In 1891, Edinburgh’s Henderson Close is a seething mass of crime. Miss Carmichael falls victim to a gang of thugs, who beat her to death. Gang member Donald Bain escapes and is possessed by an entity the locals call the Auld De’il. In the present day, renovations begin on Henderson Close, and the ghost stories begin to take on a sinister reality.
Newly divorced Hannah takes a job as a tour guide in Henderson Close, dressing in period costume and telling groups of tourists tales of people who lived, worked and died there in 1891. Strange things happen from the very beginning- sightings of figures, smells, sounds and even scarier events nobody could possibly explain. Is the ghost of Miss Carmichael trying to say something or is it something much, much worse?
This is my first Catherine Cavendish book and what a marvelous treat for anyone who loves a really well told, very original paranormal horror or ghostly haunting story. I particularly appreciated the in depth information and realistic vision of life in a past time period I find fascinating, mixed so seamlessly into the present day story. I fairly flew through the book as there was never a dull moment, in fact I originally didn’t anticipate the suspense and overall sense of dread the author was easily able to convey throughout. And holy crap how I wish I could talk about that ending- just fantastic! If this is a genre of interest to anyone I definitely recommend reading. For myself, I’ll be ready and waiting for Ms. Cavendish’s next book.
*My thanks to Flame Tree Press for an ARC copy, however all thoughts and opinions are my own.*
The Silent Patient is an interesting and solid debut by Alex Michaelides
Famous artist Alicia Berenson seemingly out of the blue shoots her prominent fashion designer husband Gabriel five times in the head and face and never utters a single word for the next six years. Told from the point of view of Theo Farber, a forensic psychotherapist who becomes obsessed with Alicia’s case, connecting with her on some level, convinced he can help her. Theo has his own issues from his past, has had his own therapist in his life for a long time but he feels this can only serve to help him fix whatever has caused Alicia to completely shut down and refuse to speak.
“It’s odd how quickly one adapts to the strange new world of a psychiatric unit. You become increasingly comfortable with the madness- and not just the madness of others, but your own. We’re all crazy, I believe, just in different ways.”
I got slightly bogged down with some of the reiterated details of Theo’s life and his own struggles, it made it feel like a slower beginning for me but the writing was very impressive for a debut, certainly didn’t seem like an author’s first novel written. I really wanted to like it more than I did as it seems most other readers did, it didn’t seem to pack the serious punch I was looking for as it was just a tad easily predicted. Although I will say it very well could have been that the thriller I read right before this was an outstanding thriller for me so I can’t really hold it against this novel that might have colored my feelings. That said I have definitely found an author that I’ll be extremely eager to read his next effort.
Kudos to Celadon Books for the very clever marketing campaign enclosing a “newspaper” front page with photos and articles on the crime. *My thanks to Celadon and Bookish for an ARC, all thoughts and opinions are my own.*