Black Cairn Point by Claire McFall

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Black Cairn Point by Claire McFall

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Category: Teens
Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Alex Mitchell
Reviewed by Alex Mitchell
Summary: A chilling and atmospheric thriller from an award-winning writer, with a shocking twist ending.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 272 Date: August 2015
Publisher: Hot Key Books
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1471404870

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Heather agrees to a camping holiday with Dougie and his friends because she's desperate to get closer to him. But when they disturb a pagan burial site above the beach, Heather becomes certain that they have woken a malevolent spirit. Something is alive out there in the pitch-black dark, and it is planning deadly revenge.

One year later Heather knows that she was very lucky to escape Black Cairn Point relatively unscathed, 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?

McFall, as an award-winning author, definitely knows how to tell a story. The book is split into two different narratives, both told by Heather and tightly interwoven throughout the course of the story. The first narrative, titled Then, takes place on a camping trip to Black Cairn Point, on the Irish Sea coast (not far from Glasgow) where Heather has gone on a camping trip with her friends. The other narrative, Now takes place a year after the events at Black Cairn Point, and shows Heather in a lunatic asylum, being treated by Dr. Peterson. Dougie is comatose after what happened and Heather is sullen, rebellious and uncooperative. The two narratives perfectly show the changes in Heather’s personality, almost making the two of them seem like two different people.

The characters are well-written. Heather, is a 16-year-old hoping to study archaeology. She has a crush on Dougie, a close friend who is hoping to study archaeology at the same university as Heather. Coming along for the ride is Emma, Heather's best friend, whom Heather is growing quite disdainful of as she's in a rather shallow relationship with Darren, a brawny, alcoholic labourer. Third-wheeling on the trip is Heather's other friend Martin, Darren's polar opposite.

The more paranormal side of things is also set up very well. It is described in the same way as found-footage films such as The Blair Witch Project, with emphasis being placed on what is not seen rather than what is seen. This makes the story much tenser and leaves the reader wondering what is actually causing the events.

The book is very well written, with a twist ending to shock anyone.

Further reading:

Choker by Elizabeth Woods – a similarly tense teen thriller with just as much shock value.

The Midnight Palace by Carlos Ruiz Zafon – a more historical teen thriller with similarly dark fantasy themes.

Buy Black Cairn Point by Claire McFall at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Black Cairn Point by Claire McFall at

Buy Black Cairn Point by Claire McFall at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Black Cairn Point by Claire McFall at


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