This book was published as Black Cairn Point, but rebranded as The Last Witness in the US. For the cases of goodreads, I would search for it as Black Cairn Point as it is impossible to find otherwise.
I’ve mentioned before how I’m slowly getting into the genre of horror, specifically young adult horror, and I’m happy to add this to the growing list of books that have creeped me out. I read this mostly in the dark while sitting in a chair that was facing the alley next to my apartment. If that weren’t creepy enough, there was a blank tv staring at me and The Ring left quite the impression on me so it added to my general sense of unease.
The story is dual timeline, a narrative style that I enjoy especially in thriller novels, where in the present we see Heather, locked up and monitored because of the events that happened a year ago. Our other perspective is the events from a year ago and the story of five friends hanging out by a lake in Scotland, a place called Black Cairn Point. We see Heather’s interaction with her doctor (Dr. Petersen) and then follow the events that she refuses to say to him. The THEN chapters built tension quickly and effectively and the NOW chapters would cut in at just the right time to leave you questioning everything and guess at what was happening to the campers.
We hear the story of Heather and her friends Emma, Darren, Dougie, and Martin and their camping trip for Dougie’s birthday. The start off the trip with a campfire, roasting marshmallows, and, of course, sharing ghost stories. Something about the story that Dougie shares scares Heather a little too much, and she finds herself questioning if they’re really safe out there in the woods. And then, Martin goes missing.
I really truly felt afraid and creeped out while reading this. My heart hammering in my chest with each page that passed. The growing dread in my stomach building and building until finally, it all came to a point. I was worried that the ending would ruin this story for me. That it would kill all of the creep and scare of the story before it. I was wrong. I think it was a great possible ending for the book. I do acknowledge that some people might not like it, I however really enjoyed it and it made the book a solid 4 stars for me. So if you want a good scare, I really suggest reading this, it’s relatively short and will definitely make passing the time in quarantine a bit more exciting.