared me. It’s not easy to scare me. I’m used to watch horror movies at night but I was surprised that at some point I avoided reading book at night.
Book was narrated in third person narrative mostly from Hanna’s perspective. There were two timelines in the book, one the present 2018 and other from 1980 to 1891. The present timeline represented Hanna’s life story, her strange encounters during Henderson tours, her newly formed friendship with Mairead and George, her failed attempts to convince her boss about spirits and weird encounters her group faced, and how she and her friends ultimately discovered about The Auld De’il and other spirits trapped in Close. While the past timeline told about the actual life of spirits roaming the Close and how they were related to the present disturbance and ghostly life threatening encounter, which was my most favorite part of the book.
Plot was amazing. Book started with a chilling, murder back in 1891 at Henderson Close that instantly hooked me to story and now in 2018 the victim was a one of the legendary story of Henderson Close ghost tours. Hanna newly moved to Edinburgh joins this ghost tour as a guide dressed in one of the character from many legends, little she knew her arrival and restoration of close at the same time will unleash the most deadly devil, The Auld De’il.
As I read more it started to turn more interesting. I was intrigued by legends and anecdotes Hanna narrated to her tour guests. The old town, dirty streets, poverty, derelict houses, murders that were like another Jack the ripper, were shocking and ghastly to read. The rotten sulfuric smell, Greyfriars Kirkyard, shadows and specters, disappearance of Mairead, damp and dark Close added a spooky and mysterious air to the story. Hanna and her friends’ time travel was fascinating. I liked this part of the book and what they discovered during their travel.
I was curious to know why Hanna and her friends only experienced the spirits and why other staff could not, how they were connected to the story, why Miss Carmichael wanted Hanna to look for her murderer and how she was supposed to do that, who released the Auld De’il and why he was after Hanna. It was thrilling to unravel all these mysteries.
I felt all kind of emotions while reading about all physical and non-physical characters. I admired Miss Carmichael for going to dangerous part of the city leaving the safety of her house to help poor helpless family. I felt sad for little girl and the way people treated her, I felt angry for what culprit did to Miss Carmichael, and disgusted by the violence and murder.
Author created a great suspense. I couldn’t identify the culprit until the revelation and was totally unexpected. So many things happened from climax to end and there were many twist in last few chapters. I couldn’t even predict the end until the last page. End felt little rushed and it wasn’t as satisfactory as expected.
I’m not sure about Mairead’s connection with specters and story. I didn’t understand what happened with her and all those memory lapses and what happened in the end to her, Hanna and George. I wish it could be more clear and elaborate.
Overall, it was scary, spooky, creepy and chilling horror with legends and ghost stories that I recommend to readers of this genre.
Author: Catherine Cavendish
*** Note: Many thank to Flame Tree Press for providing ARC via SMITH PUBLICITY , in exchange for an honest review. ***
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