Reviewed by David Savage
The Haunting of Henderson Close by Catherine Cavendish, published by Flame Tree Press, is a ghostly horror set in Edinburgh.
In 1891 Old Town Edinburgh, Henderson Close is a poor street of dilapidated tenements and riddled with crime and poverty. Miss Carmichael is from New Town and likes to visit Henderson Close bringing food parcels and clothes with the occasional bit of money to try and help the needy. That is until she is set upon by a gang and murdered.
In 2018, Henderson Close still exists as a tourist attraction, but is now underground. Hannah, Mairead and George are guides giving tours of the haunted street. When works starts on renovating a nearby street to expand the attraction something is unleashed and the ghostly going-ons are happening more and more.
Hannah and her friends are drawn into the ghostly problems and to put an end to them the answer lies with finding Miss Carmichael’s killer!
Overall, Catherine Cavendish has written an excellent ghost story with lots of horror and scares. The central character of Hannah the tour guide, giving tours of an apparently haunted underground street is very well written. Along with her colleagues they dress up as people from 1891 and take tourists on tours of the street delivering scary tales of the historical site, that is until they start to really experience ghosts.
The characters and locations are all very well described, and all brought to life very well, whether they are from 1891 or 2018.
It is a creepy tale set in the past and present. It is very atmospheric and switching between the two eras is very well done. I really liked how the flashbacks helped build the mystery without revealing too much too soon.
The second half of the book goes at quite a fast pace and delivers lots of spine-chilling moments.
A very satisfying and creepy read, a really enjoyable ghost story. My only niggle is that some of the main characters backstories could have been explored in further detail to explain more as to why and how they were drawn into situation. Other than that, it is definitely worth a read.
RRP: £20 (Hardback) / £9.95 (Paperback) / £6.95 (Kindle)