Saturday 5 February 2022

Book Review: The Lighthouse by Fran Dorricott

The Lighthouse by Fran Dorricott book cover

AD* | No one expected them to go there. The question is: will any of them leave?

Six friends travel to a remote island north of the Scottish Highlands for an old school reunion. They’ve rented The Lighthouse – a stunning, now abandoned building that was once notorious for deaths at sea.

On the first evening, someone goes missing. The group search all through the night to no avail. But when the five remaining friends return to the lighthouse early the next morning, they are shocked to find James inside. He looks terrified – but won’t say a word about where he’s been.

The party vow to put the strange night behind them and enjoy the rest of their stay, but when more unexplained things begin to occur, tensions escalate. It’s clear James knows something, but nothing will persuade him to give up the secrets of the island. Is he protecting his friends from a terrible truth, or leading them into more danger?

Creepy and menacing, the dominating presence of the lighthouse hangs over this novel, almost becoming a character in its own right. 

The Lighthouse is a psychological thriller, packed with mystery and suspense. There are twists and turns around every corner, and for a book set across a span of just a few days, the mounting tension is managed expertly. 

Despite limited characters and the setting of just the deserted, wild island, the plot moves along at pace and keeps the reader engrossed in the story. If anything, this chilling book is a masterclass in minimalist writing.

The characters are complex and varied. Despite their apparent closeness, it quickly becomes clear that there are more than a few cracks beneath the surface of this tight-knit group. From bitterness and arguments to old rivalries rearing up again, there is tension from the very start.

There are also elements of the classic Gothic horror story, with unexplained disappearances and spine-tingling ghost stories throughout. Of course, though, the creeping atmosphere of both the island and the lighthouse really help to bring the atmosphere into the spotlight. The result is a gripping, immersive read that will keep you up reading long into the night!

Rating: 4 stars

The Lighthouse is available to buy now.

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* I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

Will you be reading the book? Let me know in the comments below! 

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