STALKERS (Avon Books, HarperCollins, 2013)
McCulkin laced his tattooed, nicotine-stained fingers in a tight, tense ball. ‘There are red flags all over this, Mr. Heckenburg. Any time it comes up in conversation, it’s like “you don’t talk about this”, or “do not even go there”.’
‘That’s Halloween stuff, Pat. It’s designed to stop people asking questions.’
‘Look, these people are bad news.’
‘And I’m not?’ Heck leaned forward. ‘These bastards are going to find out different. Now you tell me every single thing you know.’
‘You really going to spread it that I’m a snitch?’
‘Just watch me.'
When Detective Sergeant Mark 'Heck' Heckenburg comes to suspect that 38 missing women may all have been abducted by the same unknown party, he finds himself embroiled in the most deadly and disturbing case of his entire career.
A case that will take him from the glitzy heartland of London's financial Square Mile to the desolate, decayed badlands of inner Manchester. From the menacing environs of high-level organised crime to the squalid underbelly of Britain's sex-for-sale industry, where weirdos, freaks and psychos of every description are lurking in the shadows.
It will also match him against the semi-mythical 'Nice Guys Club', a crime syndicate so infamously ruthless and cruel that most felons are too frightened to talk about them, while most senior cops don't even believe they exist (or rather, hope they don't).
STALKERS is the first in a trio of hard-edged police thrillers, concerning Scotland's Yard's elite Serial Crimes Unit, and its most effective investigator, Sergeant Mark 'Heck' Heckenburg, a sharp, hard-working detective, who will stop at nothing to bring justice to the streets, but who, in this very first outing, may already have bitten off far more than he can chew ...
DARK NORTH (Abaddon Books, 2012)
The story of Sir Lucan, the infamous ‘Black Wolf of the North’, who held King Arthur’s northern frontier against the Celtic armies of Rheged and the Pictish hordes of Alba.
Forged in battle from his earliest days, Lucan was one of the most difficult characters for Arthur to manage at his Round Table, combining knightly beliefs and skills with a vengeful nature and innate ferocity, which made him almost unstoppable on the battlefield and a dominant warlord in the wintry wilds of northern Britain. Only the constant presence of good people – his older brother, Sir Bedivere, his idealistic squire, Alaric, King Arthur himself, and more important than any of these, his beautiful wife, Trelawna – kept Lucan on the chivalrous straight and narrow. In times of peace, he became as good a lord to his tenants and as loyal a subject to his king as anyone could ask for. But in times of war, a more sinister personality would emerge.
What then can Arthur’s court expect when a war to end all wars is suddenly declared on Camelot and its allies? How will the volatile brotherhood of the Round Table respond when an army more colossal than any previously seen in Dark Age Europe masses on the other side of the Channel, its intent to invade Britain and wipe out every last vestige of the Arthurian renaissance?
In Le Morte d’Arthur, Thomas Malory (1405-1471) writes tantalisingly about an attempt to reconquer Britain by the newly reinvigorated Roman Empire. Few real details are given, but he hints at prolonged and torturous campaigns, epic battles and astonishing death-tolls – he describes a war comparable with modern wars in terms of the numbers involved and the destruction wreaked. He talks of Albion (pre-Saxon England) as a nation-state suddenly battling for its very existence.
This is the backdrop to DARK NORTH. This is the theatre in which the Black Wolf of the North must finally come of age as a warrior and a man – because for Lucan there will be a war within this war. Not long before Rome’s intentions are made clear, his beloved wife, finally seeking a better life than that she has known in Lucan’s rugged castle at Penharrow, absconds with a young Roman officer. Lucan thus answers his monarch’s call to arms with angry delight. For him, the coming battle, with all its resulting slaughter and devastation, will be very, very personal … but there are other forces at work here, not least the fearsome Malconi clan, to whom Trelawna has unwittingly attached herself: a ancient Roman dynasty with the power to raise demons!
SPARROWHAWK (Pendragon Press, 2010)
In December 1843, embittered Afghan War veteran, John Sparrowhawk, is released from the debtor’s prison by the beautiful but enigmatic Miss Evangeline.
Penniless, alone and tortured by the demons of his past, he has no option but to accept employment with his mysterious new benefactor. The job she offers him is to stand guard over a house in Bloomsbury for the duration of the Christmas period. It sounds simple enough, but as the coldest winter in living memory descends on London, Sparrowhawk senses the presence of an unseen but very dangerous enemy, who will soon start to manifest in the most horrific and terrifying ways …
STRONGHOLD (Abaddon Books, 2010)
In the year 1295, a band of English knights is sent over the border into Wales to quell an uprising. Their leader, Earl Corotocus of Clun is a skilled but brutal marcher baron, who is determined to impress King Edward with his efficiency. He thus massacres the Welsh rebels and terrorises and punishes the civilian population. Afterwards, he and his men take hostage the daughter of Countess Madalyn, a Welsh noblewoman, and hole up in the impregnable Grogan Castle, from where they will rule the district with a rod of iron.
Not all of Corotocus’s retainers are comfortable with their overlord’s methods. One knight in particular, Ranulf FitzOsbern, has fanciful notions that knighthood is should be about honour and chivalry, and is ashamed of his involvement in these atrocities. However differences between the English disappear when a terrifying new enemy emerges through the woodland mist.
Countess Madalyn has made a pact with the druids, who have raised a host of the dead and set it against the English interlopers. A nightmarish siege follows, as the English defend their ramparts against an army whose rotted, raddled soldiers can be hacked, stabbed, slashed, burned and mutilated, but will just not die …
CAPE WRATH (Telos Books, 2002)
An elite university team heads to Craeghatir, a lonely rock off Cape Wrath, mainland Britain’s most northerly point, and a place wreathed in mystery, superstition and a primitive fear of the unknown.
The island is scenic but wild, embattled by crashing waves, roaring whirlpools and thunderous gales. However, the team – led by the beautiful and domineering Professor Jo Mercy, are a hardy bunch and will not be put off. They are here to unearth and excavate a long lost Viking tomb, by which they hope to make their names.
Unfortunately, an ancient energy lies dormant in the rocks of Craeghatir. Even buried deeply, its uncanny influence has reached out over the centuries to cause terror and madness. But now people have come here with picks and shovels. They intend to dig, to tear the island open … and an unstoppable force is set to be released!