Sunday 6 January 2019


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.

I decided to start 2019 with a Flame Tree Press ARC. It also happens to be the first ladies of horror title I've read from this very cool publisher.

As soon as I started, I was hooked by this intriguing story.

Hannah has recently moved into a cosy apartment in Edinburgh. She's ready to start a new life and has managed to get herself a very curious job as a tour guide. In the confines of this underground tourist spot, she dresses up and shares some of the freaky, murderous stories associated with Henderson Close.

But seeing shadows, new construction, dealing with a disappearing workmate and trying not to get on her boss's bad side aren't the only issues Hannah needs to deal with. There's also the case of timeslips, ghosts and an evil presence.

At least she's made a good friend in George. And together, they might be able to solve the mystery of what's going on...

This was such a great book to start the year with! I love ghost stories of every kind, and this one was right up my alley. 

One of the best things about this story is how well the sense of location is portrayed. The vivid descriptions made me feel like I was right there. Not just in the modern day long-abandoned underground tourist attraction, but also in the actual filthy overpopulated streets.

The mystery of the woman who was trying to help the needy and instead met her violent demise intrigued me so much I didn't want to put the book down. But I did, because at the same time, I wanted to consume every word at a good pace.

Another great thing was the characters. Hannah is a hardworking woman looking for a new life and is unaware of the darkness shadowing her. Mairead is a young woman with a strange case of amnesia and a mystery of her own. George is a kind man who likes a drink or two after a hard day at work, and gets as swept up in the evil mess as his co-workers. I really enjoyed their shared scenes, and how their lives were intertwined.

There's a lot of stuff going on in this story, so many layers that tie together in some very clever ways extending through time. I thought the different POVs added to the overall narrative as well as the bits told in the past, slowly revealing the puzzle pieces. But not giving everything away until the right moment.

The Haunting of Henderson Close is an atmospheric and spooky ghost story with a great dose of history. It's also deliciously twisted, violent and dragged me through the claustrophic streets of historical Edinburgh until the unexpected conclusion. I really didn't expect things to turn out that way! 

Oh, and I love the cover. Not only is it really nice, but totally captures the feel of the story.

This also happens to be the first Catherine Cavendish book I've read, but I'm pretty sure it won't be my last.

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