The Haunting of Henderson Close by Catherine Cavendish, published by Flame Tree Press, is a ghostly horror set in Edinburgh in 1891 and 2018.
1891 Edinburgh is a very different place than today. Henderson Close, in the Old Town, is a street of dilapidated tenements, riddled with crime and poverty.
Miss Carmichael is from New Town, a very different place as its much more affluent. She is a bit of a philanthropist and likes to visit Henderson Close bringing food parcels, clothes and the occasional bit of money to try and help the poor and needy residents. That is until she is set upon by a gang and murdered.
In 2018, Henderson Close still exists, but as a spooky tourist attraction. The original Closes have been sealed off and built on top of, so they are now underground. The ghost of Miss Carmichael is said to haunt the Close and there have numerous reports over the years of spooky going-ons.
Hannah, Mairead and George are guides giving theatrical tours of the haunted street (they dress up in Victorian clothes and tell spooky tales along with the history of the Close). When works starts on renovating a nearby street to expand the attraction, something or someone gets disturbed and is unleashed. This amps up the ghostly going-ons and seems to really only affect Hannah, Mairead, George and the occasional tourist.
Hannah and her friends are drawn into the ghostly problems and to put an end to them before someone gets seriously hurt or killed they must find Miss Carmichael’s killer!
Overall, Catherine Cavendish has written an excellent ghost story that has plenty of horror, chills and scares. The central character of Hannah the tour guide is very well written and is a very likeable character. 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, past and present, are all very well described, and all brought to life very well.
It is a creepy tale set in the past and present. It is a very atmospheric story and switching between the two eras is very well done, without losing track of what is happening and in what time. 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 and a few twists.
My only small criticism is that some of the main characters backstories could have been explored in further detail as I felt that it wasn’t fully explained as to how and why they were drawn into situation. Other than that, it is definitely worth a read.
The Haunting of Henderson Close is a very satisfying and creepy read, a really enjoyable ghost story.
RRP: £20 (Hardback) / £9.95 (Paperback) / £6.99 (Kindle)