The Blackhouse by Carole Johnstone
Published: January 2023, Scribner Books (Simon & Schuster)
Genre: Psychological Thriller
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.
Read if you enjoy:
⚓Remote isolated location
⚫Unsolved cold case
🏡Small town mystery
⁉️Close-knit community with sinister traditions and customs
It’s hard to find a book that would travel with you for over a period of time that it’s already become a part of your daily life. The Blackhouse was a journey, to me. I held it close to me, because reading it gave me comfort and that’s exactly what I wanted when I was mourning a loss, when I picked up the book.
The Blackhouse follows the lives of Maggie in the present and Andrew in the past as Maggie comes back to the Island that had haunted her since her childhood when she and her now late mother believed that she was the reincarnation of Andrew, who drowned and died on this island. Since then, Maggie has had several mental breakdowns, the last one during her mother’s funeral and she’s determined to find out what really happened in that godforsaken island all those years ago. Because that’s the only way she could come to terms with her life and move forward.
This is a dark one but I enjoyed getting to know the beautiful yet quaint islands of the Irish coasts, their customs and traditions never cease to amuse me. This is my second Carole Johnstone book after Mirrorland and she’s absolutely talented. Her writing is unique and raw and full of life.
Many many thanks to @scribnerbooks for offering both #carolejohnstone books as ARCs. I’m incredibly grateful.
Qotd: Happy sunday folks!! What are you reading now? 📚🤗
About the Author:
Carole Johnstone grew up in Lanarkshire, Scotland. She has been writing as long as she can remember, and is an award-winning short story writer whose work has been reprinted and translated worldwide. She has been published by HarperCollins, Macmillan, Simon & Schuster, and Titan Books, and has written Sherlock Holmes stories for Constable & Robinson.
MIRRORLAND, her debut novel, has sold in 13 territories, and has been optioned by Heyday TV and NBC Universal.