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The Blackhouse

The Blackhouse, January 2023
by Carole Johnstone

320 pages
ISBN: 1982199679
EAN: 9781982199678
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"How deep can a secret be buried?"

Fresh Fiction Review

The Blackhouse
Carole Johnstone

Reviewed by Evie Harris
Posted March 15, 2023


When five-year-old Maggie MacKay told her mother that a man she didn't know was murdered on a remote island she had never been to, her mother believed her and tried to capitalize on the story.  It didn't work.  Their trip to the island revealed only angry villagers.  Almost twenty years later, troubled Maggie returns to the island with the hope of solving the murder she once believed had happened. What she discovers is beyond anything she could have imagined.

THE BLACKHOUSE by Carole Johnstone is a complex story.  Told in the past and present, readers are introduced to a large and varied cast of flawed characters who all seem to have something to hide.  The setting of Scotland's Outer Hebrides is vividly brought to life, along with the unique elements of living on an island.  As Maggie searches for the truth it becomes more elusive.  She is stalked and threatened, yet she persists.  Will it be worth the danger?

In this well-crafted story, Carole Johnstone seamlessly combines horror, mystery, and unexpected romance.  For readers who enjoy suspense, twists and turns, and the unexpected, THE BLACKHOUSE is well worth reading.

Learn more about The Blackhouse


From the author of the “dark and devious...beautifully written” (Stephen King) Mirrorland comes a richly atmospheric thriller set on an isolated Scottish island where nothing is as it seems and shocking twists lie around every corner.

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

Robert Reid moved his family to Scotland’s Outer Hebrides in the 1990s, driven by hope, craving safety and community, and hiding a terrible secret. But despite his best efforts to fit in, Robert is always seen as an outsider. And as the legendary and violent Hebridean storms rage around him, he begins to unravel, believing his fate on the remote island of Kilmeray cannot be escaped.

For her entire life, Maggie MacKay has sensed something was wrong with her. When Maggie was five years old, she announced that a man on Kilmeray—a place she’d never visited—had been murdered. Her unfounded claim drew media attention and turned the locals against each other, creating rifts that never mended.

Nearly twenty years later, Maggie is determined to find out what really happened, and what the islanders are hiding. But when she begins to receive ominous threats, Maggie is forced to consider how much she is willing to risk to discover the horrifying truth.

Unnerving, enthralling, and filled with gothic suspense, The Blackhouse is a spectacularly sinister tale readers won’t soon forget.

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