Wednesday, 21 February 2018

The Coffin Path by Katherine Clements

Book Review

The Coffin Path by Katherine Clements - Reading, Writing, Booking

"One coin marks the first to go.
A second bodes the fall.
The third will seal a sinner's fate.
The Devil take them all."

The Coffin Path was released in the UK 8th February 2018. It is written by Katherine Clements and published by Headline.

This is another review that I'm very late in posting, I'm now trying to catch up with myself, almost there.

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.

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 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 Stars

I received a copy of The Coffin Path, via NetGalley, in return for an honest review. My thanks to the author and publisher.

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