Hello everyone! I’m well overdue for giving you all an update on the latest instalments of The Brackenford Cycle, so by way of an apology read on for the “blurbs” for both book four – “Grindhelm’s Key” – and the third novella, “Killing Lazarus”.
I’m not going to risk making any detailed predictions about release dates – getting “Spectre’s Rest” finished proved to me that I’m useless when it comes to that – but you can expect “Killing Lazarus” to be out first, with “Grindhelm’s Key” to follow… um… at some point. I’ll try to give you a more detailed update on that score when I can do so without sounding quite so vague. Promise.
Anyway, on with the blurbs…
“Killing Lazarus” – The Blurb
Getting a well paid nine-to-five job is pretty difficult when you’re over a hundred and sixty years old, your CV is a list of noteworthy murders and you shot your last boss. Which is why Ezekiel Barker is spending most of his time hiding in a draughty flat in Whitechapel, consuming gin at a rate that would make even Oliver Reed raise an eyebrow. He’s a wanted man, and it’s a race against time to see what’ll kill him first, the booze or the Custodians, the United Kingdom’s supernatural police force. They’d like a quiet word with him about the whole “noteworthy murders” thing.
But he’s not as well hidden as he thought, because one night the telephone rings and an anonymous caller offers him a job. It’s an offer he can’t refuse; fail to complete the job and his location will be revealed to the Custodians. At first glance it seems quite straightforward – travel to a remote Cornish fishing village and retrieve a stolen artefact. But Barker quickly discovers that he hasn’t been given all the details. The thief is a man with homicidal tendencies, an unusual talent for disguise, and a ridiculous name: Gary Lazarus. He knows all about Barker, and has very specific reasons for wanting to meet him. He wants to play a game. A game only one of them can possibly survive…
“Grindhelm’s Key” – The Blurb
It’s the New Year and the whole world seems to have taken a resolution to make Trev Irwin’s life a misery. He’s trying to hold down two jobs, one of which involves dealing with dangerous, immoral and evil creatures of darkness. And if working in the property business wasn’t bad enough, he’s also got vampires, werewolves and angry elementals to deal with in his other job helping out the Custodians, the United Kingdom’s supernatural police force.
Turning up to work tired, battered and bruised isn’t conducive to good performance, and Trev is on his final warning at SmoothMove estate agents. He’s been given a short time in which to convince the management he’s worth keeping on, and he can’t afford any distractions or slip-ups. Such as his ex-girlfriend Sarah calling him out of the blue to tell him that she’s being held hostage and needs his help, or a psychotic zombie with a soul-sucking lantern ambushing him in an alley. Sadly both those things happen within the space of twenty-four hours, and neither can be ignored.
Trev needs to figure out a way to find Sarah, who’s been caught while trying to steal a dangerous item from its owner. But there are a number of other parties who also want the item, and they’re looking for Sarah too. To get to her first, Trev’s going to need the help of all his allies: his Granddad, a veteran Custodian; Oscar, the sardonic possessed cat; and Agatha, the prudish Victorian ghost. Against his better judgement, he’s also going to need the help and resources of the Custodians themselves, which presents a problem. There’s a traitor in the organisation who wants Trev dead. And this might just be the opportunity they’ve been waiting for.