The first in a series of Beth Harper books, Masquerade is a supernatural thriller set in a remote North Yorkshire village. Following a whirlwind re-location for a live-in job at the local inn, Beth quickly realises the whole village is thoroughly haunted, the people here fearful and cowed. As a spiritual medium, her attention is drawn to Scarsdale Hall nearby, the enormous stately home dominating what is undoubtedly a wild and beautiful landscape. Built of black stone with majestic turrets, it seems to drain the energy from the land. There is, she feels, something malevolent about it, as if time has stopped. With the help of her spirit guides and the gift of astral travel, she will soon face the most daunting task of her life. Why is she being shown images of expressionless children gripping the bars of fairground wheels, forever going around and around? And why are the lines of women and children walking to Scarsdale Hall each day, silent and grim-faced? Barely a word is spoken here. There is no joy, no life… Past and present are as entangled as a box of ribbons, her task being to unravel the darkly disturbing truth laid down centuries before. But are the embedded secrets too horrific for those involved to ever admit, even to themselves? As the enormity of the task unfolds and Beth is pitched against one of the most powerful families on earth, she considers this may be too much for her. Ultimately, however, this is her journey, too. And she will be pushed to the limit of her abilities. Besides, as her spirit guide, Billy, says, ‘They’re still doing it…’Author note: this is not occult horror as such, but a supernatural mystery based on the very real experiences of a spiritual medium.