#BookReview The Coffin Path by Katherine Clements #ripxiii

About the book

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.

Published by Headline Review

Purchase Links

Hive.co.uk

Waterstones

Book Depository

MY REVIEW

Creepy, chilling and compelling! That’s how I’d sum up this dark tale from Katherine Clements!

You can’t get a better setting than an old house set on the moors and that is where you’ll find Scarcross Hall, which is home to Mercy and her father. The moors are all she’s ever known and she’ll do whatever it takes to keep her family there despite the hostile surroundings, and when lambs from their flock start being found horrifically slaughtered the rumours begin again that dark times are set to follow, as they had done many years earlier to a previous family.

Things begin to go missing from her home, there are strange noises, ghostly figures watching over her – is she losing her mind or are these things really happening? With the arrival of a stranger, Ellis, he joins the family to help work on the land and this doesn’t go down too well with those already working there. He is an enigmatic character but proves his worth when times turn darker.

There are so many interesting characters to follow in this story – Mercy is a strong female who thinks she can face everything alone and doesn’t like to be proved wrong, but shows her softer side when dealing with young Sam who has his own tragic past. Her father is not a well man and has many secrets, his housekeeper Agnes doing her best to keep the household together, and the mysterious Ellis. I loved how the story flowed – the horrific slaughter of the lambs happened so randomly but the rumours of the dark past of the moors quickly filled the villagers with fear and Mercy is left to try and figure out why this is happening – is it something she’s done? Is the land cursed?

I really enjoyed this despite the unsettling feeling you got to share along with Mercy and the others. It’s full of folklore and amidst the bleak setting of the moors it really sets the story up as one where you can’t turn the pages quick enough to find out what will happen next!! A perfect halloween read!!

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#BookReview Ice by Anna Kavan #RIPXIII

 

Getting out of my comfort zone at the moment and picking up those books that I’ve been too scared to pick up as I’m a big wuss!!  And it’s all thanks to ReadersImbibingPeril who are hosting RIPXIII, the challenge they host to get us to pick up scary books and have fun reading them!

I’ve had this book on my shelves for quite a while so have been reading it over the past few evenings! 

About the book

In this haunting and surreal novel, the narrator and a man known as the warden search for an elusive girl in a frozen, seemingly post-nuclear, apocalyptic landscape. The country has been invaded and is being governed by a secret organization. There is destruction everywhere; great walls of ice overrun the world. Together with the narrator, the reader is swept into a hallucinatory quest for this strange and fragile creature with albino hair. Acclaimed upon its 1967 publication as the best science fiction book of the year, this extraordinary and innovative novel has subsequently been recognized as a major work of literature in its own right. 

MY REVIEW

In this book you are never quite sure what is real! It is extremely surreal and nightmarish! You’re always feeling unsure of what you are about to encounter and that is what keeps you turning the pages.

The ‘chase’ works so well against the bleak background of the Ice bound world that the characters find themselves living in. The narrator is a man who becomes obsessed with this pale girl who he often glimpses but never seems to get close to. Is she real? Is he just mad? I think with this story it’s all open to interpretation and I enjoyed that uncertainty throughout. You could read into it what you wanted! There was no real plotlines to keep track of and you just went where the story took you!  

An interesting and unsettling read!!

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#BookReview The Cliff House by Amanda Jennings

About the book

‘Haunting and evocative – you’ll want the Cliff House for your own’ Clare Mackintosh
Some friendships are made to be broken

Cornwall, summer of 1986.

The Davenports, with their fast cars and glamorous clothes, living the dream in a breathtaking house overlooking the sea.

If only… thinks sixteen-year-old Tamsyn, her binoculars trained on the perfect family in their perfect home.

If only her life was as perfect as theirs.

If only Edie Davenport would be her friend.

If only she lived at The Cliff House…

Amanda Jennings weaves a haunting tale of obsession, loss and longing, set against the brooding North Cornish coastline, destined to stay with readers long after the final page is turned

Published by HQ

Purchase Links

Amazon UK

hive.co.uk

Waterstones

MY REVIEW

If you love your books dark and unnerving, then look no further! This was a fabulously gripping read that I just couldn’t put down as you just kept wondering how it was all going to pan out! It just showed how the nature of obsession can completely take over until it’s all too late!

Tamsyn became obsessed with The Cliff House through her late, beloved father. They used to creep in and spend time there together and it became a dream world for her. Then when a new family – The Davenports – moved in, she started to watch over the house and their movements and imagine their lives being one of perfection. One she soon finds out isn’t quite as perfect as she imagined. She soon befriends their daughter, Edie, who is bored out of her mind over the holidays and is happy to have a new friend. Even though they are from such different backgrounds they quickly bond and Tamsyn begins to spend most of her days at The Cliff House.

The Davenports seemingly have it all, but in reality they have nothing. Jealousy, addiction and misery is the reality of their lives and once Tamsyn and her family are on their radar, then they are soon dragged into their drama and it becomes increasingly dark for all concerned.

I love the way the story flowed in this one – it didn’t dive in straight in with all the secrets and reveals. It allowed you to get a take on each character before something new was injected into their past which made you think completely differently about them. It’s full of teenage angst, as well as badly behaved parents and the phrase ‘the grass isn’t always greener on the other side’ seems particularly apt for this story! What we perceive as someone living a perfect life doesn’t always necessary turn out to be the truth!

It cleverly shows how various demons can destroy families – be that grief or addiction – and how things quickly spiral out of control when someone is consumed by their thoughts and don’t look at a situation with a clear mind. Highly recommended!!

My thanks to the author and publisher for the early review copy which they sent in return for a fair and honest review.

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RIP XIII – The Reading Challenge

It’s that time of year when I start thinking about reading some of the scarier titles on my bookshelves, and thanks to Jessie at Dwell In Possibility I have been made aware of the RIP 13 challenge! One I’d never heard of before but it sounds perfect and lots of fun!  Hosted by Readers Imbibing Peril, this is the 13th year they’ve hosted the RIP challenge and it’s as simple as this;

The purpose of the R.I.P. Challenge is to enjoy books that could be classified as:

Mystery.
Suspense.
Thriller.
Dark Fantasy.
Gothic.
Horror.
Supernatural.
The emphasis is never on the word challenge, instead it is about coming together as a community and embracing the autumnal mood, whether the weather is cooperative where you live or not.

The goals are simple. 

1. Have fun reading.

2. Share that fun with others.

There are no set targets so you can join in as much or as little as you want – that sounds like my kind of challenge! So here’s a look at some of the books I’ve picked out to hopefully pick up between now and the end of October when the challenge finishes! Click on the title for a link to the GoodReads page!

The Puppet Show by M.W.Craven

The Cliff House by Amanda Jennings

Revival by Stephen King

The Coffin Path by Katherine Clements

Julius Winsome by Gerard Donovan

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Have you read any of these?! I just hope they won’t be too dark and scary! I’m sure there may be some other additions to my list along the way – we will see where my RIP13 path takes me!