Skip to Content


Briscoe, Joanna (Novelist), author

Rowena Shawn is fed-up. She and her family have recently moved into a new house in a small English village. They've taken on a local builder, but his efforts to knock two cottages into the bigger single house she envisages is fraught with problems. The walls ooze damp, stains come through layers of wallpaper, ceilings sag, and strange noises - voices - emanate from empty rooms. And then there's her daughter, Eva, who has always been odd, but is now positively strange. Once fat, she appears to be starving herself, becoming thinner with each passing week. Neglected and unloved, Eva has formed a close and inappropriate attachment to the builder - too close some of the villagers think, and inappropriate because Pollock likes children just a little too much

Hardback, Book. English. Horror tales. Horror.
Published London: Hammer, 2014

No availability records for this item


Statement of responsibility: Joanna Briscoe
ISBN: 0099590824, 9780099590828
Physical Description: 208 pages ; 21 cm

Author note

Joanna Briscoe is the author ofMothers and Other Lovers,Skin, Youand the highly acclaimedSleep With Mewhich was published in eleven countries and adapted for ITV drama by Andrew Davies.

She spent her very early years in 'the village of the damned', Letchmore Heath in Hertfordshire, the location for the celebrated 1960 film based on John Wyndham's novelThe Midwich Cuckoos- and the inspiration, too, for this Hammer novella.


"I read it with great delight. A delicious page-turning treat."
Barbara Trapido||"Totally wonderful.Touchedmakes me mindful of Dylan Thomas, it's so poetic and haunting; Joanna Briscoe is a truly lovely writer"
Penny Vincenzi||"a ghost story interwoven with crime, love and horror. It works on every level..Touchedis a finely balanced creation, reminiscent ofThe Turn of the Screwby Henry James. Briscoe's prose is sensuous, poetic, light. The rhythm is delicately controlled. A strange, fascinating tale."
Financial Times||"Touched

is a gripping novella, a waking nightmare in the home counties that is both erotic and claustrophobic. There's a woozy atmosphere of menace, a satirical stab at Britain's post-war commuter-belt aspirations, and an elegant, postmodern, cine-literate twist.Touched

has something ofThe Turn of the Screw, certainly, but with it, the brasher influence of Ira Levin, or Anthony Shaffer, screenwriter ofThe Wicker Man. .This is a haunting and disquieting parable"
Guardian||"that sense of suffocation and slowly creeping madness is something thatTouched- the latest novella from the Hammer horror imprint - expertly mines"
Daily Mail||"An old fashioned, scary horror story"
Sunday Mirror||"Haunting novella from Joanna Briscoe.a disorientating ride"