Thursday, January 26, 2023

The Blackhouse: A Novel by Carole Johnstone

(Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book!)

about book: (summary from Goodreads)

From the author of the “dark and devious...beautifully written” (Stephen King) Mirrorland comes a richly atmospheric thriller set on an isolated Scottish island where nothing is as it seems and shocking twists lie around every corner.

A remote village. A deadly secret. An outsider who knows the truth.

Robert Reid moved his family to Scotland’s Outer Hebrides in the 1990s, driven by hope, craving safety and community, and hiding a terrible secret. But despite his best efforts to fit in, Robert is always seen as an outsider. And as the legendary and violent Hebridean storms rage around him, he begins to unravel, believing his fate on the remote island of Kilmeray cannot be escaped.

For her entire life, Maggie MacKay has sensed something was wrong with her. When Maggie was five years old, she announced that a man on Kilmeray—a place she’d never visited—had been murdered. Her unfounded claim drew media attention and turned the locals against each other, creating rifts that never mended.

Nearly twenty years later, Maggie is determined to find out what really happened, and what the islanders are hiding. But when she begins to receive ominous threats, Maggie is forced to consider how much she is willing to risk to discover the horrifying truth.

Unnerving, enthralling, and filled with gothic suspense, The Blackhouse is a spectacularly sinister tale readers won’t soon forget.

my thoughts:

Whoa! What a fantastically creepy story! I absolutely LOVED The Blackhouse by Carole Johnstone. Talk about a riveting read. 

Maggie is five when she declares that a man has been murdered in a place she has never been. The reason she knows this to be true - she was that man. Yep, Maggie was the reincarnation of Andrew - a man who drowned in the 1990s. Say what? I know, it's eerie and unbelievable. Anyhow, Maggie's declaration stirs up media attention and drama amongst the locals in the town where Andrew was murdered. Talk about supernatural disbelief. Fast forward twenty years later and Maggie is on a mission to find out what happened to Andrew and whodunit. Of course, nothing ever goes as planned and soon Maggie is having to contend with some pretty scary threats. In fact, she begins to wonder if maybe the truth is better left in the past. 

Crikey! What a thrilling read. Chock full of mystery and spookiness, this riveting read will hook you right from the start. You'll be so engrossed in the story that you won't even see the clock turning midnight. I know that I loved reading this book late into the night - helped add even more of a spooky mood to the read. I enjoyed getting to know Maggie and the town's history - made for quite an exciting story. I'm not going to lie, the book is slow going, but somehow it doesn't feel like it. It just sweeps you away with its Gothic atmosphere and fascinating characters. It's such a great book. 

I would happily recommend The Blackhouse to anyone and everyone looking for their next great read - make sure to check it out!

Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book!

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