“The ghost of a wronged young woman in the village of Thores-Cross waits
230 years to have her story told in Perkins’s suspenseful and
atmospheric first Yorkshire Ghost novel” –
BookLife by Publishers Weekly
*Silver Medal Winner, European fiction – 2015 IPPY Book
*#1 Bestseller in 6 Amazon Categories, including Ghost Suspense,
Horror and Gothic Romance
*Top 10 Bestseller in 8 more, including Historical Thrillers and
*Over 100 5-STAR reviews on Amazon.com
Likened by independent reviewers on Amazon to the Brontë sisters,
Allen Poe, Barbara Erskine and Nathaniel Hawthorne, Karen Perkins’
novels are filled with unflinching honesty and an acute understanding
of human nature. She explores not only the depths of humanity, but
the depths of human motivation behind the actions and pain people
inflict upon each other, as well as the repercussions of these
actions not only in the short term, but also the later generations
who live with the implications of the past.
Emma Moorcroft is still grieving after a late miscarriage and moves to
dream house at Thruscross Reservoir with her husband, Dave. Both Emma
and Dave hope that moving into their new home signifies a fresh
start, but life is not that simple. Emma has nightmares about the
reservoir and the drowned village that lies beneath the water, and is
further disturbed by the sound of church bells – from a church that
no longer exists.
Jennet is fifteen and lives in the isolated community of Thores-Cross,
life revolves about the sheep on which they depend. Following the
sudden loss of both her parents, she is seduced by the local wool
merchant, Richard Ramsgill. She becomes pregnant and is shunned not
only by Ramsgill, but by the entire village. Lonely and embittered,
Jennet’s problems escalate, leading to tragic consequences which
continue to have an effect through the centuries.
Emma becomes fixated on Jennet, neglecting herself, her beloved dogs
her husband to the point where her marriage may not survive. As
Jennet and Emma’s lives become further entwined, Emma’s obsession
deepens and she realises that the curse Jennet inflicted on the
Ramsgill family over two hundred years ago is still claiming lives.
Emma is the only one who can stop Jennet killing again, but will her
efforts be enough?
A skeleton is dug up at the crossing of
the ways on Hanging Moor,
striking dread into the heart of Old Ma Ramsgill – the elderly
matriarch of the village of Thruscross. And with good reason. The
eighteenth-century witch, Jennet, has been woken.
A spate of killings by a vicious black dog gives credence to her
warnings and the community – in particular her family – realise they
are in terrible danger.
Drastic measures are needed to contain her, but with the imminent
the valley to create a new reservoir, do they have the ability to
stop her and break her curse?
‘Jennet will have your heart and your fear
in equal measure’
‘Through Jennet we see how cruelty can drive even the most ordinary people to
and, in Jennet’s case, evil’
Yorkshire is in the grip of a heatwave, and
Thruscross Reservoir has dried up
to reveal the remains of the drowned village of Thores-Cross beneath.
Playing in the mud which coats the valley
floor, four-year-old Clare
Wainwright finds an old inkpot, and can’t wait to show it to her
best friend, Louise. But when Louise’s mother, Emma, sees it, her
reaction is shocking, and both families are plunged into their worst
Emma knows what the inkpot portends:
woken.Now she wants the children.
This is not a gore-ridden, jump-scare horror
story. This is more real than
that. Jennet is a story about the horrific things that people do to
each other, and the way we react to that maltreatment – which does
not always end with death.
Jennet’s story is a horror story because it’s not necessarily fiction. It
reflects the way women were treated in the time that Jennet lived. It
reflects the psychology of the abuse cycle. And it reflects real
life. All of it.
If, as I believe, the spirit does not die when the
physical body dies,
then how many spirits are looking for vengeance today?
What wrongs will you want to right when you
pass through that veil? What
This is the
conclusion of Jennet’s story, which began in The Haunting of
Thores-Cross. I hope she finds peace. I really do.
Karen Perkins is the author of eight fiction titles: the Yorkshire Ghost
Stories and the Valkyrie Series of historical nautical fiction. All
of her fiction has appeared at the top of bestseller lists on both
sides of the Atlantic, including the top 21 in the UK Kindle Store in 2018.
Her first Yorkshire Ghost Story – THE HAUNTING OF THORES-
CROSS – won the
Silver Medal for European Fiction in the prestigious 2015 Independent
Publisher Book Awards in New York, whilst her Valkyrie novel, DEAD
RECKONING, was long-listed in the 2011 MSLEXIA novel competition.
Originally a financial advisor, a sailing injury left Karen with a chronic
condition which she has been battling for over twenty five years
(although she did take the European ladies title despite the
injury!). Writing has given her a new lease of – and purpose to –
life, and she is currently working on a sequel to Parliament of
Rooks: Haunting Brontë Country.
When not writing, she helps other authors prepare their books for
publishing and has edited over 150 titles, including the 2017 Kindle
UK Storyteller Award winner, The Relic Hunters by David Leadbeater,
and has also published a series of publishing guides to help aspiring
authors realise their dreams.
Karen Perkins is a member of the Society of Authors and the Horror
Cursed – Excerpt
Thruscross, North Yorkshire
7 th August 1966 – 11:30 a.m.
‘Right, tea break over, lads, back to work. Rog, Steve, you’re up on Hanging Moor in the
bulldozers. As soon as they’ve gone through, Paul and Simon, you get the chippings down. And take
care – don’t go past the markers, that drop’s lethal.’
The road crew groaned, threw their dregs of tea to the ground and refastened their flasks before
clambering into their machines to dig out the access road to the new dam spanning the Washburn
Valley. The valley would be flooded in a month’s time, creating the new reservoir for the Leeds
Corporation Waterworks to supply half of Leeds with drinking water, and the road should have been
completed last month.
Rog led the way, the large bucket scraping heather and peat, then dumping it into the waiting
Steve followed, making a deeper cut. Together they gouged an ugly scar over the pristine
‘Bugger,’ Steve cried out and jolted in his seat, knocking the control levers. The big digger
wobbled, teetered, then slowly toppled over towards the edge and a sheer wooded drop of a hundred
and fifty feet to the valley bottom below.
‘Steve!’ Rog cried. ‘Lads, help!’
The rest of the crew downed tools and diggers and rushed to the stricken bulldozer. By the time
they reached it, Rog was already clambering on to the cab, desperately trying not to look at the vista
that opened up before him only a few feet away.
‘Steve?’ he called again. No answer. His mate lay unconscious, twisted in his seat. ‘No!’ The
digger slid a foot or two in the wrong direction.
‘Rog, get down; she’s going over!’ Andy, the foreman, shouted.
‘No – Steve’s out cold.’
‘You’re no help to him if your weight pushes it over the edge – get down! We’ll get help, but we
need to secure the digger somehow, keep her steady.’
Rog took a last look at his mate then nodded. He realised he couldn’t get into the cab without
destabilising the digger further and he had no idea how serious Steve’s injuries were. He climbed
down carefully, just as Simon drew up in the tipper truck. Half full of soil and rock, it was the
heaviest vehicle there.
Andy got on the radio to inform his boss at the dam where there was a telephone to call for help,
while Paul ran over with a chain. He secured it round one of the digging arms, and Simon backed up –
slowly – until the chain was taut.
The digger shifted, turning around the pivot point they’d created. The back end now hung off the
edge of the cliff.
‘Keep it there, Simon,’ Andy called. ‘And keep it in reverse – if the edge fails, you’ll need to pull
‘Can’t he just do that anyway?’ Rog asked.
‘We don’t know how badly he’s hurt. If he’s broken his back or neck, moving him could make it
worse. We don’t want to move him unless we have to – not until the Fire Brigade and ambulance get
here. What happened anyway?’
‘Uh.’ Rog pulled his attention away from the downed machine. ‘I don’t know – he shouted out,
then rolled it.’
‘He shouted before he rolled?’
‘Andy, Rog. Come and have a look at this,’ Paul called and beckoned them over to join him where
Steve had made his last cut.
‘What is it?’ Andy came hurrying over.
‘Uh, looks like a skull.’
‘What? Oh Christ, it’s a bloody skeleton! Well, that’s us finished, lads, no more work here for at
least a month while they sort this one out,’ Rog said.
‘Forget that, we’ll just go round it,’ Andy said.
The three men looked over at Steve, then back into the grave. Only the skull and shoulder girdle
were visible. As one, they shuddered as a worm pushed its way out of the compacted earth behind the
jaw bones, for a moment looking as if the skull had stuck an emaciated tongue out at them.
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