The Coffin Path by Katherine Clements

The Coffin Path

Katherine Clements

A truly gothic tale, set in 17th century Yorkshire, with nail-biting tension and a creeping sense of menace. The grim Pennine landscape and an isolated sheep farm just off the coffin path, rack up the chill factor and pile on the spooky atmosphere. Mercy Booth is a great character and a brave chancer - a woman ahead of her time. She pulled me into her story and onto her side - even at times against my better judgment. Wonderful storytelling.


Extract

I wake with a start. I've thrown off the coverlet, and am shivering with cold. The sheet is wound about my leg. I kick it free, pull the bedding up to my chin and rest back on my bolster. But I cannot dispel the dream so easily. I did not close the shutters and the moonlight spills across the floor.
Then I hear a footstep on the boards.
My heart spikes. It comes again - one step, then another, at the foot of my bed.
I stare motionless into the darkness, but see nothing. Am I still dreaming?
Then a run of steps, away towards the casement, quick and light; the footfall of a child. I cannot separate my waking senses from my dream world. Fear stifles my breath. Pressure builds in my lungs as they crave air. My body prickles all over and yet I dare not move.

Parallels
  • Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
  • Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger
  • A Skinful of Shadows by Frances Hardinge

Books with similar mood

The Machine

James Smythe

The Possessions of Doctor Forrest

Richard T Kelly

The Scornful Moon

Maurice Gee

Bitter Fruit

Achmat Dangor

Brixton Beach

Roma Tearne

The Narrow Road to the Deep North

Richard Flanagan

The Fire Sermon

Francesca Haig

The Synapse Sequence

Daniel Godfrey

Only Killers and Thieves

Paul Howarth

Fiddleback

J M Morris

Oyster

John Biguenet

From Darkest Skies

Sam Peters

The Ghost Writer

John Harwood

Mercy

Jussi Adler-Olsen

Nada

Carmen Laforet

Love in Exile

Bahaa Taher

On Cape Three Points

Christopher Wakling

The Friends of Meager Fortune

David Adams Richards

The Bone Keeper

Luca Veste

Once Again Assembled Here

Sean O'Brien

Napoleon: The Song of Departure

Max Gallo

Melmoth

Sarah Perry

J

Howard Jacobson

The Painted Bridge

Wendy Wallace

The Drowning

Camilla Lackberg

A Golden Age

Tahmima Anam

Thin Air

Richard Morgan

The Illusion of Return

Samir El-Youssef

After the Fall Before the Fall During the Fall

Nancy Kress

Home Fires

Elizabeth Day

The Archivist's Story

Travis Holland

The Spanish Bow

Andromeda Romano-Lax

Nanjing 1937: A Love Story

Ye Zhaoyan

The Valparaiso Voyage

Dermot Bolger

Red Dust

Gillian Slovo

The Housekeeper

Melanie Wallace

House of Stone

Novuyo Rosa Tshuma

Land of No Rain

Amjad Nasser

The Lemon Grove

Helen Walsh

Secrecy

Rupert Thomson

Slaughter's Hound

Declan Burke

Living Nowhere

John Burnside

The Far Side of a Kiss

Anne Haverty

Flood of Fire

Amitav Ghosh

Lea

Pascal Mercier

Kiss Me First

Lottie Moggach

The Sirens of Baghdad

Yasmina Khadra

The Field of Blood

Denise Mina

The Killing Jar

Nicola Monaghan