The Coffin Path

The Coffin Path : 'The perfect ghost story'

3.64 (1,779 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 
3.64 (1,779 ratings by Goodreads)

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**Longlisted for the HWA Gold Crown**

An eerie and compelling ghost story set on the dark wilds of the Yorkshire moors. For fans of The Witchfinder's Sister and The Silent Companions, this gothic tale will weave its way into your imagination and chill you to the bone.

'Spine-tingling... the scariest ghost story I have read in a long time' Barbara Erskine

'A wonderful, macabre evocation of a lost way of life' The Times

'Like something from Emily Bronte's nightmares' Andrew Taylor, author of The Ashes of London

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.

What readers are saying about The Coffin Path:

'A fantastic eerie ghost story to settle down with on a winters night'

'Compelling and chilling, the slow build-up of tension had me completely on edge'

'I couldn't put it down. I felt I was there on the moors, being watched by the unseen'
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Product details

  • Paperback | 384 pages
  • 128 x 196 x 26mm | 300g
  • Headline Review
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • None
  • 1472204301
  • 9781472204301
  • 223,265

Review Text

A story combination of historical fiction and ghostly goings on is the perfect read for cold wet nights
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Review quote

A wonderfully sinister novel [with] a unique heroine... But the real star here is Clements's beautiful, unsparing evocation of a bygone life on these unforgiving moors * The Times * A striking combination of Brontean romantic melodrama and gothic ghost story... Clements has written an eerily gripping novel in which the ghosts of the past haunt the present in more ways than one * The Sunday Times * Intense, twisty drama... the atmospheric writing and the strong evocation of the landscape are terrific * Daily Mail * Spine-tingling... the scariest ghost story I have read in a long time. Beautifully written, fantastically atmospheric, it left me sleepless and in tears -- Barbara Erskine Brooding and full of creeping menace -- Laura Purcell The Coffin Path is the perfect ghost story: utterly absorbing, immersed in a world so completely authentic, peopled by men, women, children - and the beasts of a shepherding life - so completely flesh and blood that when the not-so-flesh arise, it's *terrifying*. But not only that, it's a beautifully wrought evocation of a world and a time that feels as if it's just around the corner. If you like Michelle Paver, you'll love this, but fans of Mantel will love it too - the language is a delight, the word-smithing pitch-perfect, and the narrative drive compelling. This is a book about passion and fear, blood and death and life and love and all the pieces from which life is wrought - if you read only one book this year, make it this one, you won't regret it -- Manda Scott Clements brings alive the bleak beauty of the moors with a chilling ghost story that vividly portrays the superstitions and beliefs of 17th-century rural society * Sunday Express S Magazine * A wonderful piece of Yorkshire Gothic, all the more effective for being so firmly anchored in its time and place... like something from Emily Bronte's nightmares -- Andrew Taylor, author of The Ashes of London Oozing with gothic symbolism, this brooding and beautiful ghost story is guaranteed to haunt your dreamslong after the cover has been closed -- Essie Fox W&H March Great Read - not to be read alone late at night * Woman & Home * Winter nights drawing in has made this atmospheric 17th-century-set gothic story the perfect read over the past few days (Editor's Choice) * Bookseller * Mixes a Wuthering Heights-esque love story with a MR James-esque fire-side frightener... Now we just need Kate Bush to write and perform a song about it * SFX * All the unsettling ingredients for a truly chilling and atmospheric read... Akin to the best of Susan Hill, this is just the kind of tale for the lingering cold nights * Culturefly * A classic of the genre. Anyone who loves Wuthering Heights will adore this -- Rory Clements Completely and brilliantly rooted in the rhythms and detail of moorland farming, The Coffin Path is also that very rare thing: a ghost story that is genuinely and memorably scary. I loved it -- Ashley Pharoah (Creator of Life on Mars and The Living and the Dead) A beautifully written, nuanced ghost story which packs a powerful emotional punch. Katherine Clements expertly layers her story of the Yorkshire moors with a burgeoning sense of evil and impending emotional crisis. A haunting and evocative gothic story for a winter's evening -- Sophia Tobin As dark and unsettling as I'd hoped. A brilliant ghost story. Her best novel yet -- Anna Mazzola The Coffin Path is exquisite - the intense and brooding sense of place is reminiscent of Wuthering Heights, while Clements' characters are as vividly evoked as the dark fate hovering over them all. Highly recommended -- Alison Littlewood A chilling and disturbing tale of unusual power. The rich, textured writing delivers a gripping sense of time and place. I was convinced, transfixed, transported and I'll be keeping these characters close to me for a long time to come -- Imogen Robertson Seriously impressive... A good ghost story needs an absolutely authentic framework and a clear place in history, which is what we get here. The supernatural seeps into Scarcross Hall like rising damp, but the real horror is in the everyday cruelty of country life and its lingering barbarism. Even as your heart bleeds for the admirable Mercy Booth, you sense things are only going to get worse... -- Phil Rickman (author of the Merrily Watkins novels) A stunning read! I couldn't put it down. The writing is achingly beautiful and the atmosphere chillingly realised. Both as a historical novel and a ghost story it is so emotional and compelling that I'll be recommending it to everyone -- Nicola Cornick (author of The Phantom Tree) I enjoy a ghost story, but I have found it difficult lately to find one that kept me on edge. The Coffin Path has made up for recent disappointments; it is one of the eeriest books that I have read * Steph's Book Blog * The Yorkshire moors are as bleak here as they've ever been but mix in a ghostly tale, the ghosts of men returning from war and secrets hidden under lock and key and you're in for a real treat. Katherine writes with flair and a flicker of fear in the pen. The scratches of each and every word will pierce your heart and make it go faster... Chillingly brilliant * The Booktrail * A story combination of historical fiction and ghostly goings on is the perfect read for cold wet nights * Postcard Reviews * A chilling and eerie story this is bound to make many lists as a 'must read' book for next Halloween * Novel Heights * Like an unlikely love-child of the Bronte sisters and Daphne du Maurier, Clements has created a rich world in which to wreak havoc on her characters * Bookbag * As much a hymn to the Yorkshire countryside and the old farming traditions as it is a terrifying historical chiller. It is so rich in its beautifully rendered atmosphere that I could feel it pressing at my chest -- Jason Hewitt
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About Katherine Clements

Katherine Clements is a critically acclaimed novelist, self-confessed costume drama addict and current Royal Literary Fund Fellow at the University of Manchester. She is editor of Historia, the online magazine of the Historical Writers' Association, and is a member of the HWA committee.

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Rating details

1,779 ratings
3.64 out of 5 stars
5 22% (384)
4 36% (641)
3 30% (535)
2 10% (173)
1 3% (46)
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