Results of the Whitbread Book Award in the year 1986.
Alison is thirteen. Her mother has recently died; her Dad has just bought a house in the North 300 miles away from the world she knows. She is determined to dislike the rambling old Coal House. There is a disturbing presence around the house. When Alison and her father discover the secret of the stalker in the woods, they become a link in an unsolved mystery and become more closely bound to Coal House and to each other.