Alex Bell’s Frozen Charlotte was one of the Hothouse’s favourite Young Adult books of 2015. Her latest novel The Haunting takes us down to Looe in Cornwall where there are sinister goings on at the Waterwitch Inn.
Seventeen year old Emma returns to Looe when her grandmother is on the brink of death. She hasn’t seen her Gran since the tragic accident that rendered her wheelchair bound at the age of ten. Playing in the basement of her grandmother’s hotel, The Waterwitch, Emma nad her friends Jem and Shell discover a witch bottle in an old fireplace. Retrieving the witch bottle brings the roof down, damages Emma’s spine and release the spirit of Cordelia Merrick , a witch executed back in Elizabethan times.
Now as if this isn’t bad enough The Waterwitch was built with the timbers of a wrecked ship The Waterwitch, which belonged to Merrick’s lover Christian Slade, so Merrick isn’t the only spirit haunting the hotel, not forgetting the ghosts of the drowned sailors of course. When Emma discovers her childhood friends are sheltering from their abusive father in the Waterwitch she decides to join them. Trouble is Jem and Shell are descendents of Slade and Merrick is out for revenge.
It hasn’t quite got the creep factor of Frozen Charlotte with its little china dolls. but The Haunting is a well structured creeper that contains some good scares. It was nice to have a disabled heroine too.
Nicely constructed with plenty of chills I give The Haunting a 555/666
The Haunting is out now from Red Eye in the UK price £6.99