Wednesday 6 October 2021

#BlogTour The Lighthouse Witches by C.J. Cooke

 It's my turn on the The Lighthouse Witches by C.J. Cooke - 'the brand-new chilling gothic thriller from the bestselling author...'

About the Author

C.J. Cooke is an acclaimed, award-winning poet, novelist and academic with numerous other publications written under the name of Carolyn Jess-Cooke. Her work has been published in twenty-three languages to date. 

Born in Belfast, C.J. has a PhD in Literature from Queen’s University, Belfast, and is currently Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Glasgow, where she researches creative writing interventions for mental health. C.J. Cooke lives in Glasgow with her husband and four children. She also founded the Stay-At-Home Festival. Follow @CJessCooke on Twitter, Connect with CJ via

About the book

Upon the cliffs of a remote Scottish island, Lòn Haven, stands a lighthouse. A lighthouse that has weathered more than storms. Mysterious and terrible events have happened on this island. It started with a witch hunt. Now, centuries later, islanders are vanishing without explanation. Coincidence? Or curse?

Liv Stay flees to the island with her three daughters, in search of a home. She doesn’t believe in witches, or dark omens, or hauntings. But within months, her daughter Luna will be the only one of them left. Twenty years later, Luna is drawn back to the place her family vanished. As the last sister left, it’s up to her to find out the truth . . . But what really happened at the lighthouse all those years ago?


At the midst of this story is the fate of innocent women, women scapegoated by fearful communities looking to find reason and solution to tragedy, pain, destruction and death. Lòn Haven has it's own troubled past where this is concerned, a black hole of suspicion and folklore, which is eventually what Liv Stay encounters when she moves there with her young daughters.

The story is written like a wave of Kodak moments in history, both past and present. The witches, Liv and then her daughter Luna. Along the way children go missing, some of them return, although there is a question whether those who return are who they say they are.

I loved the premise, I just thought the execution was lacking. It's disjointed, confusing and there is an essence of outsmarting the reader, which is often detrimental to a story. Even the speculative element can't erase what it lacks in flow and continuity. A missed opportunity for a spectacular read. 

What Cooke does do well is pull the threads of history, mystery, myth and folklore together, and then sets fire to it all with the speculative idea that is woven into the fabric of this treble timeline read. It's magical realism, historical fiction, a thriller and a mystery. I wouldn't hesitate to pick up another of her books, because of the creativity, the bending of boundaries and the melding of each element. Clearly one to watch.

Buy The Lighthouse Witches at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: HarperCollins; pub date 30th September 2021 - Hardback £14.99 - Ebook | Audio. Buy at Amazon com.

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