BOOK TOUR: The Blackhouse by Carole Johnstone

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

Published earlier this month, The Blackhouse by Carole Johnstone follows Maggie Mackay who has been haunted her entire life. No matter what she does, she can’t shake the sense that something is wrong with her. And maybe something is…

When she was five years old, without proof, Maggie announced that someone in the remote village of Blairmore in the Outer Hebrides had murdered a local man, sparking a media storm. Now, Maggie is determined to discover what really happened and what the villagers are hiding. But everyone has secrets, and some are deadly. As she gets closer to the horrifying truth, Maggie’s own life is in danger…

Rating:

Today is my stop on the Insta Book Tours blog tour for this book. Thank you to the publishers for a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

With a nightmarish and gothic atmosphere, The Blackhouse is a mysterious and chilling thriller with hints of the paranormal, superstition, delusions, and mythology.

Perfectly reflecting the stormy weather at sea, the setting is claustrophobic, the characters are fierce, and the tensions are turbulent. Full of detail, the story is set against a stunning but isolated backdrop that further builds up the mysterious events that everybody seems so desperate to keep buried.

I love a story involving a causeway. Although it’s a setting that can often feel underused in thrillers as merely a way to cut off characters from the outside world, the setting is everything here. It’s obvious that the author has experience of living in and a love for the wild islands of the Outer Hebrides as there is so much atmosphere in this book and it elevates the plot in so many ways.

The small town setting and quirky close-knit villagers give off an almost cult-ish vibe as Maggie struggles with not only her own mental illness but also the untrustworthiness of everyone around her. The plot is clever and brilliantly written, and every twist works to push you further and further into an unsettling bewilderment.

I had no idea how the story was going to come together but I found the final revelations to be the perfect conclusion. It is a bit of a slow-burn, but it’s so easy to be taken in by the characters and setting and the final quarter of the book is sure to have you gripped.

I said this about her previous book, Mirrorland, and I’ll say it again now: If you’re looking for a dark thriller that oozes originality, Johnstone is definitely an author worth your attention.

Details:

The Blackhouse by Carole Johnstone
Release Date: 4th August 2022
Print Length: 400 pages
Genre: Dark Thriller
Publisher: Harper Collins

Synopsis:

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

Maggie Mackay has been haunted her entire life. No matter what she does, she can’t shake the sense that something is wrong with her. And maybe something is…

When she was five years old, without proof, Maggie announced that someone in the remote village of Blairmore in the Outer Hebrides had murdered a local man, sparking a media storm.

Now, Maggie is determined to discover what really happened and what the villagers are hiding. But everyone has secrets, and some are deadly. As she gets closer to the horrifying truth, Maggie’s own life is in danger…

From the critically-acclaimed author of Mirrorland comes a darkly disturbing new thriller that will chill you to the bone.

About The Author:

Carole Johnstone grew up in Lanarkshire, Scotland, and in her twenties relocated to Essex to work as a radiographer. She has been writing as long as she can remember and is an award-winning short story writer.

She now writes full-time and lives with her husband in an old farmhouse outside Glasgow, though her heart belongs to the sea and the wild islands of the Outer Hebrides.

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