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The Last Witness

3.69  ·  Rating details ·  217 ratings  ·  63 reviews
A group of friends awaken a malevolent spirit bent on revenge in this haunting thriller from award-winning author Claire McFall

Heather agrees to a group camping holiday with Dougie and his friends because she's desperate to get closer to him. But when the two of them disturb a pagan burial site above the beach, she becomes certain that they have awoken a malevolent spirit
Paperback, 272 pages
Expected publication: January 1st 2020 by Sourcebooks Fire (first published August 1st 2015)
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3.69  · 
Rating details
 ·  217 ratings  ·  63 reviews

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Ben Alderson
Jul 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A roller coaster of lies, betrayal, dark beliefs and suspicion.

I can not believe what I have just read.
I have had chills down my spine whilst reading this novel. Claire is a master at creating atmosphere that leaks of the page and seeps into the world of the reader during the reading experience!

Bee (Heart Full of Books)
This was such an addicting plot line!

It couldn't be worse. Super boring. Lack of events. Definitely not thrilling at all.
Feb 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
Oooo! A nice solid 4 star read for me :D

Video review:
The Book Moo
Oct 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

I feel sick to my stomach, what a whirlwind book. Honestly I did not see that coming, this book is so well written and will leave you hanging on to every word. The characters are intense and their friendship is unbelievable. The actual plot will have you holding on for dear life.

I highly recommend this read.
Chris Bowles
Jul 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a gripping tale that takes you from innocence to the heart of darkness. It carries you along with the question 'what happened out there?' Monsters? Murder? Both? Highly recommended.
Clare Holman-Hobbs
Not enough to grip me I'm afraid.
Aidan Reid
Hmm. Few holes in this one. Not bad though.
Heather Lawson
Aug 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Originally posted here:
I bought this book when I was at YALC based on the recommendation of Olivia Mead who was manning the Hot Key Books stall on the day. When I picked it up, I was a bit weirded out by the fact that the main character was called Heather (like me) and she had a best friend called Emma (like my best friend) and they lived in Scotland (like us)! It was a bit freaky to get my head around the coincidences!

*Received from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review*

I was shocked by how good this novel was, especially because of how small it was I was worried that you would not get the full impact of the novel. However it completely worked and was the perfect size; very creepy and addictive! I love the cover, the colours are dark and creepy, with her face in the background it seems almost ghost-like.

When five friends go on holiday together to an isolated beach for Dougie's birthday, the last t
More like a 1.5 rating. I was excited for this book - the premise definitely intrigued me. But in the end, it had a lot of typical YA, horror tropes that made it fairly predictable and just kind of boring. We have five teenagers (who can all be slated into the Cabin in the Woods archetypes quite neatly) who don't even seem to really like each other so why they're going camping together is beyond me. Lots of drama. They disrupt an ancient Druid site and things get pretty weird. Oh, and there's a ...more
Oct 22, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good gripping story and I loved the characters, but it felt like the last few pages were rushed and suddenly I didn't like the end, it was a shame. It would of been four but I was disappointed with the end. But I think I need to reread it to see.
My review & a guest post from Claire on the blog - August 7th!
Li Yu
Sep 10, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I love thrillers. But this one is super boring.
Aug 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bestbooksof18
This was one of the books I bought just because.. and it have been on my tbr for over a year. I finally picked it up this weekend. I couldn't be happier. It was so gripping that I couldn't go to sleep. It is about a group of friends who go camping and of course things go wrong, ain't that sounds interesting? It is only 256pages, but it was the best book I have read this year! Moreover, I strongly believe that it will get to my top 10 books, because I can't stop thinking about what I have read!!!
Aug 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This one sold itself as a psychological horror with supernatural elements. I liked the idea of the ancient history thread leading to a curse, but found the chopping back between present and past tense staggering to the story and it acted as a massive stumbling block. It does have purpose, but I found the big plot twists didn't really make the constant staggering worthwhile, clever as they were.
All in all a great idea, but missed the mark on many points.
Sam Whitehouse
A tightly-plotted thriller with plenty of suspense, chills and a satisfying twist ending. The characters are a little thin, the writing slightly dry, but overall this is a fun way to pass a couple of hours. Reminiscent of the teen slasher movies of the nineties and early 2000's, and just as entertaining.
Oct 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
wow. what a twist
Joanna Lei
Jan 31, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What does the last chapter mean? Did Heather and Dougie actually kill the three? I'm so confused right now, and scared at the same time.
Oct 15, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horrorfest-2017
This book is weirdly a mix of obvious foreshadowing and a lack of clarity. I could see the ending coming, but the build up left much to be desired.
Megan Wright
Apr 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A slow build of suspense and foreboding that turns into a deliciously wicked twist ending.
Auchinleck Academy
Amazing story. Well Written! EM (S3)
Jul 26, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: for-review, ya, 2015, thriller
I received a copy from the publisher through netgalley in exchange for an honest review
Read this review and other reviews like it on my blog Little Miss Reader

Black Cairn Point is told from the main character, Heather’s, point of view and the story is split into ’now’ and ’then’ – which makes for quite a thrilling tale. Heather is the first narrator where I actually notice how unreliable she is, and I quite enjoyed that.

The story in Black Cairn Point is as follows; five friends go on a camping t
Rena Freefall
Feb 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’m not a fan of camping in general, chuck a ton of booze in there, five friends who kind-of-do-kind-of-don’t get along, a freezing Irish Sea – oh, and an ancient evil spirit determined to rip your head off (or cart you hundreds of feet off into the air) then yeah, not really for me.

How lucky Heather is to get this once in a lifetime experience then!

Of course a few friends get murdered along the way, her crush gets comatosed and she ends up in a mental hospital but hey, who’s complaining?

Well, H
Aug 02, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
I received a free copy of this book through Goodreads First Reads.

Five friends from Glasgow, all around 16/17 (apart from Emma's boyfriend Darren who is older). Heather (narrator), Dougie, Martin, Emma, and Darren.
Heather's voice was interesting but there are elements of falseness in her tale (view spoiler). Quite a likeable character apart from her attitude towards Emma.
I really liked Martin and Dougie but Darren was an complete arse.
SJH (A Dream of Books)
Creepy stuff!

This was a super creepy read with one hell of a twist at the end. Just when I thought that the story was about myths and pagan legends, it turned out to be something else entirely. I loved the fact that it kept me on my toes and challenged my perceptions. I really want to read it again now because it will be like seeing the characters and their actions in a whole new light.

Heather, along with her best friend Emma, Emma's boyfriend Darren and their friends Dougie and Martin, head o
Jul 30, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: review-books

I received a free copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

This is a mystery. A story about some teenagers going out for a camping holiday in a group of five. The protagonist Heather only agrees to go there to be close to Dougie. Three of his friends are also there. Then they disturb a pagan burial site, and Heather feels that they have awoken an evil spirit. One year later, Heather is waiting for Dougie to wake from his coma, because she desperately needs him to prove her sa
Aug 17, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A brilliantly creepy and atmospheric thriller that will keep any reader on the edge of their seats! The setting is described brilliantly, and the tension amongst the friends soon becomes palpable as the isolation sets in, and I was left wondering how on earth any of the group would survive. Each of the characters was well drawn and it was fascinating to see how their friendships changed as the story progressed. I liked reading it from the point of view of the action as it happened and what was c ...more
Anthony Burt
This was a pretty good book but, annoyingly, I could guess the ending almost right from the start (and I was right about it too).

So although Claire's written a very taught, interesting thriller - about a group of friends stranded in the coastal Scottish wilderness, where many of them "just keep dying" from a supernatural force or something else - for me she gave away too many clues of the book's ending throughout the book. I think it could have had less clues so the ending was more surprising.

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Claire McFall's work is, in essence, all about first love and difficult decisions. Her novels take straightforward romantic narratives and hurl them into unusual and extreme settings, blurring accepted genre boundaries and creating new sub-genres of her own. She then charts her characters' reactions to these unfamiliar situations and the new and confusing feelings that beset them in a hyper-real, ...more