After a flu pandemic devastated the old world, the Archipelago offered humanity’s only hope for safety, sanctuary and continuation. Hundreds of years later, the paranoia and fear of the world beyond fuels political, religious and ideological isolationism and a brutal approach to strangers from outside.
Caerlin Kengarl feels anything but safe, after keeping a fortune in stolen drug money. When Aaron Fuidinniel, an orphan and ward of the powerful priesthood, saves Caerlin’s life by committing murder he condemns both of them.
To escape certain torture and death, they attempt to escape to the open ocean and the world beyond. Pushing against a fear of what’s beyond and escaping those who pursue them, they also battle with their own histories.
Shifters, my first novel, is due for release in August. Read the opening below…
Newcombe is almost silent, the only sound a muffled, mechanical music, so deep it seems to run through the bones of the old town. Although a recent addition to the town’s auditory landscape, it’s a reminder of developments. Of Newcombe’s ambition. During the night, it becomes clearer; a kind of palpitating heartbeat, although whether this signals an improvement or the gradual decay and expiration of the place, is hard to tell.
Louis Scully ducks under the raised sash window opening out from his living room, and climbs awkwardly down into the street of terraced houses. After a brief scan of the road, he closes the frame, flinching as the wood squeals where the frames rub. The night is foggy, mist twisting and gyrating around the rusting art-deco street lights; Station Road at night is like an eighties horror movie set. The terraces line the road on both sides, silent and watchful. It’s different from the street he knows so well during daylight hours. He unconsciously brushes at the marks the windowsill left on his trousers. She’ll be here somewhere. He hopes she will. He thinks about crossing his fingers, but pushes the thoughts away. He’s not superstitious, unlike his mum. Instead, he decides to run, breaking the atmosphere. Fog muffles the sound of his footsteps. At the end of his street he turns into a park and nearly crashes into Francesca Merriweather. She’s waiting next to the Station Road street sign, crouching in the shadows, watching…