Black Cairn Point - Claire McFall
Publisher - Hot Key Books
Release date - August 6 2015
Two survivors, one terrible truth.
Heather agrees to a group camping holiday with Dougie and his friends because she's desperate to get closer to him. But when the two of them disturb a pagan burial site above the beach, she becomes certain that they have woken a malevolent spirit. Something is alive out there in the pitch-black dark, and it is planning to wreak deadly revenge.
One year later Heather knows that she was very lucky to escape Black Cairn Point but she is still waiting for Dougie to wake from his coma. If he doesn't, how will she prove her sanity, and her innocence?
This is the sort of book I wish was around when I was a teenager. I have always loved horror in any form, especially when it comes with a sting in the tail, so was hugely excited about Black Cairn Point. I loved Ferryman (Claire's first book and winner of the Scottish Book Trust award), Bombmaker and having been looking forward to her third book for a while. I wasn't disappointed but I was late after I became so engrossed in the book reading at the bus stop and my bus went straight past because I didn't realize...
Heather is squashed into the back seat of a car with two boys heading to a remote camping spot for Dougie's birthday along with her best friend and her boyfriend, the surly Darren. Things start going wrong quickly but appear to nosedive once Dougie finds an old looking brooch hidden in a cairn. The chapters swing between Now, when we discover that Heather is in a secure psychiatric unit accused of murdering her friends with Dougie in a year long coma and Then following the truly terrifying turn their trip takes as one by one the others start disappearing. Heather is convinced that it's all to with the brooch Dougie found and begs him to return it. Is this really what's going on? Or is there something more sinister at play?
I loved Black Cairn Point from the beginning, from the very different personalities of the group of friends setting out on the trip to the beautiful Scottish setting BCP was everything I wanted it to be and more. Heather seems to be your average teenage girl, with a crush on long-time friend Dougie and desperate to start university. The fact that this would be the same subject at the same university as Dougie is perfectly natural to her but sets the scene for just how much she wishes they were together. Emma, her best friend, is certain that the trip will see them together by the end but throwing a spanner in the works are Emma's boyfriend Darren, older than the rest of the group and a bully to boot, and Martin, who appears to be the quiet type and not willing to put up with Darren's posturing.
All the way through Claire's fantastically atmospheric writing and setting have you on the edge of your seat and wondering exactly what happened at Black Cairn Point. Heather stands accused of murder, the only one who can say otherwise is in a coma and the pyschiatrist (who I found disturbing himself) is doing his best to confuse Heather into thinking that maybe she did do what she's accused of. The story is fast paced, fantastically creepy and will have you looking over your shoulder, especially should you happen to be on a deserted beach looking for firewood. Will the hideous truth of what happened ever come to light? And Is Heather safe now?
I was hooked from page one and had to keep reading to find out the whole story behind this genuinely disturbing story. Just when you think you know what happened there's a huge surprise in store for everybody, including Heather...
Check out the other stops coming up on the tour!