A storm is coming…


From the author of the “dark and devious…beautifully written” (Stephen King) Mirrorland, comes a richly atmospheric thriller set on an isolated Scottish island where nothing is as it seems and shocking twists lie around every corner.

Robert Reid moved his family to the Outer Hebrides in 1993, driven by hope, craving safety and community, and hiding a terrible secret. But despite his best efforts to fit in, Robert is always seen as an outsider. And as the legendary and violent Hebridean storms rage around him, he begins to unravel, believing his fate on the remote island of Kilmeray cannot be escaped. 

Maggie MacKay has been haunted her entire life. No matter what she does, she can’t shake the sense that something is wrong with her. And maybe something is…

When she was five years old, without proof, Maggie announced that someone in the remote village of Blairmore on Kilmeray had murdered a local man, sparking a media storm.

Now, Maggie is determined to discover what really happened and what the villagers are hiding. But everyone has secrets, and some are deadly. As she gets closer to the horrifying truth, Maggie’s own life is in danger…

Atmospheric and compelling with an excellent sense of place, this literary thriller is somehow both uplifting and heart-breaking, with some very unexpected twists!

Catherine Cooper, Sunday Times bestselling author of The Chalet and The Chateau


“Johnstone’s first novel, Mirrorland, was terrific, and this second confirms her exceptional talent as a storyteller…This serpentine tale lingers in the mind long after the final page. Splendidly creepy.”


“The caliber of Johnstone’s writing and masterful storytelling will delight…This richly evocative story exists at the point where love, fear, guilt, bad decisions, psychosis, and mythology collide.”

Kirkus (Starred) Review

“Atmospheric, thrilling, and utterly captivating.”


“Richly atmospheric and beautifully written, this is a mystery that takes you on a dark and unexpected journey, cleverly playing with myths, psychosis and the supernatural. Engrossing, evocative and chilling.”

C.J. Tudor, Sunday Times bestselling author of The Chalk Man and The Burning Girls

“Evocative, multi-layered, deeply moving…This is a beautiful, moving, captivating book, thoroughly recommended.”

Manda Scott, bestselling author of No Good Deed and A Treachery of Spies

“Johnstone plays cat and mouse with the reader’s perception of reality and the supernatural. Deliciously creepy and unsettling.”


“The Blackhouse is an awesome, atmospheric thriller… Immerse yourself in Scottish culture with this creepy must-read!”


“A creepy, suspenseful thriller.”

Women’s Own

“[An] eerie gothic thriller… this ghost story ultimately packs a gale-force wallop. Johnstone is a writer to watch.”

Publishers Weekly

“Passionate, moving and eerie, filled with atmosphere, this novel settles on you like a Scottish mist. A masterful accomplishment from a writer at the height of their powers. I loved it.”

Catriona Ward, Sunday Times bestselling author of The Last House on Needless Street and Sundial

Atmospheric and compelling with an excellent sense of place, this literary thriller is somehow both uplifting and heart-breaking, with some very unexpected twists!

Catherine Cooper, Sunday Times bestselling author of The Chalet and The Chateau


Maggie and Robert are two very different people living in different times – bound together by secrets and lies, and a determined need to know the truth. And by an event so incredible that it changes both of their lives forever.


The Isle of Lewis & Harris is a place like no other, inspirational and magical and completely unique. Being able to write an entire novel set in my favourite place in the whole world wasn’t just a privilege, it was a joy.


Am baile gun fhir: the village without men. One of the most shocking events that occurs in the novel was inspired by a real-life tragedy that happened on the northwest coast of the Isle of Lewis & Harris in March, 1885.

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