‘One coin marks the first to go
A second bodes the fall
The third will seal a sinner’s fate
The Devil take them all’
The Coffin Path is the third novel from critically acclaimed novelist Katherine Clements. Just published by Headline, The Coffin Path is described as ‘an eerie and compelling seventeenth-century ghost story set on the dark wilds of the Yorkshire Moors’
You’ll feel the shivers up your spine with this one!!
Read on for my thoughts…
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.
Ooooh it’s been awhile since I have read a Gothic novel.
The Coffin Path….even the name alone brings out the goosebumps.
Katherine Clements takes us all on a journey back to the darkness and wilds of the Yorkshire moors in the seventeenth-century. From the opening pages we are drawn into a shadowy and brooding place. It is the home of the Booth family, sheep farmers of means, living in a very isolated location alongside the old coffin path. Their home, Scarcross Hall, is a house full of menace and mystery, a house that has a past that would raise the hairs on anyone’s skin. But for Mercy Booth, the daughter/mistress of Scarcross Hall, these stories are nothing more than old wives tales, set to frighten small children and to prevent them from venturing too far into the Moors.
Do you know what a coffin path is?
It’s not a term I would have been too familiar with but it’s a route that was used to carry corpses from oft-times remote communities to the cemetery. These routes became symbolic with ghost stories and spooky tales, with it being said that the spirits remained behind in our world for many reasons. Spirits with unfinished business to attend to. Spooky stuff indeed….
Mercy Booth lives with her aged father, their housekeeper Agnes and her beloved dog Bracken. They live a lifestyle that for many would appear rough, tough and very challenging. Mercy, never really one for the feminine ways, is at one with the hardship that the moors offer up. Scarcross Hall is her home. It always has been her home and, for Mercy, there is nothing that she is not willing to do to keep her family and her life secure and safe. But as strange occurrences start unfolding, Mercy soon realises that she is about to face the fight of her life and will need all her resources to face down the foe that is threatening her very soul.
The Coffin Path tells the tale of ancient coins disappearing, coins with a very chilling and disturbing history. Shadows appear in unusual places. A presence is felt in the home and in the moors. A stranger arrives at their door offering much needed help but he also has his own story, his own murky history, that will impact the future for Mercy in ways she cannot begin to imagine.
The Coffin Path is everything it proposes to be. It is a ghost story. It is chilling. It is eerie. There is a presence throughout this novel that is unsettling and very very threatening. We cannot see it nor touch it, but we can feel it’s existence on every page.
The Coffin Path is a historically rich novel with such vivid descriptions throughout. There is a terrible sense of foreboding as the Yorkshire moors come alive to the reader, with superstition and fear rife among this very rural community.
Katherine Clements is a writer immersed in history, as both a self-confessed costume drama addict and a member of the Historical Writers Committee. Her passion shines through in her words making The Coffin Path come alive in your hands as you turn the pages.
Bursting with an atmosphere that evokes chills and peril, The Coffin Path is a must read for all who like a little scare before bedtime!!
Purchase Link ~ The Coffin Path
About the Author:
Katherine was born in Littleborough, Lancashire and grew up in Surrey and Sheffield. She studied Ancient History and Archaeology at Manchester University, followed by a varied career in media, the charity sector and education. Most recently she worked for a national examination board where she led the development and launch of the UK’s first A Level qualification in Creative Writing.
Katherine’s critically acclaimed debut novel, The Crimson Ribbon, was published in 2014 and her second, The Silvered Heart, in 2015. Her work has been compared to the likes of Sarah Waters and Daphne du Maurier. Her third novel, The Coffin Path, is just recently published on the February
Katherine is editor of Historia, the online magazine of the Historical Writers’ Association, and is a member of the HWA committee. She is a member of the Society of Authors and authors’ collective the Prime Writers and is an occasional contributor to Northern Soul. She is currently Royal Literary Fund Fellow at Manchester University.
Website ~ https://www.katherineclements.co.uk/
Twitter ~ @KL_Clements