Paperback: 288pp

Published: Lightning (September 2024)

ISBN: 9781785633775

Ghost Tide

Jim Cockin

£9.99

Don’t open the box, warned the old man.

But Charlie can’t help himself...

‘An action-packed emotional rollercoaster of an adventure story’

Anne-Marie Conway

Fourteen-year-old London schoolboy Charlie has been looking forward to playing football with his mates in the Christmas holidays. Instead he is packed off to the wilds of the East Anglian coast to stay with an uncle he barely knows.

It's going to be a tough week. Uncle Patrick’s ramshackle house doesn’t have wi-fi, his daughter Ariel seems determined to be vile – and who are the mysterious children laughing after dark in the empty bedroom next to Charlie’s?

When Charlie finds an ancient brass box buried on the beach, he unleashes a chilling sequence of events. At least these bring him and his grumpy cousin together, as the pair battle to solve the mystery of the ‘box of souls’ and re-capture the violent ghostly presence wreaking havoc around the town.

A stirring spine-chiller, Ghost Tide is a spooky, unforgettable tale of restless spirits and youthful heroism.

OUT SEPTEMBER 2024. AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER NOW

Extracts

Charlie pressed himself deeper into the shadows, pulling the brass box from his pocket and examining it once more. What if it really was valuable? Could he sell it and keep the money? He didn’t see why not. He’d found it fair and square.

All of a sudden, someone seized him by the wrist and demanded: ‘Where did you get that?’

Charlie gasped and looked up to see an old man holding him in a grip of surprising strength. His bright eyes blazed with a fierce intensity and it took Charlie a moment to realise that he must have been lurking nearby all along, obscured by the gloom of the shop. His hair was white and close-cropped while the beard beneath curled thickly about his cheeks and chin. His overcoat was expensive and he wore an immaculate red silk tie and white shirt. The whole effect was as if some sort of sinister Santa Claus had materialised from among the bric-à-brac.

‘Get off me or I’ll call the police,’ Charlie stammered.

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Extracts

Charlie pressed himself deeper into the shadows, pulling the brass box from his pocket and examining it once more. What if it really was valuable? Could he sell it and keep the money? He didn’t see why not. He’d found it fair and square.

All of a sudden, someone seized him by the wrist and demanded: ‘Where did you get that?’

Charlie gasped and looked up to see an old man holding him in a grip of surprising strength. His bright eyes blazed with a fierce intensity and it took Charlie a moment to realise that he must have been lurking nearby all along, obscured by the gloom of the shop. His hair was white and close-cropped while the beard beneath curled thickly about his cheeks and chin. His overcoat was expensive and he wore an immaculate red silk tie and white shirt. The whole effect was as if some sort of sinister Santa Claus had materialised from among the bric-à-brac.

‘Get off me or I’ll call the police,’ Charlie stammered.

The man blinked twice and released his grip.

‘Forgive me. I was forgetting myself.’ The voice was well-mannered and apologetic. ‘I did not mean to alarm you.’

Charlie took a pace back.

‘Tell me, young man, where did you get that box?’

‘I found it on the beach.’

The man looked Charlie up and down as if trying to decide whether he was telling the truth.  

‘When did you find it?’

‘Yesterday. Buried in the sand. I didn’t steal it, if that’s what you’re thinking.’

The man seemed satisfied. ‘Oh, I’m sure you’re an honest lad. But listen.’ He leaned forward so close that Charlie could see the individual hairs in his beard. ‘If you have any sense, you’ll take this box out of this shop right now and throw it back into the sea where it belongs. Drown it. Deep water, mind you. The deepest you can find. And then forget all about it.’

‘Why?’

‘Because that box is dangerous. Extremely dangerous.’

The man stared at him intently, as if forcing his words into Charlie’s brain, then threw up his hands, palms outstretched. ‘But it’s up to you. You found it. It’s yours now. But remember this, young man: they call them the ghost tides round here. Big winter storms that unearth things that were buried long ago. Things that are best left undisturbed.’

quotes

‘I love, love, loved Jim Cockin’s spookily spellbinding gothic ghost story, which gripped me with an icy finger from the very first page and left me pale and breathless by the last. Perfect for fans of Penelope Lively and Malamander. A spectacular debut!’

Catherine Bruton

‘I was with Charlie every step of the way on this action-packed emotional rollercoaster of an adventure story. It grabs you from the first page and transports you to an exhilarating world of buried treasure, evil skulduggery and breathtaking discoveries’

Anne-Marie Conway

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ABOUT

Jim Cockin

Jim Cockin worked for fifteen years as a television journalist at ITV, the BBC and Sky Sports. In his time as a broadcaster he covered everything from Premier League football to fires, floods and the Suffolk Show. He also produced documentaries for Sky Arts and has many years’ experience working in the communications industry.

He studied English and Social & Political Science at Cambridge University. Ghost Tide is his first novel.

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