The Coffin Path
The Coffin Path is an eerie and compelling seventeenth-century ghost story set on the dark wilds of the Yorkshire moors. For fans of Michelle Paver and Sarah Waters, this gothic tale will weave its way into your imagination and chill you to the bone.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.

The Coffin Path Details

TitleThe Coffin Path
Author
ReleaseFeb 8th, 2018
PublisherHeadline Review
ISBN-139781472204271
Rating
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Gothic, Horror, Fiction, Ghost Stories

The Coffin Path Review

  • Paromjit
    January 1, 1970
    Katherine Clements serves up a scarily creepy atmospheric gothic tale of ghosts and horror set in the Yorkshire Moors of the seventeenth century. It is a location that has been hit hard and poverty runs rampant, a place that has been deeply affected by the English Civil War, Cromwell's rule and the return of the monarchy to the country. It is steeped in rampant superstitions, rumours, fears and religious divisions. The dilapidated Scarcross Hall is the family home of the Booth family, on the old Katherine Clements serves up a scarily creepy atmospheric gothic tale of ghosts and horror set in the Yorkshire Moors of the seventeenth century. It is a location that has been hit hard and poverty runs rampant, a place that has been deeply affected by the English Civil War, Cromwell's rule and the return of the monarchy to the country. It is steeped in rampant superstitions, rumours, fears and religious divisions. The dilapidated Scarcross Hall is the family home of the Booth family, on the old coffin path that runs from the village and to the top, where there is a stone circle, known as the White Ladies, a site where horrifying macabre happenings occur. It is an area associated with an old evil, a house well acquainted with death, but Mercy Booth pays the local tales no heed, she is a strong, independent woman continuing the family tradition of sheep farming and she expects to inherit. It is a hard and demanding life, all the while under the threat of going under.Mercy's father, Bartram is a man in the throes of dementia, no longer able to work, a man who hides much. There are weird and odd sounds that emanate from a unused bedroom and old coins Bartram collected from the site of the White Ladies have vanished. A new work hand has been taken on by Mercy despite her misgivings, Ellis Ferreby, someone she eventually turns outs to be grateful for, as the local hands leave. Ellis, who has his own secrets becomes transfixed and obsessed with Mercy. Sheep are gruesomely mutilated, and amidst hostility from the local community, it is alleged that Mercy is a witch. Mercy finds strength and faith in her connection with the landscape, as she finds she is no longer able to ignore the danger, nor deny what is happening around her and the weather becomes increasingly inclement.The narrative is related from the perspective of Mercy and Ellis. Clements writing evokes the menace and tension beautifully, her descriptions give a strong sense of place and the nature of sheep farming. She has a real skill in the way she builds up the tension and suspense, creating real fear in me as the reader. This is a story of ghosts and secrets that will chill. I highly recommend this novel for those in search of a spooky atmospheric read. Many thanks to Headline for an ARC.
    more
  • Bex (Beckie Bookworm)
    January 1, 1970
    🌟🌟🌟STARSARC-REVIEWRelease Date-8/2/18So the Coffin Path By Katherine Clements was a strange one for me, I was really looking forward to this but it didn't quite deliver and left me feeling a tad confused by that unexplained ending.So this book tells the story of Mercy Booth who lives at Scarcross Hall with her father and an old servant called Meg.Scarcross Hall is at the end of the old coffin path that winds up from the village to the top of the moor, hence the stories name. Stories Abound abou 🌟🌟🌟STARSARC-REVIEWRelease Date-8/2/18So the Coffin Path By Katherine Clements was a strange one for me, I was really looking forward to this but it didn't quite deliver and left me feeling a tad confused by that unexplained ending.So this book tells the story of Mercy Booth who lives at Scarcross Hall with her father and an old servant called Meg.Scarcross Hall is at the end of the old coffin path that winds up from the village to the top of the moor, hence the stories name. Stories Abound about the evil that resides up here.But Mercy isn't afraid she loves this land.And when a stranger appears seeking work Mercy reluctantly provides it.So the stranger, Ellis Ferreby and Mercy's tales are on a collision course and the fallout is going to be epic.So this is what I would class as a gothic ghost tale, set in the seventeenth century on the bleak Yorkshire Moors amid sheep country.The Coffin Path gives vivid descriptions throughout of the bleakness of the times.The first visual upon starting this is a graphic portrayal of Mercy aiding a sheeps labour and this book continues to provide vivid optical delights.The atmosphere created throughout hangs heavy with an extremely ominous feel.Despite this, I struggled at times to fully connect and though the mood was set there never seemed to be an adequate explanation for any of the events occurring.The Coffin Path mostly relies on its ambience, setting an aura of terror for the reader.I also felt there were just too many bloody sheep stories being told. I know where it was set, and the author did show her great knowledge of sheep farming back in the day, which is awesome, but for me, it was just a tad too much information.I was sick to the back bloody teeth of sheep.So the ending for this book took me completely by surprise, I saw some of it coming, but there was other stuff that I really wasn't expecting at all, and if I'm honest I actually feel rather sad and heartbroken for Ellis, poor bloke.I would have definitely prefered an alternative ending and actually felt that Mercy was a complete cow to the poor bloke.And also, as I said earlier, I am not quite sure what has actually happened here.It was all a bit weird if I'm honest.I was left feeling a bit deflated, this showed so much promise but for me fell totally flat in places.Saying that this was very well written and had such a lyrical prose you couldn't help being enthralled by the language and also the overall setting.So, in conclusion, this was a somewhat solid read but with some issues that I failed to overcome.I was provided with an ARC of "The Coffin Path" By Netgalley of which I have reviewed voluntary.All opinions expressed are entirely my own. Reviewed By Beckie Bookworm.https://www.facebook.com/beckiebookworm/www.beckiebookworm.com
    more
  •  ( A Bald Mage) *Keith*
    January 1, 1970
    Firstly I would like to thank Headline and Netgalley for allowing me to read and review this book."One marks the first to go. A second bodes the fall. The third will seal a sinner's fate. The Devil takes them all."Set in 1674 about 30 years after Oliver Cromwell's failed attempt at taking power from King Charles 1st we find ourselves on the bleak Yorkshire moors. Tending her sheep, Mercy Booth feels like she's being watched, not being able to shake this feeling she heads back to Scarcross Hall h Firstly I would like to thank Headline and Netgalley for allowing me to read and review this book."One marks the first to go. A second bodes the fall. The third will seal a sinner's fate. The Devil takes them all."Set in 1674 about 30 years after Oliver Cromwell's failed attempt at taking power from King Charles 1st we find ourselves on the bleak Yorkshire moors. Tending her sheep, Mercy Booth feels like she's being watched, not being able to shake this feeling she heads back to Scarcross Hall her family home. Upon reaching the door she turns and through the fog she's adamant she sees a ghostly figure that has followed her down from the moors. For full review please visit our blog at;https://twobaldmages.wordpress.com/20...https://twobaldmages.wordpress.com/
    more
  • Blair
    January 1, 1970
    Set in a 17th-century sheep-farming community against the harsh backdrop of the Yorkshire moors, The Coffin Path felt like a book I could sink into and just savour right from the beginning. This historical ghost story is a fabulous example of great storytelling, rich with detail and drama.Mercy Booth is the only daughter of a widowed landowner. Her father's health is declining, and Mercy has not married or had children. In an age when women do not tend to inherit, Mercy nevertheless believes she Set in a 17th-century sheep-farming community against the harsh backdrop of the Yorkshire moors, The Coffin Path felt like a book I could sink into and just savour right from the beginning. This historical ghost story is a fabulous example of great storytelling, rich with detail and drama.Mercy Booth is the only daughter of a widowed landowner. Her father's health is declining, and Mercy has not married or had children. In an age when women do not tend to inherit, Mercy nevertheless believes she will ultimately take ownership of Scarcross Hall. But this year, there are bad omens: the first lamb of spring has a difficult birth, and the ewe that bore it dies immediately afterwards. The locals are beginning to turn against the Booths – in part because they are suspicious of Mercy's status – and the arrival of a mysterious stranger named Ellis Ferreby seems to stir up even more discontent. Most disturbing of all are the unaccountable noises, footsteps and other signs of movement emanating from an abandoned bedroom at the Hall.There's a nice feminist slant to Mercy's character, and her independence is well-realised without making her seem anachronistic. Clements does a great job of depicting her faith, too. Mercy is a woman who feels closest to God when she is communing with nature: 'I'm with Him when I'm out on the moor, when I see His hand at work in life, death and the turning of the world.' The Coffin Path contains some creepy details, but much of the narrative is devoted to establishing the character of Mercy, her past, and the relationships the Booths have with the local community, as well as the expert scene-setting required to turn the success or failure of a farm into a nail-biting plight.The plot steps up its pace in the final chapters; I found myself turning the pages pretty feverishly, desperate to find out how it would all end... and I wasn't disappointed. The ending is a virtuoso flourish that ties a neat (albeit pitch-black) bow around the story's various strands and twists.(Also: it's always nice when books you read close together have a kind of serendipitous symmetry. The Coffin Path has enough in common with Andrew Michael Hurley's superb Devil’s Day that it could almost be a prequel. The setting is never specifically named, allowing me to imagine it as the Endlands hundreds of years before the events of Hurley's novel. The rural northern setting, the sheep-farming family, the locals' fear of the Devil lurking on the moors... it's all there. And the coffin path of the Booths' era might have become Reapers' Walk by the time the Pentecosts arrived. The Coffin Path also reminded me of another excellent historical horror novel, Rawblood by Catriona Ward, and there's one detail in particular that makes it uncannily similar to Laura Purcell's The Silent Companions.)I received an advance review copy of The Coffin Path from the publisher through NetGalley.TinyLetter | Twitter | Instagram | Tumblr
    more
  • Cathy
    January 1, 1970
    Find all my book reviews, plus fascinating author interviews, exclusive guest posts and book extracts, on my blog: https://whatcathyreadnext.wordpress.com/The Coffin Path’s striking opening line - “I was born with blood on my hands” - sets the scene for a story full of atmosphere and chilling moments. Ancient curses, family secrets, a remote moorland setting and a crumbling old house reached only by an ancient track called the coffin path – what more do you want?Very much in the tradition of M. Find all my book reviews, plus fascinating author interviews, exclusive guest posts and book extracts, on my blog: https://whatcathyreadnext.wordpress.com/The Coffin Path’s striking opening line - “I was born with blood on my hands” - sets the scene for a story full of atmosphere and chilling moments. Ancient curses, family secrets, a remote moorland setting and a crumbling old house reached only by an ancient track called the coffin path – what more do you want?Very much in the tradition of M. R. James, the sinister atmosphere the author creates comes more from suggestion than full-blown in your face horror. Noises from empty rooms, objects moving or disappearing without seeming human intervention, sudden chills or unusual scents are far scarier and unsettling to my mind than coming face-to-face with a monster. There is one particular scene that definitely made me want to draw the bedcovers up over my head! All the time the reader is made to wonder whether there is malicious human agency behind the goings-on, whether they are the product of a feverish or disturbed imagination – mass hysteria even - or there is an actual supernatural presence.As word of the strange occurrences at Scarcross Hall reach the wider community it’s not long before superstitious minds see the work of the Devil behind them and seek to assign blame. Like other women down the ages, Mercy, as an independent-minded, unconventional and most importantly unmarried woman, is an easy target for their suspicions, especially when fuelled by grudges of a more personal nature. Alongside the strange events in the house, the author presents a convincing and detailed picture of the everyday struggle to eke out a livelihood on a remote moorland farm. There is some wonderful descriptive writing that conjures up the wild beauty of the moor that surrounds Scarcross Hall. ‘Now, in this moment, the wind brings it to him: the rich savour of damp peat, must and decay, the metallic, coppery scent of snow and ancient, rainwashed stone, a hint of salt and sea storms.’ I also liked the use of alliteration in lines like, ‘He craves the comfort of it, longs for the liquidity of limbs, the gradual sink into silent contemplation.’I have to say that although the story is set in the 17th century, I didn’t get an overwhelming sense of that period for a lot of the book. It felt that it could just have easily been set in the 18th or 19th century. However, this does change towards the end of the book as the events and upheaval of the recent Civil War become more central to the story. The Coffin Path is a satisfyingly creepy ghost story that builds slowly to a dramatic climax as secrets are finally revealed. I received an advance reader copy courtesy of NetGalley and publishers Headline in return for an honest and unbiased review.
    more
  • Kate
    January 1, 1970
    Atmospheric and very spooky historical ghost story. A compelling read.
  • Jackie Law
    January 1, 1970
    The Coffin Path, by Katherine Clements, is a ghost story set on the edge of a lonesome moor in 1674. Its protagonist is thirty-two year old Mercy Booth who lives in the gradually decaying splendour of Scarcross Hall with her ageing father, Bartram, and his faithful servant, Agnes. Mercy works alongside the shepherds and farmhands hired to till their land and care for the flock of sheep that provide the family’s main income. She has been told that one day it will all be hers.The story opens with The Coffin Path, by Katherine Clements, is a ghost story set on the edge of a lonesome moor in 1674. Its protagonist is thirty-two year old Mercy Booth who lives in the gradually decaying splendour of Scarcross Hall with her ageing father, Bartram, and his faithful servant, Agnes. Mercy works alongside the shepherds and farmhands hired to till their land and care for the flock of sheep that provide the family’s main income. She has been told that one day it will all be hers.The story opens with the arrival of the first of the season’s lambs. It is not an easy birth and proves a portent of happenings to come. The first of these is the arrival of a stranger, Ellis Ferreby, who is looking for employment. Although the locals are wary of outsiders he is taken on, proving himself a capable shepherd and hard worker.Mercy has spent her life out on the moor but notices a new, chilling presence, a feeling of being watched as she goes about familiar tasks. Within the hall she hears unexplained noises above the expected creaks and movement of the old house. There have long been rumours of a curse, and her father is suffering a decline of mind.In her troubles Mercy finds herself drawn to Ellis although both keep their thoughts and fears close. Their interactions are noticed by a local man, Henry Ravens, who grows jealous and threatens to denounce Mercy. Within the hall, Bartram becomes agitated when items he values go missing. These include three old coins, one of which is found under the pillow of a young lad named Sam, the son of the head shepherd and a favourite of the master.Sam is often around the hall, spending time with Bartram in his study. As the year progresses and strange events continue to unfold the boy becomes agitated and withdrawn. Mercy suspects he knows more than he is saying but cannot coax him to confide in her. Likewise she is unwilling to share her fears with even those she would previously have trusted.Mutilated lambs are discovered and bad weather threatens the harvest. Along with the ghostly noises from an unused chamber within Scarcross there is much to concern the Booths and those who rely on their employ. Mercy fears that her sinfulness has brought down punishment from God. Ellis watches and waits, keeping his true reason for being there from all.The plot has many elements of a good ghost story: a run down hall housing secretive sinister artefacts; rumours of an ancient curse linked to the devil; fear of the dead returning; accusations of witchcraft. The church plays a role as does the stranger with a past that is revealed gradually. It is unfortunate that I guessed the main twist early on, and that I struggled to maintain engagement as the Booth’s troubles mounted. I would have preferred a tighter plot construction and a clearer drawing together of the mysterious and the supernatural.Having said that the last fifty pages held the strongest part of the story. There was horror aplenty and a spine chilling final line.A tale that started and ended well enough but felt somewhat bloated in between. I am left feeling underwhelmed.My copy of this book was provided gratis by the publisher, Headline Review.
    more
  • Thebooktrail
    January 1, 1970
    Visit the locations in the novelThis made the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end, my eyes pop right open, my mouth drop in shock....you get the idea. If I owned a room divider/screen it would now be so far away from my house as I could get it. Next time I hear a sheep, I'm probably going to have a heart attack, and what is that amongst the trees at night?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 h Visit the locations in the novelThis made the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end, my eyes pop right open, my mouth drop in shock....you get the idea. If I owned a room divider/screen it would now be so far away from my house as I could get it. Next time I hear a sheep, I'm probably going to have a heart attack, and what is that amongst the trees at night?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. Read with the lights on - better still read in the daylight as if the lights go out....
    more
  • Blodeuedd Finland
    January 1, 1970
    17th century. The Moors. A house that is said to be haunted and a stone circle where witches and the devil play. I had no idea what to believe, but something was sure going on.Mercy loves the land, her sheep, her life. She is content as it is. But her dad is loosing it and then things start to happen. Just as they have happened not everyone living there before them. All who have met violent ends.She goes on with her life. It is lambing season, then it's shearing season, then the grass needs to b 17th century. The Moors. A house that is said to be haunted and a stone circle where witches and the devil play. I had no idea what to believe, but something was sure going on.Mercy loves the land, her sheep, her life. She is content as it is. But her dad is loosing it and then things start to happen. Just as they have happened not everyone living there before them. All who have met violent ends.She goes on with her life. It is lambing season, then it's shearing season, then the grass needs to be taken in for the winter. All while things happen. Dark things. Little things. There are footsteps. There are shadows...or is it just imagination?I liked that it took place when it did. Cos then everyone could talk about witches and the devil. Ignorant fools! But, something dark is there. And even as I close the book I do not know what. There is just true darkness in the shadows. And I would have left that place years ago.I enjoyed it and I liked that it gave things away little by little.One of those horror stories where you do not know what to expect and as you turn the last page, you know, you know you are not alone and you get chills down your spine. Then the darkness begins.
    more
  • michelle
    January 1, 1970
    I would like to thank Headline and Netgalley for and ARC of this book.The Coffin path is a 17th Century ghost story set in the Yorkshire moors. Where Mercy and Father Bertram Booth live in a place called Scarcross Hall just off the coffin path. Where she has lived all her life. Where they employ other people to look after the sheep over the moors and When her father dies hope to be the mistress of Scarcross hall. But in then times women who are not married cannot inherit the land. It will have t I would like to thank Headline and Netgalley for and ARC of this book.The Coffin path is a 17th Century ghost story set in the Yorkshire moors. Where Mercy and Father Bertram Booth live in a place called Scarcross Hall just off the coffin path. Where she has lived all her life. Where they employ other people to look after the sheep over the moors and When her father dies hope to be the mistress of Scarcross hall. But in then times women who are not married cannot inherit the land. It will have to be sold as presently they have both fallen on hard times and their life is about sheep farming. But one day, some sheep are found mutilated and Mercy senses that there is evil about and watching her closely. Some of the local villagers think that Mercy is a witch. Also her father Bertram is suffering from dementia. Things don’t look good for the both of them. Until Ellis arrives and he fits right it.This is a spooky, atmospheric gothic tale which I enjoyed but, I didn’t like or relate to any characters in the story and I also thought that at times the story just kept on repeating itself talking about dead sheep. Where, the author could have put more action in the story then talk about sheep.
    more
  • Stephanie
    January 1, 1970
    The Coffin Path is an eerie tale that takes place on the Yorkshire Moors in the 17th century. It’s a hard place to live, the bleakness, the years after the war and its in a remote area that is reliant on good weather to make a decent living. And there is a rumour that has never gone away of an evil presence on the moors and especially at Scarcross Hall, the home of Mercy and her father.The novel has two narrators. Ellis, who has recently arrived in the area and Mercy. Ellis has a barely hinted a The Coffin Path is an eerie tale that takes place on the Yorkshire Moors in the 17th century. It’s a hard place to live, the bleakness, the years after the war and its in a remote area that is reliant on good weather to make a decent living. And there is a rumour that has never gone away of an evil presence on the moors and especially at Scarcross Hall, the home of Mercy and her father.The novel has two narrators. Ellis, who has recently arrived in the area and Mercy. Ellis has a barely hinted at past and at first Mercy doesn’t trust him. But, when all her regular workers abandon her he is one of her only allies. There isn’t much of his narration that covers the sinister events, apart from what happens with the livestock.Mercy is the character who is affected most by what is happening. She can see her father’s health deteriorate with what is occurring as well as changing behavior of Sam, a young boy who lives nearby. Most of her narration had me warily looking over my shoulder and tensing at every noise I heard. If I had a fire screen it would have been removed from the house, it was one of the creepiest parts of the novel, and it brought me out in goosebumps more than once.As well as being a ghost story it was also a historical one. The English Civil War had an impact on the area and many of the characters in the novel were affected by it. Some of them were living in poverty and suspicious of those who had a different religion. Many of the locals weren’t likeable, but living in fear of losing everything and listening to tales of witchcraft and unexplained occurences must have made a difficult situation to live in. I imagine that this was an accurate description for the time.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 for a few years. And with the addition of historical fiction in a period of time that had an impact locally.With thanks to the publisher for the copy received.
    more
  • Yvonne
    January 1, 1970
    Set in the 17th century on the eerie Yorkshire Moors. Meet Mercy, she lives with her father Bartram Booth and Agnes in Scarcross Hall. They are in the heart of the sheep community and part of a close-knit of herders, shepherds and locals. But when a stranger appears looking for work, is it coincidence that things take on a turn that boarders on creepy maybe even supernatural.The descriptions given of the contrasts that can be experienced on the moors have been vividly told, they paint a beautifu Set in the 17th century on the eerie Yorkshire Moors. Meet Mercy, she lives with her father Bartram Booth and Agnes in Scarcross Hall. They are in the heart of the sheep community and part of a close-knit of herders, shepherds and locals. But when a stranger appears looking for work, is it coincidence that things take on a turn that boarders on creepy maybe even supernatural.The descriptions given of the contrasts that can be experienced on the moors have been vividly told, they paint a beautiful and bleak image. She has explored the deeply rooted sense of community. But when uncertainty mixed with fear is in the air then self-preservation is utmost priority, woe betide anyone getting on the wrong side of community spirit. Fear is something that lurks in the minds of some, makes them think of things from the past, it creeps into the heads and when things go missing, noises are heard and items are moved the feeling that something more is going on.The plot itself is a good suspense filled one, it paints the bleak, rugged and dangerous moors as a backdrop for a more intense feeling. I was never quite sure who or what was the cause, but by the end I felt quite satisfied that my questions and thoughts had been answered. Mercy is a hard but likeable character, the epitomizes the strength required to work, a woman in a man’s world, doing a man’s job, just as good as any man as well. She is a powerful character, and there were times that she did have more of a feminine side.I thought this was a great read, it has the eerie suspense of evil that chitters away in the background, occasionally raising its head to remind you of its presence. It is atmospheric and has a beautiful description of the moors and surrounding areas. This is a book I would definitely recommend to readers of historical fiction, suspense and in my opinion only a hint of horror.
    more
  • Mairead Hearne (swirlandthread.com)
    January 1, 1970
    'One coin marks the first to goA second bodes the fallThe third will seal a sinner’s fateThe 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…The Coffin Path….even the name alone brings out the goos 'One coin marks the first to goA second bodes the fallThe third will seal a sinner’s fateThe 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…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!!
    more
  • Ophelia Sings
    January 1, 1970
    The Yorkshire moors are in Mercy Booth's blood. As is the crumbling, isolated Scarcross Hall - her childhood home. And she will do anything to remain there. Anything...Religion, love and death stalk the pages of Katherine Clements' deeply atmospheric, ghostly yarn. Rich in historic detail, The Coffin Path is set in an England still reeling in the aftermath of civil war - the effects of which reach even the most desolate corners of the Yorkshire moors. Clements vividly evokes this bleak setting, The Yorkshire moors are in Mercy Booth's blood. As is the crumbling, isolated Scarcross Hall - her childhood home. And she will do anything to remain there. Anything...Religion, love and death stalk the pages of Katherine Clements' deeply atmospheric, ghostly yarn. Rich in historic detail, The Coffin Path is set in an England still reeling in the aftermath of civil war - the effects of which reach even the most desolate corners of the Yorkshire moors. Clements vividly evokes this bleak setting, the changes of the season and the trials of sheep farming in such a punishing location recalling Hardy at his most lyrical. Most effective are the wintry scenes - it's here that Scarcross, cut off from the world, feels at its most desolate and brooding, rendering it the perfect setting for the horrors which occur within its ancient walls.Mercy cuts a wonderful character, no-nonsense and independent with her breeches and calloused hands at a time when such behaviour ran the risk of accusations of witchcraft. Her all-consuming drive to claim what she feels is rightfully hers in the face of deeply superstitious and patriarchal 17th century society is enthralling as it unfolds, even as it leads her into danger. Clements has crafted a chillingly vivid world, one which the reader doesn't always feel comfortable inhabiting - yet we read on, compelled. There is stark beauty here, and the tension is often palpable - though the shadowy figures and curious nocturnal creepings are not the only source of fear, as superstition and the actions of lynch-mob locals chill us to the bone. Few characters are as they seem, yet all are well drawn, substantial and elicit sympathy and revulsion in turn. The strong-willed woman at one with the moor and the intense, handsome stranger seems familiar, but The Coffin Path is written for more modern tastes - this is a visceral tale, unafraid of gore and nature red in tooth and claw, and the shattering denouement would rock even the most open-minded Victorian sensibilities. It's beautifully and sensitively executed, however, and the thick sense of dread never lets up for a moment.The dialogue, unfortunately, is a little inauthentic - we often forget we are in 1674. Although the reader is undoubtedly transported to a past age, it feels more in common with the 19th century than the 17th - perhaps unavoidable, given the tropes with which we're dealing. It's a shame, too, that the chilling - and often, downright terrifying - events at Scarcross Hall are never satisfactorily explained - is it a ghost, and if so, whose? Or is it the Devil himself, rumoured as he is to stalk the moors and Scarcross in particular? Nevertheless, they add another disoncerting layer to what is already an intense, dark tale.The Coffin Path is part ghost story, part dark romance, part historical drama. But for me, it's at its most effective when viewed as a chronicle of the struggles of women at a period when they had no voice. The spiralling horrors are a metaphor for the unravelling of Mercy's mind in her desperation to save her home and way of life, and it is painful and harrowing to witness.A deeply unsettling tale whose minor flaws are eclipsed by darkly shimmering prose, rich texture and immaculate characterisation, The Coffin Path possesses great depth and nuance, and represents spooky storytelling at its (near) finest.My thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
    more
  • Irene
    January 1, 1970
    Gothic 17th century ghost story set high up on the Yorkshire moors. Mercy Booth is content with her life, mistress of Scarcross Hall, assisting her father, and being a shepherdess but all that changes when she suddenly senses great danger, that something is watching and chasing her as she rushes home one evening. Shortly after an enigmatic stranger turns up - who is he and what does he want? A chilly, atmospheric story, best read when the light is fading and then the imagination can run riot! I Gothic 17th century ghost story set high up on the Yorkshire moors. Mercy Booth is content with her life, mistress of Scarcross Hall, assisting her father, and being a shepherdess but all that changes when she suddenly senses great danger, that something is watching and chasing her as she rushes home one evening. Shortly after an enigmatic stranger turns up - who is he and what does he want? A chilly, atmospheric story, best read when the light is fading and then the imagination can run riot! I loved the very descriptive scenes and could see how hard life must have been in those days - not just the hard work but they were living in superstitious times. Some very creepy moments but wish there had been more of those and less about sheep and all their doings! I was given this ARC by the publisher and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
    more
  • Tracy Shephard
    January 1, 1970
    Firstly I loved the reading voice in my head for this novel..and I think that owes a lot to the author Katherine Clements. It is a beautifully written tale.Mercy Booth feels that someone is watching as she rushes back to her house after birthing the first lamb of the season, unfortunately the ewe died during the birth just like Mercy's own mother did having her.Her father now to old to Shepherd, is superstitious, and collects coins. Not money, but odd coins that he'd found at the stone circle on Firstly I loved the reading voice in my head for this novel..and I think that owes a lot to the author Katherine Clements. It is a beautifully written tale.Mercy Booth feels that someone is watching as she rushes back to her house after birthing the first lamb of the season, unfortunately the ewe died during the birth just like Mercy's own mother did having her.Her father now to old to Shepherd, is superstitious, and collects coins. Not money, but odd coins that he'd found at the stone circle on the moor.The Coffin Path is an atmospheric and descriptive novel. Mercy is quite a character. A hard worker who has no time for anything but the sheep farming.A story combination of historical fiction and ghostly goings on is the perfect read for cold wet nights and is one I thoroughly enjoyed and would recommend.
    more
  • Sally Boocock
    January 1, 1970
    Have you ever read a book you never want to end. Well this is one of those. It grips you like a vice which won't let go.It is a beautifully written tale encapsulating the bleakness, beauty and cruelty of the Yorkshire moors. Reminiscent of Wuthering Heights but with a far more menacing presence. Cannot recommend it highly enough.
    more
  • Kirsty
    January 1, 1970
    The lamb scene. Eww. I can't deal.
  • Alison
    January 1, 1970
    I received a copy of this book in return for an honest review via Netgalley.This story gave me the creeps from the very start, a chill down my spine, and the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. Let me tell you, very few books spook me as this one did.The story begins on a bleak Yorkshire Moor with death, and it creeps on from there! I can’t say that the characters were likeable, as I don’t think that was the intention. Instead they are effective in their roles in chilling the reader.I loved t I received a copy of this book in return for an honest review via Netgalley.This story gave me the creeps from the very start, a chill down my spine, and the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. Let me tell you, very few books spook me as this one did.The story begins on a bleak Yorkshire Moor with death, and it creeps on from there! I can’t say that the characters were likeable, as I don’t think that was the intention. Instead they are effective in their roles in chilling the reader.I loved that we are introduced to Mercy right away, and to Scarcross Hall. The Hall certainly is the star of the show.This is for anyone who loves a gothic ghost story. Looking forward to Katherine Clements’s next book.
    more
  • Sophie Eminson
    January 1, 1970
    I opened The Coffin Path by Katherine Clements anxious and excited, and I was not disappointed. Published yesterday, this novel is eerie and dark, relying on gradual tension building. As the reader, you must commit yourself to reading this book and choosing which characters to trust along the way. With a lot of murder, spooky ghost stories embedded and a weird atmosphere overall, this book is not for everyone, but it certainly is for those with a dark taste.The PlotThe Coffin Path is told from a I opened The Coffin Path by Katherine Clements anxious and excited, and I was not disappointed. Published yesterday, this novel is eerie and dark, relying on gradual tension building. As the reader, you must commit yourself to reading this book and choosing which characters to trust along the way. With a lot of murder, spooky ghost stories embedded and a weird atmosphere overall, this book is not for everyone, but it certainly is for those with a dark taste.The PlotThe Coffin Path is told from a few narrative perspectives, focusing on Mercy Booth and Ellis Ferreby as he mysteriously arrives at the gothic setting, Scarcross Hall. As with any brilliant gothic horror, the setting starts off as mildly eerie, yet full of life with the characters who liven the hall. However, one by one their true natures are revealed, as Mercy deals with learning some harrowing truths about her family and spooky happenings in the night. As sheep start to die around her, old witching rumours resurface as she is branded as evil and cast out from society.What I likedI liked this book because it dives straight in at the deep end and doesn’t let the reader up for air very often. It begins with some rather gross descriptions of sheep giving birth, which sets the tone for the rest of the novel. From there, the dark, winter setting reflected the slowly darkening spirits of Scarcross Hall’s residents. As they learn of their fates and come to plenty of realisations, their natures emerge and I enjoyed seeing the difference in how each character dealt with loss and grief.Agnes is a very likeable character, as she senses when things are amiss yet is often ignored until something is needed from her. Sam, the young boy, is essentially the mischief maker, causing incidents to happen yet not realising the effect they are having on the rest of the families. Ellis comes across very well for most of the story, and as a reader, I was drawn to his quiet, heroic behaviour, which you can never fully trust. Mercy’s character grows a lot within the story, as she takes on more responsibility and ‘presents herself as a man’ in order to keep the lives of her family stable.The narrative itself is slow-paced, however keeps you gripped as the tension is built. I enjoyed the realistic nature and the way that the historical aspects are presented; Mercy struggling to prove that she is the rightful heir to Scarcross Hall whilst being a woman.What could have been done betterThere wasn’t much I didn’t like about this novel; the characters are well thought out, they inspire emotion and make you trust their nature. However, there were a few chapters which I felt dragged the narrative out unnecessarily. I felt that the characters spent a lot of time not talking about a lot of things, yet having conversations with subtext of the real issues which got frustrating at times, particularly between Mercy and Ellis.Aside from this, I didn’t not like anything particularly. This book would not be for everyone, and nor should it be.Overall, I felt that the narrative was inspired, using accurate historical quirks and figures, such as the companion. The characters saw some real development and none of them were one-sided, superficial or used as plot devices. Any avid read will appreciate all of these things. This novel is inherently gothic, dark and murderous. I loved the creepy settings, the awful depictions of birth and death how they really are, as opposed to how people describe them usually. It was candid and there was an air of deception and mystery surrounding a lot of the characters.I would recommend this book to anyone with a strong stomach, who wants to be unsettled and a bit disturbed. I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley for an honest review.
    more
  • Elizabeth Moffat
    January 1, 1970
    First of all, thank you so much to Headline publishers and Caitlin Raynor for allowing me to read a copy of this eerie, fascinating novel, set on the Yorkshire moors in the seventeenth century via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. I love a good ghost story but haven't read one in quite some time and definitely haven't read one that gripped me as much as the story of Mercy Booth and her moors filled with sheep did. It's an incredibly atmospheric novel and I could visualise the moors tha First of all, thank you so much to Headline publishers and Caitlin Raynor for allowing me to read a copy of this eerie, fascinating novel, set on the Yorkshire moors in the seventeenth century via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. I love a good ghost story but haven't read one in quite some time and definitely haven't read one that gripped me as much as the story of Mercy Booth and her moors filled with sheep did. It's an incredibly atmospheric novel and I could visualise the moors that Mercy lives on and the sheep that are in her care in full, glorious detail. The house that she lives in with her father and housekeeper becomes almost a character unto itself with the number of secrets it keeps and the strange noises that have started to emanate from a locked bedroom within the house, terrifying residents and visitors alike.Our story begins with Mercy tearing out into the inclement weather to assist a ewe who is struggling to give birth to her lamb (more on this scene later) and from there we learn about Mercy's life, an independent young woman who has taken most of the work of looking after her family's flock from her father as his health, strength and mind begins to fail. She is determined, strong and fiercely loyal to her family's business and probably knows as much or indeed more about looking after sheep than her head shepherd does. The novel follows her life as they take on a mysterious new worker, stranger to the town Ellis Ferreby, the family start to discover a number of mutilated sheep on the premises, precious things of her father's go missing and there are aforementioned curious noises from the bedroom where a young boy once died. Meanwhile, all residents at the property are starting to get an odd sense that someone is watching them and wishes them ill. For what purpose? All will be revealed but the journey to get there might make you want to turn the lights back on if you're reading this just before bed.This novel has one of the most brutal and graphic beginnings I've ever read and although it doesn't set the tone for what the rest of the book is going to be like (i.e. not so graphic) I'd seriously go into it with your stomach well fortified! Our main character, Mercy is birthing a lamb and in full, gory detail the process is described to the reader as Mercy struggles to save both the newborn and its mother. I'm lucky enough to have quite a strong stomach (must be the huge volume of horror tomes I've read in the past?), and as soon as I read this opening chapter I knew I was going to enjoy this book. Not so much for the content I hasten to add, but for the writing style, the setting and how Katherine Clements pulls you into Mercy's world effortlessly, where not only can you visualise everything around her but you're fighting her corner completely and hoping that she manages to save the animals from certain death.The Coffin Path is very much a book that illustrates the sign of the times where poverty, superstition, rumours of witchcraft and fear of religion - that is to say, what would happen if you didn't attend church are rife. The author portrays these attitudes and worries perfectly and it's a fine historical account of what it might be like to live in England in these frightening times. Speaking of frightening, there's passages of this narrative that I think will stay with me for a long time yet, it was incredibly creepy and disconcerting and there's a particular fire screen that I don't think I will ever forget! I loved the whole gothic nature of Mercy's story and not only was her character written to perfection, instantly making me root for her but she was flawed, vulnerable and undeniably human which I adored. I'm not going to talk about the ending too much but let me just say, if you like being shocked you're in for a treat here. Unfortunately, I kind of guessed parts of the "big reveal," but luckily, not everything surrounding it and it was a fantastic way to finish off an engrossing and thrilling novel.For my full review and many more, please visit my blog at http://www.bibliobeth.com
    more
  • Sam Law
    January 1, 1970
    Yorkshire - 1674. Little Bo-Peep has found her sheep - and they have been torn to pieces on the dark Yorkshire moors!The Coffin Path opens arm-deep in blood, and there is yet an ocean of it to cross before the end. That, however, is not the scary part of this supernatural horror story.Read more reviews here on my blog: It's Good To Read.Mercy Booth is the mistress of Scarcross Hall, an isolated farmhouse set deep in the Yorkshire moors. She is born to the sheep-farming life, and lives in a super Yorkshire - 1674. Little Bo-Peep has found her sheep - and they have been torn to pieces on the dark Yorkshire moors!The Coffin Path opens arm-deep in blood, and there is yet an ocean of it to cross before the end. That, however, is not the scary part of this supernatural horror story.Read more reviews here on my blog: It's Good To Read.Mercy Booth is the mistress of Scarcross Hall, an isolated farmhouse set deep in the Yorkshire moors. She is born to the sheep-farming life, and lives in a superstitious area still reeling from the after-effects of the English Civil war and Cromwell, with deep poverty and hunger everywhere. She is not a local, however, her father having bought and moved to the property some thirty years previously. Mercy is an independent woman, most happy when out on the moor and with her animals, who has had her heart broken before we meet her and now prefers meaningless encounters as she believes she will never marry. She is the only daughter of Bertram Booth, who to modern eyes is clearly suffering from dementia, and she believes she will inherit all upon his death. Though she is not intending his death to be anytime soon, there is a malice in the house that bodes no-one good, and Scarcross Hall is the subject of local gossip and devil-legends, and has its own bloody history.From the beginning, the oppressive chill in the air draws us in. Anyone who has been on the moors knows there is a thin wall between this world and the next, and Clements superbly re-creates the sinister, menacing environment surrounding Mercy, to which Mercy is very attuned. An ancient stone circle called the White Ladies, which has a Slaying Stone, is a powerful yet bleak location, and rumours of old curses being cast here are rife. Throughout the book, there is a watching presence, with unexplained (and inexplicable) events, noises and movements coming from unpeopled rooms, valuable items disappearing and reappearing, ghostly figures seen from the corner of eyes.Increasingly reliant on Ellis Ferreby, a wanderer she met on the moor and offered employment too, she watches helplessly as her father slides further away from her, her flock is decimated by gruesome deaths and the increasingly pitiless winter storms, her neighbours turn ever more hostile towards her (a childless unmarried 30+ woman always ran the risk of being called a witch, which usually meant a death-sentence), she feels the darkness tighten its stranglehold on her. Ferreby, though proving himself a highly-skilled shepherd, has his own agenda, and is riven with his own emotional turmoil.Every character has secrets in this book, some of which they reveal, some of which are found out, and some tantalise. The book increases in pace in the second part, the heart quickens, and it is hard to put down.The final chapters are well-done, and the last few scenes are really intense. The truth will always find a way to come out. This was an excellent read, a ghost story with real menace.Thanks to NetGalley for giving me a free book to review.
    more
  • Helen
    January 1, 1970
    This is Katherine Clements’ third novel set in 17th century England, but it has a different feel from the previous two. Rather than being a straight historical novel like The Crimson Ribbon and The Silvered Heart, The Coffin Path is a ghost story with a lonely rural setting and this time there is much less focus on the political and social events of the period.It’s 1674 and there are signs that spring is on its way to the Yorkshire moors. The first lamb of the season is about to make its appeara This is Katherine Clements’ third novel set in 17th century England, but it has a different feel from the previous two. Rather than being a straight historical novel like The Crimson Ribbon and The Silvered Heart, The Coffin Path is a ghost story with a lonely rural setting and this time there is much less focus on the political and social events of the period.It’s 1674 and there are signs that spring is on its way to the Yorkshire moors. The first lamb of the season is about to make its appearance, but it is a difficult birth and requires human assistance. Mercy Booth of Scarcross Hall, who farms the land and tends the sheep for her elderly father, helps to deliver the lamb into the world but its mother dies in the process – the first of several bad omens. Next, three ancient gold coins go missing from her father’s collection and reappear in unexpected places – and then Mercy begins to hear noises coming from a disused bedchamber upstairs.Around this time, a stranger arrives looking for work. His name is Ellis Ferreby and although the local people are slow to trust him, he soon proves himself to be a good shepherd and a reliable worker. Ellis, however, is a man with secrets and it seems that he could have reasons of his own for coming to Scarcross Hall.We slowly get to know both Mercy and Ellis as their stories alternate with each other throughout the novel. We hear what Mercy’s life has been like, growing up without a mother, with only her eccentric father, Bartram, and the servants for company – and we learn of her hopes for the future, which centre around the knowledge that one day, as her father’s only heir, she will inherit her beloved Scarcross Hall. As for Ellis, his background is shrouded in mystery and the truth about both his past and his purpose in being at Scarcross is only revealed later in the novel.The 17th century is obviously a period which interests Katherine Clements and of which she has a lot of knowledge: The Crimson Ribbon was the story of a servant in the household of Oliver Cromwell, while The Silvered Heart was about a highwaywoman in the aftermath of the English Civil War. The Coffin Path is set just a few decades after those two books yet I felt that the story would have worked just as well if it had been set in almost any other period, either an earlier century or a later one. Although the effects of the recent Civil War do still linger in the lives of our characters, this only has any real significance towards the end of the book – otherwise, perhaps because Scarcross Hall is so isolated from the wider world, there is a general feeling of timelessness.However, what the novel lacks in sense of time is made up for in sense of place. There are some wonderful descriptions of the moors surrounding Scarcross Hall, bringing to life this harsh but beautiful landscape. We also explore some of the old traditions and beliefs which survive in this remote part of England: the White Ladies is an ancient stone circle which the villagers associate with evil, while the Coffin Path of the title refers to the old track down which coffins would be carried from the moors to the church for burial. It’s no wonder that in a place like this, people like Ellis and Mercy are viewed with suspicion and distrust – Ellis because he is an outsider and Mercy because she is an independent, unconventional woman, still unmarried in her thirties and doing ‘a man’s work’ on the farm.I enjoyed following the personal stories of both main characters and I liked the supernatural elements too: they were suitably eerie, but at the same time subtle enough to keep me wondering whether there really were ghosts involved or whether something else was happening. My only problem with the book (other than the fact that, like many novels these days, it is written in present tense) was that there were times when the plot seemed to be moving forward very slowly. It didn’t help that the first few chapters are devoted to describing, in great detail, the birth of a lamb; I would have preferred a stronger opening to pull me straight into the story.Of the three books by Katherine Clements I have read, I think I liked both of the others better than this one, but it’s good to see that she has tried something slightly different here. What will she write next, I wonder?
    more
  • Louise Marley
    January 1, 1970
    I love reading gothicky ghost stories, particularly at this time of year, and as soon as I saw the cover and title of this book I was intrigued. The story is set on the Yorkshire Moors in 1674, with the country still feeling the effects of the Civil War. The 'coffin path' is the well-worn path across the moor to the local church, passing Scarcross Hall. Once an impressive manor house, Scarcross Hall has now fallen on hard times, along with the fortunes of the people who live there: Bartram Booth I love reading gothicky ghost stories, particularly at this time of year, and as soon as I saw the cover and title of this book I was intrigued. The story is set on the Yorkshire Moors in 1674, with the country still feeling the effects of the Civil War. The 'coffin path' is the well-worn path across the moor to the local church, passing Scarcross Hall. Once an impressive manor house, Scarcross Hall has now fallen on hard times, along with the fortunes of the people who live there: Bartram Booth, his daughter Mercy, and their housekeeper Agnes. They lead a hand-to-mouth existence, completely dependant on sheep-farming. Mercy has taken over from her father, who is becoming increasingly senile, but working alongside the shepherds mean the villagers no longer respect her as the lady of the manor.A stranger arriving, seeking work, triggers a series of sinister events. Lambs are ritualistically slaughtered and left in the stone circle at the top of the moor; antique coins disappear, only to re-appear in unlikely places; and noises can be heard coming from a locked, empty room. Has evil arrived at Scarcross Hall? Or has it been there all the time?This was one of those books where I wavered between four and five stars. It is well-written and incredibly atmospheric, with a brilliant sense of place; the desolate moor is practically a character itself and reminded me of Wuthering Heights. Compelling and chilling, the slow build-up of tension had me completely on edge. There is a scene towards the end, where someone (or something?) throws stones through the glass window, which I read the same time as the postman shoved a parcel through my letter box. I was so involved in the story, I practically hit the ceiling! However, it is very bleak, with the characters suffering set-back after set-back, and there was a little too much detail about sheep-farming, particularly in the opening chapters.The Coffin Path is a leisurely read, so it won't suit anyone hoping for a quick succession of jump shocks, but I really enjoyed it. And if you love gothicky ghost stories, I'm sure you'll enjoy it too. Four and a half stars, rounded up to five.I was lucky enough to receive an advance copy of this book, which will be published on 8th February 2018.Thank you to Katherine Clements, Headline Review, and Netgalley for my copy of this book, which I received in exchange for an honest review.
    more
  • Daphne Sharpe
    January 1, 1970
    The coffin path is that rarity ,a truly scary horror read,with plenty of ghosts,deaths, and quite a few sheep!! Set on the Yorkshire Moors, in the 17th century,just after the English Civil Wars, Mercy Booth is a shepherdess, who lives at Scarcross Hall with her father,Bartram, and his serving woman, Agnes. The hall is falling into disrepair and money is scarce. There are rumours of a curse upon the hall and witchcraft being practiced upon a circle of standing stones,near to the hall,called the W The coffin path is that rarity ,a truly scary horror read,with plenty of ghosts,deaths, and quite a few sheep!! Set on the Yorkshire Moors, in the 17th century,just after the English Civil Wars, Mercy Booth is a shepherdess, who lives at Scarcross Hall with her father,Bartram, and his serving woman, Agnes. The hall is falling into disrepair and money is scarce. There are rumours of a curse upon the hall and witchcraft being practiced upon a circle of standing stones,near to the hall,called the White Ladies. The story opens with the birthing of a lamb,quite a bloody business,but that sets the scene of this blood heavy story. Mercy feels unseen eyes upon her when she is on the moor,a feeling of malice and great evil. A ghostly figure appears to follow her home,and there are unexplained noises in the hall,and her father is keeping secrets from her and gradually losing his mind. Into this atmosphere of terror,comes Ellis Ferreby,a jobbing farmhand,but is he what he appears to be? He is a good worker, and soon becomes embroiled in a fire,fights and protecting Mercy and her father from whatever is threatening them.This is a very atmospheric and spooky read. I started reading this book,one evening when alone in the house,and by the time I took the dog out,I was a nervous wreck! I completed the story the following night,and I still felt disturbed and anxious, it really is a compelling and menacing read.Mercy is a really strong character and the Yorkshire Moors are described so accurately ,the run down hall is so typical of many ruins in that part of the world. I certainally know a lot more about sheep now,the cruelty towards them is bloody,but my stomach gave a lurch regarding poor Bracken. Set in historical times, the way women had no rights of inheritance is accurate but depressing. Witchcraft was greatly feared and many innocent women suffered greatly through false accusations. England was still divided over religion and the English Civil War had resulted in the execution of an anointed King,it was such a tumultuous time,and this novel picks up on the dread and uncertainty of this period in history. A five star read that I will be recommending to my friends and family.
    more
  • Thelastwordreview
    January 1, 1970
    As we are still in the winter months The Coffin Path by Katherine Clements is just the perfect ghost story for those chilly dark evenings set in the 17th century among the bleak and dark Yorkshire moors. The year is 1674 and the focus is an isolated Manor House and farm on the misty and eerie Yorkshire Moors. Scarcross Hall is the manor house and the coffin path that leads to the house. They say the manor house is haunted and that there is something evil that lurks there. The story follows Mercy As we are still in the winter months The Coffin Path by Katherine Clements is just the perfect ghost story for those chilly dark evenings set in the 17th century among the bleak and dark Yorkshire moors. The year is 1674 and the focus is an isolated Manor House and farm on the misty and eerie Yorkshire Moors. Scarcross Hall is the manor house and the coffin path that leads to the house. They say the manor house is haunted and that there is something evil that lurks there. The story follows Mercy Booth; she is not at all bothered about the stories of hauntings. Scarcross Hall is owned by her elderly father and the property is now pretty dilapidated, but she knows that one day her father will die and that Scarcross Hall will belong to her. Enter the story a man by the name of Ellis Ferriby who now will work as a farm hand and now the story takes on a whole new twist. The narration moves between the two people. Events now start to take effect on the main characters and also those around them. Mercy starts to feel rather uneasy at the home. Strange noises and also creaks coming from her home. Her father’s health has declined. Many stories of the house being cursed, could this now be true and will this now start to affect her and what of the farm workers. Now as winter sets in and the bad weather mutilated sheep start to appear on the farm. Strange goings on with some of the staff at Scarcross Hall and items that just seem to mysteriously disappear. What are those strange creepy sounds coming from deep within the Hall? There is something about Ellis and he is hiding his true reason for being there, and now Mercy is beginning to think that everything that is going on is her punishment. Who really is Ellis and what does he want from Scarcross Hall? The pace continues and then your pulse rate quickens. A true gothic ghost story that is superbly told by Kathrine Clements that is rich in historical terms. Both the main characters are interesting and you have the feeling that there could be something between them but then the ending comes along. A chilling and engrossing creepy tale that I really enjoyed. Perfect Winter reading. 384 Pages
    more
  • Victoria Farrow
    January 1, 1970
    "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."I've been reading quite a lot of short ghost stories recently, I like M.R. James, Edgar Allen Poe and H.P. Lovecraft. So when The Coffin Path cropped up on NetGalley and was described as 'The perfect ghost story' I thought I'd give it a go.This is an excellent book to read in a cold and miserable winter, it has a good balance of supernatural and human interactions. I do think the "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."I've been reading quite a lot of short ghost stories recently, I like M.R. James, Edgar Allen Poe and H.P. Lovecraft. So when The Coffin Path cropped up on NetGalley and was described as 'The perfect ghost story' I thought I'd give it a go.This is an excellent book to read in a cold and miserable winter, it has a good balance of supernatural and human interactions. I do think the story line was a little predictable, but I still enjoyed the read.The Coffin Path has all the basic elements of a good ghost story; creepy house, check; stark moor; check; bucket load of family secrets, check. It harks back to more traditional ghost stories and I like that element.However, it also interweaves complex family dynamics, a little in the way of Shirley Jackson but not as surreal. The characters at first appear to be stock characters in a ghostly drama, but Clements invests them with realism and depth.It is also a little gruesome at times and is overly dramatic, but Clements sort of owns this and it works.There is some lovely writing and the descriptions, particularly of the landscape around are original and invoking.I did have a few issues, as previously mentioned the plot, especially the 'twist' ending, was a bit obvious. Plus, I felt the story was dragged out quite a bit.However, I found The Coffin Path a dark and atmospheric read with a depth that isn't always found in books of this genre.My Rating: 4 StarsI received a copy of The Coffin Path, via NetGalley, in return for an honest review. My thanks to the author and publisher.Read my full review here: http://readingwritingbooking.blogspot...
    more
  • Jo Barton
    January 1, 1970
    There is nothing I like better than an atmospheric ghost story which is set high above the hills of Northern England. Mercy Booth, her father, Bartram and servant, Agnes eke out a bleak existence amongst the lost and lonely crags of the Yorkshire Dales. The old coffin path that links Mercy's home at Scarcross Hall to the village below is a path not often travelled as folk say that evil lingers on its dark and lonely trail.Mercy isn't frightened, after all, this is the only life she has ever know There is nothing I like better than an atmospheric ghost story which is set high above the hills of Northern England. Mercy Booth, her father, Bartram and servant, Agnes eke out a bleak existence amongst the lost and lonely crags of the Yorkshire Dales. The old coffin path that links Mercy's home at Scarcross Hall to the village below is a path not often travelled as folk say that evil lingers on its dark and lonely trail.Mercy isn't frightened, after all, this is the only life she has ever known, and she is content to tend to her flock of sheep in isolated loneliness. But so attuned is she to her solitary environment that when strange things start to happen, and when a shadowy figure is seen near the Hall, Mercy’s peace of mind is greatly disturbed.With a strong sense of time and place, The Coffin Path is a deliciously creepy story and so icily chilling in places that it makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. And whilst, it’s about the realities of living in a harsh and unforgiving time when ignorant superstition could ruin innocent lives, it’s also about gossip and sly innuendo; it’s about blood and fear and of the daily struggle of survival.Set in the latter half of the seventeenth century, The Coffin Path is that wonderful mixture of Gothic gloom and ancient superstition which is so reminiscent of Northern England. Beautifully written, and filled with a sense of evil and a brooding loneliness, it’s one of those stories which is just perfect for a cold, wintery evening, and when the light dims and the evening gloom settles you will find yourself peering into dark shadows.....as, like Mercy, you never know what waits for you there.
    more
  • Lozzi Counsell
    January 1, 1970
    This is more of a 3.5 star than a 3. I would basically not recommend this book if you don't deal very well with the death of animals and unfortunately I am one of those people. And there's not just one animal death, there's A LOT and they start right at the beginning of the story. If I'd have known, I probably wouldn't have chosen to read it, but I did read it the whole way through and to be honest, the actual storyline is really really good! It's a well thought out plot, great characters and wi This is more of a 3.5 star than a 3. I would basically not recommend this book if you don't deal very well with the death of animals and unfortunately I am one of those people. And there's not just one animal death, there's A LOT and they start right at the beginning of the story. If I'd have known, I probably wouldn't have chosen to read it, but I did read it the whole way through and to be honest, the actual storyline is really really good! It's a well thought out plot, great characters and with an air of mystery that keeps you reading on. The ending is a shocking one, half expected, but half not, the revelation and final death being definitely not expected. I would have possibly liked more of an understanding at the end when Mercy pieces everything together, because I'm still completely confused about the icy hand. I love her relationship with Sam and saw her like a motherly/big sisterly figure to him and their closeness really kept me drawn in, which is why at the end of the book I was a little confused when she states the fact that he may live or he may die in a way that sounded as if she wasn't really bothered. I thought this was completely out of character for Mercy and so left the story on a bit of a... not as strong as I was hoping for ending. I think it's a great book that just needs a little more clarification.
    more
  • Lisa
    January 1, 1970
    This was one of my most ancipated new releases of 2018 and I'm sorry to say that I was quite disappointed. On paper it sounded like the perfect book for me. A gothic ghost story set in Yorkshire in the late 17th century? Sign me up! Oh how I wish it had lived up to my expectations.The main problem I had with this book was the way it was written. There was no tension, no atmosphere and I felt better use could have been made of the 17th century setting. Some of the superstitions of the period were This was one of my most ancipated new releases of 2018 and I'm sorry to say that I was quite disappointed. On paper it sounded like the perfect book for me. A gothic ghost story set in Yorkshire in the late 17th century? Sign me up! Oh how I wish it had lived up to my expectations.The main problem I had with this book was the way it was written. There was no tension, no atmosphere and I felt better use could have been made of the 17th century setting. Some of the superstitions of the period were present in the narrative but I felt Katherine Clements could have explored them more than she did. The characters were also a disappointment. They were all undeveloped, to the point where I could only describe them using the most basic of details, and most were very unlikeable. I also felt they did not act or behave in believable ways which I found incredibly frustrating. There were a number of things that occurred that could have been avoided had they just opened their mouths and talked to each other. Instead we get the usual convenient plot device of people withholding information from each other because they want to protect them only to put them in more danger as a result. The pacing of the plot was also problematic for me. It took far too long for everything to kick into gear and there were far too many scenes that got repeated and added nothing to the plot. If you have ever wanted to know what sheep farming was like back in the day this is the book for you! At one point it actually felt like the plot was moving sideways instead of forward. Pages were being read yet the story wasn't really progressing. And then, about 50 or so pages from the end, this book found its groove and the whole thing took off in a big way. I found myself frantically turning the pages to see how it would all end. If only the rest of the book had been like this and I would have given it a much higher rating. As things stand I have settled on a low 3 star rating because the last few chapters saved this for me to a certain extent. If not for them, I would probably have given it 2 stars.
    more
Write a review