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Imprint: Point Blank

Subject: Crime & Thriller

When the Dead Come Calling

The Burrowhead Mysteries: A Scottish Book Trust 2020 Great Scottish Novel

Helen Sedgwick

A Scottish Book Trust 2020 Great Scottish Novel

‘Unputdownable… Helen Sedgwick saw into the future and that future is now! It’s an incredible book! READ IT.’ Lemn Sissay, author of My Name Is Why

In the first of the Burrowhead Mysteries, an atmospheric murder investigation unearths the brutal history of a village where no one is innocent.

When psychotherapist Alexis Cosse is found murdered in the playground of the sleepy northern village of Burrowhead, DI Strachan and her team of local police investigate, exposing a maelstrom of racism, misogyny and homophobia simmering beneath the surface of the village.

Shaken by the revelations and beginning to doubt her relationship with her husband, DI Strachan discovers something lurking in the history of Burrowhead, while someone (or something) equally threatening is hiding in the strange and haunted cave beneath the cliffs…

  • Publication date: June 3, 2021
  • ISBN: 9781786079374
  • RRP: £8.99
  • Pages: 384
  • Publication date: January 9, 2020
  • ISBN: 9781786075697
  • RRP: £14.99
  • Pages: 384
  • Publication date: December 12, 2019
  • ISBN: 9781786075703
  • RRP: £1.99
  • Pages: 384


‘Unputdownable. When the Dead Come Calling tracks the toxin which seeped into a village. If you read closer you will see who the ‘key workers’ are. Helen Sedgwick saw into the future and that future is now! It's an incredible book! READ IT.’

Lemn Sissay, author of My Name Is Why

‘The author has created an intriguing plot with twists and turns underlaid with the supernatural and her descriptions of the landscape and changing weather, brooding and windswept, bright and sunny is an original metaphor for how the investigation is proceeding. This is a stunning, complex, out-of-the mainstream novel that’s completely immersive.’

Mystery People

'When The Dead Come Calling by Helen Sedgewick is a favourite current book of mine -  all about race and class in contemporary Britain but all wrapped inside a brill  thriller.'

Lemn Sissay, author of My Name Is Why

‘Sedgwick’s writing is minutely observational, clever and warm. One minute you are transported by her descriptions of the landscape, the next she is raising the hairs on the back of your neck with her dreamlike descriptions of whatever lurks in the cave at the foot of the cliffs. It is her portrayal of the closed world of a remote community, however, that will chill you to the bone.’


'A multi-layered tale from a range of viewpoints that reaches back into history and poses as many questions as it answers… the pages of When The Dead Come Calling fairly sizzle with stagmen, menhirs and evil carrion birds… a thumpingly good read shot through with some beautiful prose.'

The Herald, Scotland

‘The dense narrative moves back and forth, incorporating horrors from the past and fears and resentments from the present. The final twist works well and adds an extra layer to the story that is both surprising and moving.’

Literary Review

'Helen Sedgwick weaves a clever combination of psychological suspense and low-key police procedural.'


'Creepy, atmospheric and spine-tingling, When The Dead Come Calling is the kind of mystery so deviously plotted it left me reeling. Brilliant.'

Chris Whitaker, author of Tall Oaks

'When The Dead Come Calling confirms what many of us already knew: Helen Sedgwick is one of Scotland's finest contemporary storytellers.'

Claire Askew, author of All the Hidden Truths

'Beautifully written, beguiling and mysterious, the sort of book that would reward a second (and third) read. And a twisty plot with an undercurrent of supernatural malevolence that ticked all my boxes.'

Fiona Erskine, author of The Chemical Detective

'By combining up-to-the-minute themes, well-tuned dialogue and warm and witty details of everyday life with a deep, impressionistic sense of dread, Sedgwick produces a mystery as addictive as it is anxiety-inducing ... deserves to be a stonking series with wide appeal that should run and run.'

Molly Flatt, author of The Charmed Life of Alex Moore

'It’s the poetic quality of her writing that makes this a moodily engrossing, and rather uneasy, opening to the series.'

Peterborough Telegraph

Helen Sedgwick

Helen Sedgwick is the author of The Comet Seekers and The Growing Season, which was shortlisted for the Saltire Society Fiction Book of the Year in 2018. The opener to her Burrowhead Mysteries crime trilogy, When the Dead Come Calling, was published in 2020, followed by Where the Missing Gather in 2021. She has an MLitt in Creative Writing from Glasgow University and has won a Scottish Book Trust New Writers Award. Before she became an author, she was a research physicist with a PhD in Physics from Edinburgh University. She lives in the Scottish Highlands. 

Author page

More books by Helen Sedgwick

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