The Coffin Path
Maybe you’ve heard tales about Scarcross Hall, the house on the old coffin path that winds from village to moor top. They say there’s something up here, something evil.
Mercy Booth isn’t afraid. The moors and Scarcross are her home and lifeblood. But, beneath her certainty, small things are beginning to trouble her. Three ancient coins missing from her father’s study, the shadowy figure out by the gatepost, an unshakeable sense that someone is watching.
When a stranger appears seeking work, Mercy reluctantly takes him in. As their stories entwine, this man will change everything. She just can’t see it yet.
Plagued by strange noises and chilling spectres, Mercy Booth suspects something sinister has befallen the land around Scarclaw Hall. A foreboding miasma follows her, unseeable eyes watch her and a white figure stands by the gatepost, waiting. As her father Bertram grows muddled and forgetful, a strange man, a wanderer, appears one day seeking work. At first distrustful and weary, Mercy begins to feel her defences slip, her guard unpicked a by a new affinity with this cold newcomer. Whispers of witchcraft and echoes of devilry have marked the land around the hall for years and now as lambs are found murdered about the fell and menacing noises stutter out a foreboding rhythm, rumours of an old curse ring out through the village and claim that the devil, who walked the land so long ago, has returned to walk it again.
The Coffin Path begins with Mercy Booth, an independent, proud 17th century woman in the first throes of lambing. Mistress of Scarclaw Hall, a place steeped in superstition and tales of woe, she is guarded and resolute in her love of the moors. Every inch of land, every scrap of heather and patch of bog is her unforgiving domain. Her father has promised the land shall fall to her as his only heir, despite law stating it must be passed to a son. But Mercy has grown up learning how to care for her flock and keep the hall going against the tide of poverty and depression. She knows the moors and its history better than anything. And when her father’s three ancient coins vanish, thoughts of the hall’s bloody past come to the fore.
Atmospheric, gripping and super, super chilling, The Coffin Path suspends reality and lures you into the eerie wilderness of the Yorkshire moors and into the lives of its startling characters. Towards the end, I thought I had the plot sussed but just as the coffin path snakes down to the village, this book twists and turns, casting away your beforehand beliefs and leaving you aghast.
Redolent of Daphne Du Maurier and Sarah Waters, this beautifully written book will grasp your attention right from the start. I loved this book. I loved the tension and suspense, the menace and the chilling chilling chapters. Jeepers! This is a fantastic ghost story – one you won’t be able to stop thinking about.
Dark. Creepy. Thrilling.
About Katherine Clements:
Katherine Clements is a critically acclaimed historical novelist and short story writer. Her debut novel, The Crimson Ribbon, was published in 2014 and her second, The Silvered Heart, in 2015. Both works are set in the seventeenth century and centre on the events and aftermath of English Civil War. Her work has been compared to the likes of Sarah Waters and Daphne du Maurier. Her third novel, The Coffin Path, will be published in February 2018.
Katherine is editor of Historia, the online magazine of the Historical Writers’ Association, and is a member of the HWA committee. She writes for various blogs and websites and particularly enjoys reviewing historical drama on film and TV. She is based in Manchester where she is currently Royal Literary Fund Fellow at Manchester University, and is working on her next novel.
Visit Katherine online at http://www.katherineclements.co.uk or find her on Twitter and Facebook.
To purchase The Coffin Path, you can follow the links below:
Huge thanks to Caitlin Raynor for my review copy!