The Stopped HeartBook - 2016
Mary Coles and her husband, Graham, have just moved to a cottage on the edge of a small village. The house hasn't been lived in for years, and they are drawn to its original features and surprisingly large garden, which stretches down into an apple orchard. It's idyllic, remote, picturesque: exactly what they need to put the horror of the past behind them. A fresh start.
One hundred and fifty years earlier, a huge oak tree was felled in front of the cottage during a raging storm. Beneath it lay a young man with a shock of red hair, presumed dead--surely no one could survive such an accident. But the red-haired man was alive, and after a brief convalescence was taken in by the family living in the cottage and put to work in the fields. The children all loved him, but the eldest daughter, Eliza, had her reservations. There was something about the red-haired man that sat ill with her. A presence. An evil.
Back in the present, weeks after moving to the cottage and still drowning beneath the weight of insurmountable grief, Mary starts to sense there's something in the house. Children's whispers, footsteps from above, half-caught glimpses of figures in the garden. A young man with a shock of red hair wandering through the orchard.
Has Mary's grief turned to madness? Or have the events that took place so long ago finally come back to haunt her?