Book Review

Review – The Lamplighters by Emma Stonex


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.

My Review:

Wow, ok. I will start by saying that I did not expect The Lamplighters to make me feel the way it made me feel; I did not expect it to make me cry but it did. It is one of the best literary thrillers I have read. It is such an outstanding debut and you need to read it.

In 1972 Cornwall, three keepers vanish from a remote lighthouse. The entrance door is locked from the inside, the clocks have stopped. The Principal Keeper’s weather log described a mighty storm, but the skies have been cleared all week. What happened? Where were they? Will we ever know the truth?

I cannot say anything more about the story as anything I say could be seen as a spoiler to the plot. But with all these mysteries, the heart of the story is about loneliness and isolation; it is about grief and how we deal with grief; it is about jealousy and a twisted mind that will change the lives of so many people.

Emma has created such haunting atmospheres throughout the novel. It is so compelling and unsettling. The way the story unfolded is so clever. It is told from the perspectives of the three lighthouse keepers back in 1972 weeks leading up to the fatal day; and it is also told from the perspectives of those they left behind in 1992. The alternation of the perspectives has really provided the readers with a solid understanding of the complex relationships being portrait here.

I love every minute of reading this book. Some thrillers you read, you just want to guess the ending and move on. When I was reading The Lamplighter, yes I wanted to know what happened to these man but at the same time I was afraid to find out. The way Emma wrote the story was so intimate and personal. I felt sad, torn, disbelief and then relief. All the emotions!

I thoroughly loved this book and I highly recommend it! Thank you so much Picador Books and Midas PR for this beautiful copy to review.

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