The Haunting of Henderson Close – Catherine Cavendish

There’s always been sporadic supernatural activity during the tours of Henderson Close. Occasionally visitors have experienced cold spots or seen shadowy figures, but when Hannah begins her new job as a tour guide the mysterious phenomena escalates. Hannah and her fellow tour guides, Mairead and George, are soon caught up in a series of events that they can’t explain. If anyone ever needed help from the Ghostbusters it’s this trio.

Oftentimes I’ll pick up a book that promises spectral encounters and I’ll eagerly anticipate the promised ghost, only to be disappointed that they show up right at the end. This book does not have that problem. Ghosts really did show up again and again. While I wasn’t scared I did look forward to each time something ‘spooky’ happened, including time slips and a little girl who would probably be really cute, if only she had a face.

I loved the way that historical Edinburgh came alive for me. As scenes in the 19th century were explained I could see them unfold around me, right down to the stench of the Old Town streets. I wanted to solve the mystery of who murdered Miss Carmichael and learn more about the girl with no face.

While I enjoyed finding out about the lives of the people who once lived in Henderson Close and its surrounds, I didn’t become emotionally attached to any of the characters, past or present. No matter what happened to the characters I felt like I was a passive observer, which appeared to diminish the impact of the horror they were experiencing. I appreciated the onslaught on supernatural activity but wonder if I would have cared more about what happened to our trio if more time was spent fleshing out their personalities.

I’m still not entirely clear about the sequence of events surrounding Mairead’s life and felt that the connections the characters had to Henderson Close were a bit flimsy overall. The ending seemed rushed and I’m left with unanswered questions. I would have preferred for a couple of Hannah’s family background scenes to have been deleted, especially the letter Hannah received from her ex (which I didn’t think added anything to the story). Instead I wish there’d been additional explanations as to why the story ended the way it did.

Thank you to NetGalley and Flame Tree Press for the opportunity to read this book. I’d be interested in reading more books by this author.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

Ghosts have always walked there. Now they’re not alone …

In the depths of Edinburgh, an evil presence is released.

Hannah and her colleagues are tour guides who lead their visitors along the spooky, derelict Henderson Close, thrilling them with tales of spectres and murder. For Hannah it is her dream job, but not for long. Who is the mysterious figure that disappears around a corner? What is happening in the old print shop? And who is the little girl with no face?

The legends of Henderson Close are becoming all too real. The Auld De’il is out – and even the spirits are afraid.

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