Now we’re at the time of year where we’re encouraged to think of spooky things, with Hallowe’en on the horizon, and for readers of all ages there’s no shortage of creepy and disconcerting books out there. The Lighthouse Witches is both – and it’s really, really good! I was incredibly reluctant every time I had to put it down to go and do something!
So we’ve established it’s a great read – but what’s it about?
This is one of these books you don’t want to spill too much detail about in your review, as much of the enjoyment is the unfolding of the creepy atmosphere! But here’s the basic outline – it’s 1998, and Liv Stay arrives on the island of Lòn Haven, in the north east of Scotland, with her three daughters. There’s Sapphire, 15, Luna, 9, and Clover, 7. She’s arrived to take on the commission of a mural – unusually in a lighthouse, called The Longing. The mural is somewhat bizarre, and the island has an intriguing history, involving witches, strange disappearances, and hauntings – and we’re flung straight into the action when Liv thinks she sees the body of a baby on the floor of the lighthouse…
Fast forward to the present day, and we learn that three of the Stays have disappeared, with only Luna remaining. Until she receives a telephone call, telling her that Clover has, unbelievably, been found, alive and pretty much unharmed.
So I imagine it’s a happy family reunion then?
Well, there’s a problem with Clover when Luna meets her – without getting into spoiler territory, she’s not what Luna expects at all! Still, she’s definitely Clover – that’s indisputable. So after a short stay in hospital (as much for Luna as Clover, as she’s pregnant and has had a series of miscarriages) they depart together, Luna having sent her partner Ethan home early by train. They figure it’ll give the sisters a chance to get to know each other again.
So the book moves back and forward between 1998 and the present day?
Yes, whilst also weaving in historical stories about the island from a book called a “Grimoire” belonging to Patrick Roberts, the man who’s contracted Liv to paint the mural, as he apparently intends to use the lighthouse as an office for writing. These stories are very disturbing, telling of witches on the island, the accusations made towards them, and their subsequent punishment. They really ramp up the tension in the book as a whole, which builds and builds nicely as the book goes on.
So it’s an effective read to prepare yourself for the spooks and scares of Hallowe’en?
Oh my yes! It’s a highly entertaining creepy book, and the tension just increases as it goes on. I absolutely adored it – and as I have C.J. Cooke’s previous creepy novel, The Nesting, in my Kindle, I’ll be sure to read it soon!
If you’re a fan of disturbing, shiver-inducing novels, and are looking for something original and attention-grabbing to read this Hallowe’en – or indeed at any time – I can’t recommend The Lighthouse Witches highly enough!
Don’t miss it!
My thanks to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for inviting me on this blog tour, and Harper Collins for my ARC. This has not affected my review in any way.
Author C.J. Cooke
BLURB: Upon the cliffs of a remote Scottish island, Lòn Haven, stands a lighthouse.
A lighthouse that has weathered more than storms.
Mysterious and terrible events have happened on this island. It started with a witch hunt. Now, centuries later, islanders are vanishing without explanation.
Coincidence? Or curse?
Liv Stay flees to the island with her three daughters, in search of a home. She doesn’t believe in witches, or dark omens, or hauntings. But within months, her daughter Luna will be the only one of them left.
Twenty years later, Luna is drawn back to the place her family vanished. As the last sister left, it’s up to her to find out the truth . . .
But what really happened at the lighthouse all those years ago?