(14 customer reviews)

The Curse of Beckett’s Wood

Author: R. E. Witham


  • ISBN: 9781907340246
  • Published 25 May 2020
  • Format: Paperback
  • Number of pages: 630

Beckett’s Wood is sinister and secret, the kind of place where the curse of past events spread quietly like the brambles in the undergrowth.

In the first part of this gripping, three-part, bestselling novel the unsettling tale of a cyclist’s arrival in a village bordering an eerie wood sets in motion consequences that have far reaching effects on one particular person’s life and, like an anaesthetic, the village devours his will so that the curse can become all consuming.

Seemingly disconnected, part two depicts the life of David Harper as he dares to confront the abuse he receives as a boy at the hand of his mother, the kind of abuse that develops as he reaches puberty. Terrifying dreams misshape his mental health yet more, dreams that have a strange echo of a village far away.

14 reviews for The Curse of Beckett’s Wood

  1. SPadmin

    Five Star Review UK 24 March 2014
    Miss A Claricoats
    A Book That Will Keep You Guessing Long After It’s Over
    Every so often you read a book that is so well written and insightful it has the ability to transport you into the story and that is exactly what the first novel from author Richard Coppin did for me.
    The Beckett as it’s affectionately known is a piece of land with stunning views and natural beauty on the outskirts of the village of Empton, so what is it about the place that seems to leave a sinister mark on those that venture there? The Curse of Beckett’s Wood is a mysterious and chilling tale following the life of David Harper, a cyclist that arrives in the picturesque village of Empton and is soon taken under by the spell of the place and the people there. No matter how far away he travels, or how much the time passes Beckett’s Wood and the curse that started there has etched itself deep into his life. The sinister grip of Beckett’s Wood is like a strangle hold on David and he soon finds his life is one where bad events happen and secrets are born; secrets that cast a long, dark shadow across David’s life from which there is no escape.
    Murder, passion, childhood abuse, bullying, revenge and fragmented and distorted versions of reality all play a part in David’s life and with each page that you read you can’t help but find that like the curse of Beckett’s Wood, David Harper has etched a little place in your life.
    The book covers a range of difficult issues such as mental health, bullying and sexual abuse but unlike a lot of books that I have read in the past, the author covers these issues in a way that doesn’t leave you feeling open and raw afterwards, instead giving you a glimpse into what it’s like to experience these issues firsthand – to build the walls and defences to cope each day and to see the strength that only someone can experience from within.
    If you enjoy books that are full of twist and turns, mystery and have a sinister side to them then I highly recommend you give this book a read.
    A must-read!

  2. SPadmin

    Five Star Review UK 03 April 2014
    Top Cat
    The Curse of Beckett’s Wood is not normally the type of book I would read but on recommendation I thought I would give it a go. How glad I am!
    This is a gem of a tale with more twists and turns than you can imagine but they are all very cleverly thought out which make them plausible and not just there for the sake of it.
    The style the book is written in, whilst it is contemporary, has a lilt of bygone literary airs that give a gentleness to the tone and make the events all the more poignant.
    Very thought provoking long after you turn the final page.
    If you think this books not for you- read it! You won’t be disappointed.

  3. SPadmin

    Five Star Review UK 14 May 2014
    Matthew Wilson
    The Curse of Beckett’s Wood had me gripped from early on in the book. It cleverly raised the emotions in me and I was soon into the characters of the plot. One such character had me seething and to feel angry whilst reading, shows the writer’s ability to draw the reader in. The book’s main character David Harper had me on the ‘edge’; his twist and turns, his ups and downs throughout his life, never allowed me to come to terms with what made him tick and much could be said for the plot in the book. The story kept returning to Beckett’s Wood and like the dark shadows within the wood, the story cast dark shadows on the characters and plot and the sinister edge to the tale, kept me totally enthralled up to the last page. What started as a simple tale, turned into an intricate story suggestive of threatened evil on every other page.
    I highly recommend the book and it’s on my ‘to do list’, to read again, I know there’s so much I missed in my first read. The characters are so complex, I might, just might, get my head around what those characters are all about.

  4. SPadmin

    Five Star Review UK 12 June 2014
    Paul C
    Thoroughly excellent book.
    The Curse of Beckett’s Wood was recommended by a friend, not the usual type of book I read, but decided to give it a go. And how glad I was. It grabbed your attention immediately, with interesting characters, and and a pacey storyline. As the characters developed, and some of the darker subject matter appeared, it became more enthralling.
    Would thoroughly recommend this book.

  5. SPadmin

    Five Star Review US 07 October 2014
    enjoyable read
    Very well written a fantasy of sorts descriptive narrative believable characters strange enough to be true

  6. SPadmin

    Five Star Review UK 26 May 2015
    a must read
    Expect to be mystified

  7. SPadmin

    Five Star Review UK 26 May 2015
    a must read
    Expect to be mystified
    Beautifully written , this book kept pace throughout. The story is a complex mix of dangerous relationships and personal crises. Coppin has you guessing and 2nd-guessing at each twist and turn of the plot and somehow manages to transport you to the last page without allowing you to anticipate the ending. You will be taken out of your comfort zone but you will be intrigued by the storyline and beguiled by the characters.

  8. SPadmin

    Five Star Review UK 28 Sept 2020
    Nicky Griffiths
    Fascinating Story
    This book held my attention from start to finish. It is very dark and disturbing in places with insight into workings of the human mind. A very enjoyable read with plenty of twists and turns along the way.

  9. SPadmin

    Five Star Review UK 26 October 2020
    A ‘must read’ book, unable to put down
    A very clever plot full of dark and often cruel twists and turns that keeps you guessing and turning those pages to find out what happens next in the past, present and future of ‘The Cyclist’.

  10. SPadmin

    Five Star Review UK 07 Dec 2020
    Brilliant book
    Excellent story, a must read for those who enjoy historically accurate mystery stories

  11. SPadmin

    Five Star Review UK 21 Feb 2021
    J W Taylor
    Complex and absorbing
    A complex and absorbing thriller in three parts. Not for the feint hearted or those who prefer their life and sex with meat and two veg.

  12. SPadmin

    Five Star Review UK 10 March 2021
    Laura Price
    Hard to put down
    Throughly enjoyed, would recommend, very well written and author really made the characters easy to imagine as if you were there. Looking forward to another book from the author.

  13. SPadmin

    Five Star Review UK 12 July 2021
    The Old Gibber
    Very thought provoking, excellent read.
    I bought this book on the recommendation of a friend, who knew I enjoyed a book with a good story.
    It was with extreme pleasure I discovered that the author was a gifted story teller and his mastery of the English language brought forth a deep dark tale, with twists and turns in the plot that kept me turning the pages with increasing anticipation. The emotions of love, fear and shear anguish that pours forth from these pages completely engulfed my senses, my imagination was so focused I was there in the pages, which was not always comfortable but
    totally inspiring. A great read and I totally recommend this book and can’t wait for the author’s next book.

  14. SPadmin

    Five Star Review UK 18 February 2021
    Dennis George Hannant MBE
    A Noteworthy ReviewBook Review
    Having had no personal experience of mental issues or any kind of abuse myself, the hard hitting narrative of bullying, incest, mental illness, sexual and physical abuse, rocked me to the core and caused much racing of the heart and clamminess of the hands. However the author took each of these difficult subjects and wove them into a compelling and gripping story.

    Initially, I found the idea of a person (the main character, David Harper) arriving in a village, to find out that he had gone back some 40 odd years in time, without making a massive drama about it, a little improbable and the very detailed description of the village and its people in the first few chapters, a bit over the top. But as the story unfolded, I realised that David’s reaction was perfectly natural for him and the detail essential for the plot. There were many incidents and moments throughout the book, where I was shocked by David’s reaction, especially after people had been kind and helped him, but I was judging him against my own very lucky life experiences; in hindsight during the read, I realised that considering his life of abuse and mental illness, his actions were totally reasonable and understandable.

    This book is in three parts, which are fundamental for the twists and turns in this incredible story and the transition from each one to another, is achieved with word craft and skill of the highest order, which made me think, blimey that’s clever. I thought the sex scenes, both loving and otherwise were especially well written and expertly fitted into the story line. This is without doubt one of the best novels I have read in a very long time. A definite page turner, which was exciting to read, with the unexpected around every corner of the story, ‘The Curse of Beckett’s Wood’ is in my view, a worthy Booker Prize contender and would make an exceptionally good TV series or a Netflix or Amazon short film.

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