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The Last Witness

3.66  ·  Rating details ·  280 ratings  ·  86 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
Paperback, 272 pages
Published January 1st 2020 by Sourcebooks Fire (first published August 1st 2015)
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Average rating 3.66  · 
Rating details
 ·  280 ratings  ·  86 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!

Elle's Book Blog
Release Date: January 7, 2020
Actual Rating: 4 stars

Young Adult Thriller | Mystery and Suspense

The Last Witness by Claire McFall is a young adult thriller book with a KILLER ENDING! I’m telling you, that ending was so unexpected and GENIOUS that I pushed my rating an entire star because of it! I was initially going to give this book 3 stars (which I’ll explain below) but that huge twist at the end changed my mind. Kudos to the author for ending it that way because it was PERFECT. I know
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.
Shannon (It Starts At Midnight)
You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight .

Truth time, mystery/thrillers are so impossible to review, likehow do I even!? I feel like anything I say is going to spoil stuff! There's even a book that I want to compare it to, but eventhat would be too much info.I think there's a discussion post in here somewhere, actually. I digress.

So, what kind of non-spoilery stuff can we talk about? Hm. Let's see.

• The location is awesome.
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:
Amber (The Book Bratz)
Not as exciting as I hoped but I was not expecting that ending. RTC!
Dec 01, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Review updated on 1/6/20...

I teach writing at a College, so I truly hate giving less-than-positive feedback to a published author. It's painful. But this book has a lot of issues and was extremely challenging to even finish. I appreciate the ARC, but I will definitely not be recommending it. Here's why:

Two stars

The concept for this work is interesting: a young woman goes camping with several of her friends over her love interest's birthday weekend. While there, the characters experience varying
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.
Domini Phillips ~My Bookish Friends~
I really enjoyed The Last Witness by Claire McFall. What should have been a get away for five friends at the beach turns in to a suspense filled paranormal nightmare.

When Heather and her friend's Emma, Dougie, Martin and Darren make camp on the beach at Black Cairn Point it quickly becomes apparent that some of them have other thoughts in mind. Finding that Emma and boyfriend Darren wanted to take sometime alone the others set out for castle ruins Dougie had told them about. What they find there
Nov 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
The Last Witness is a YA thriller that is part psychological and part supernatural. It read a bit like The Ruins meets the Scottish wilderness. 5 teenagers on a camping trip to celebrate one friend's birthday, tensions between them, and a possible cursed brooch found at a burial ground? Fast forward to a year later, when there's only one friend left standing. Is she crazy, like her doctors think, or did something stalk the campers, something not human? I particularly liked the ending!
Sandy O'Brien
Dec 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
6 friends go camping
3 never came back
2 survived
1 knows the truth

Imagine going camping with your friends
EXCEPT it is the camping trip that nightmares are made of.
The Last Witness is a mystery thriller that will have you staying up way past your bedtime to find out what happened to Heather & her friends.
I would highly recommend to readers that love books with an earth-shattering plot twist.
Clare Holman-Hobbs
Not enough to grip me I'm afraid.
Aidan Reid
Hmm. Few holes in this one. Not bad though.
Dec 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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.
Kailyn Bettle
Dec 28, 2019 rated it liked it
No one believes Heather about what happened on the camping trip she took with her friends: not the police, her parents, or the psychiatrist at the mental hospital she is being held. They all want to know how three of her friends went missing and the other ended up in a coma. She won’t change her story and when her doctor tries to talk about it, she refuses to talk. But that doesn’t mean she doesn’t remember…

The Last Witness is told in alternating timelines between Heather’s “Now”, when her
Emilie Haney
Huh. So...there are a few things I’ll say about this book. 1) It was pretty slow and not quite the “creepy” read I was expecting (until about the last 3 pages) 2) The cover - while stunning!- is misleading because it makes me think lake when it’s really the ocean 3) I think it should have been made clear we were in Scotland from the onset because I had NO idea where the book was placed until one character mentioned Scotland more that 20 pages in! 4)I am really a bit disappointed it ended the way ...more
Kailyn Bettle
No one believes Heather about what happened on the camping trip she took with her friends: not the police, her parents, or the psychiatrist at the mental hospital she is being held. They all want to know how three of her friends went missing and the other ended up in a coma. She won’t change her story and when her doctor tries to talk about it, she refuses to talk. But that doesn’t mean she doesn’t remember…

The Last Witness is told in alternating timelines between Heather’s “Now”, when her
Brittany Lamb
Dec 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this story right from the start. I love a good horror novel and this one was written almost like a movie but with some supernatural elements woven in. The characters consist of your typical cast of teenagers going off alone to camp with the hopes of having a nice, drunken time. The main character was likable for me from the very beginning and I really enjoyed reading the story from her point of view.

I felt comfortable with the pace and was always eager to keep reading to find
Terina Atkins
Nov 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Last Witness by Claire McFall - OoooOoooOoo....this was a good one! Five teens go camping, only two come back alive. One is in a coma, the other has a lot of explaining to do. Heather and her friends go on a secluded camping trip and stumble upon an ancient Druid burial ground. While poking around, her friend Dougie takes an ancient artifact. Soon after, her friends start to disappear one at a time. Heather is the only one to make it out, but the story she tells lands her in a psych ward and ...more
Dec 09, 2019 rated it liked it
This was a quick YA mystery set in Scotland. The protagonist, Heather, and three of her friends go camping in the woods one summer weekend and not all of them return. Heather is both a witness and suspect of the crime and her story alternates between present day and flashbacks, making her an unreliable narrator.

I think teens will enjoy the setting of the story as well as the eerie will-it/won’t-it-become-fantasy feeling it sometimes evoked. The story’s ties to Scottish folktales/legends were
Nov 29, 2019 rated it liked it
I enjoy reading thriller novels occasionally and this one sounded intriguing. Unfortunately, I did not enjoy this as much as I was hoping to. The story alternates between past and present using flashbacks. The pacing was slow for me and it took me a while to get into the plot, which as a result had my interest wavering. It didn't really pick up for me until I was more than halfway through. The ending was okay and has a twist.

I voluntarily received a copy from the publisher. All thoughts and
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!!!
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Goodreads Librari...: Same Book Different Editions 2 18 Jan 06, 2020 12:49PM  

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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