Sunday 21 March 2021

BLOG TOUR: The Lamplighters - Emma Stonex

They say we'll never know what happened to those men.
They say the sea keeps its secrets . . .

Cornwall, 1972. Three keepers vanish from a remote lighthouse, miles from the shore. The entrance door is locked from the inside. The clocks have stopped. The Principal Keeper’s weather log describes a mighty storm, but the skies have been clear all week.

What happened to those three men, out on the tower? The heavy sea whispers their names. The tide shifts beneath the swell, drowning ghosts. Can their secrets ever be recovered from the waves?

Twenty years later, the women they left behind are still struggling to move on. Helen, Jenny and Michelle should have been united by the tragedy, but instead it drove them apart. And then a writer approaches them. He wants to give them a chance to tell their side of the story. But only in confronting their darkest fears can the truth begin to surface . . .

Inspired by real events, The Lamplighters by Emma Stonex is an intoxicating and suspenseful mystery, an unforgettable story of love and grief that explores the way our fears blur the line between the real and the imagined.

What did I think?

Wow!  This stunning book blew me away!  It's such a mysterious, intriguing story filled with to the brim with secrets that I was totally gripped and completely mesmerised by the beautiful writing of Emma Stonex.

Inspired by the true story of three lighthouse keepers who went missing in 1900 from a lighthouse in the Outer Hebrides, the mystery in The Lamplighters is set in Cornwall in 1972.  As the twenty year anniversary of the disappearance approaches, an author picks up the story and interviews those left behind.  Rather than their loss bringing them together, the three women barely speak to each other and the reader must uncover a web of secrets, lies and misunderstandings.

The sea could very well be the main character in The Lamplighters; it is so dramatic and described with such vigour that really brings it to life; I wouldn't have been surprised to taste salt on my lips whilst I was reading.  It truly is a force of nature and we will never know all of its secrets.  The sea knows what happened to the missing lighthouse keepers but that's one secret it will never reveal.

I really loved everything about this book: the mesmerising writing style, the intriguing plot and the mysterious inspiration behind it.  I read it in two sittings but if I'd timed it right, it would definitely have been a one sitting kind of book.  I have also been googling the original story of the missing keepers from Flannan Isles Lighthouse in 1900 and it's absolutely fascinating; many thanks to Emma Stonex for bringing this to my attention and I can totally see why it inspired her wonderful novel.

Mesmerising, intriguing and mysterious, The Lamplighters is an absolute must read.  It's a breathtaking, suspenseful novel that totally consumed me, much like the hypnotic calling of the sea.  A truly magnificent and unforgettable book; do not miss it!

I received an ARC to read and review for the blog tour; this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

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