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As a member of the Counter Terrorist Unit, Sean Doyle thought he'd seen it all. Every violent act, every depraved action man could perpetrate against man but he is to discover that there are much worse things in this world than even he has encountered.
Tracking a group of renegade terrorists from London to the Republic of Ireland, Doyle and his partner must discover who is funding these men and why. What he discovers is beyond even his experience and threatens not just his life but his sanity too.
The trail of terror leads not just across Britain but to France as well where the monstrous deeds of a murderer who died four hundred years earlier still cast a dark and horrific shadow. In the grisly frames of a stained glass window taken from the home of this vile killer lay the secret sought by so many for so long. The secret of immortality. And one man will stop at nothing to get it.
Sean Doyle is about to meet that man. Modern terrorism meets Medieval madness in a jaw-dropping climax that will make the living envy the dead...
Shaun Hutson is one of the UK's best known horror writers and author of over 50 books. He made his name with best-sellers such as Spawn and Relics—acquiring the nicknames 'The Godfather of Gore' and 'The Shakespeare of Gore' in the process—and has since written a number of dark urban thrillers as well. He has also written for radio, magazines, television and novelized a couple of Hammer Horror films.
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Shaun Hutson is a bestselling author of horror fiction and has written novels under eight different pseudonyms. He has also contributed stories to 'Kerrang' and 'Raw' and used to host Sky TV's 'Monsters of Rock' programme.Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
Prologue It was the darkness of the blind. A blackness so impenetrable, so palpable he felt as if he was floating on it. Surrounded by it. As if the tenebrous gloom were infiltrating every pore of his body, shutting out the light as surely as if his eyes had been removed. But amidst that darkness there was pleasure. Pleasure he had felt before and knew he would feel again. Sometimes so exquisite it was almost unbearable. The inability to see heightened the sensations he felt. His sense of smell was sharpened. The odour was strong in his nostrils, pungent, sweet, occasionally somewhat rancid. A powerful coppery odour which he knew well and which he welcomed. His ears seemed more sensitive than usual, too, his hearing attuned more intensely to the sounds that filtered through the blackness. It was like some kind of chorus. His own sighs and grunts of pleasure mingled with the other noises. The more strident cries. Cries of pain. He smiled in the gloom, running his own fingers over his features, pushing one index finger into his mouth and tracing the outline of his lower lip. He tasted the blood on it and licked it off. His body felt as if it were on fire, despite the coldness inside the building, and he grinned as he thought about the luminosity which his body might be giving off as that warmth seemed to intensify. But there was no glow. Only that blackness which he loved so dearly. Almost as dearly as the objects that surrounded him. He ran his hands over them with greedy relish. He was close to ecstasy. His own breathing was low and guttural, rasping deep in his throat as he continued to run his fingers over the thing beside him. Then finally he lifted it. Smoothly, effortlessly. The smell seemed to grow stronger as he brought the object close to his face. It was invisible in the darkness but he ran his right index finger across it, feeling every fold and crease. Every unblemished inch. It felt like velvet. He smiled broadly, knowing that this pleasure could continue for hours yet. They would not come for him until morning and by that time he would be satiated. Glutted on pleasure. Until the next time. He shuddered with anticipation and brought the object closer to his face, feeling something run slowly down his right arm. Fluid which dripped from his elbow onto his naked thigh. He opened his mouth slightly, preparing himself, his tongue, flicking across his own lips before snaking out to weave tight patterns over the other object. He tasted. He smelled. He felt. He heard. The low cries. The dripping of fluid. His tongue touched lips. And those other lips were warm. Despite the fact that the head had been severed over an hour ago. PART ONE ‘No life that breathes with human breath, Has ever truly longed for death.’ – Alfred Lord Tennyson. ‘For a price I’d do about anything, except pull the trigger. For that I’d need a pretty good cause.’ – Queensryche. One STORMONT, NORTHERN IRELAND: They would kill him. Chris Newton had no doubt about it. He was a dead man. If he fucked up on this assignment then they would kill him. He shoved a fresh roll of film into the back of the Nikon which hung around his neck, checked and re-checked the other two cameras which he carried then peered through the one with the telephoto lens that was perched on the tripod before him. He adjusted the lens, trying to bring the Parliament building into sharper focus, aware that he’d already performed this task a dozen times in the last fifteen minutes. His hands were shaking, and not just from the chill wind which swept across the great lawns fronting the building. He was nervous. No, that was an under-statement. He was scared shitless. Had he taken all the lens caps off? Were all his exposures set right? Was the shutter speed correct? Check. Check. He felt like a bloody astronaut running through the final details of take-off prior to bring fired into space. And again the thought crossed his mind that, if he didn’t get the pictures he’d been sent here to obtain, space probably offered his only safe haven. The editors of The Mail had seen fit to give him this assignment on the strength of the work he’d been doing on the paper for the last seven months. He’d covered everything for them from football matches to society parties and they had been impressed. Impressed enough to send him here. The men around him were probably just as nervous as he was, Newton tried to tell himself. Most of them were smoking; one was sipping from a hip flask. Newton could have done with sharing the liquor. Anything to calm his nerves. The assembled politicians were expected out onto the lawn within the next fifteen minutes. He checked his watch. Close by a film crew were setting up, the reporter tapping the end of his microphone, complaining that it didn’t work. The cameraman was swinging his hand-held camera back and forth as if it were some kind of weapon, sweeping it across the ranks of newsmen and women, pausing occasionally to wipe the odd spot of rain from the lens. The sky was overcast, threatening a downpour. It had been raining on and off since Newton arrived in Northern Ireland two days ago. In fact, Belfast reminded him of Manchester with its almost constant rainfall, the main difference being that British soldiers didn’t patrol the streets of Manchester. Not yet, anyway, he mused. There were soldiers ahead of him, mingling with the scores of Ulster Constabulary men, the mosaic of uniforms incongruous against the regal background of Stormont itself. ‘You ready?’ The voice startled him and he glanced round to see Julie Webb looking at him. She had flown out with him, reminding him all the time (as if he needed it) of the importance of getting good pictures. The Stormont Summit was the most important meeting of its kind in the history of the Six Counties: a final opportunity to end the bloodshed which had torn the country apart for over four hundred years. At this very moment inside the building there were members of the British Cabinet, the Irish Government, Ulster Unionists. Even representatives of Sinn Fein, for Christ’s sake. A meeting of ideologies which, a year before, would have been unthinkable. But it was happening right now and Chris Newton had been sent here to record it on film. And if he fucked up his editors would kill him. It was as simple as that. Julie stamped her feet trying to restore circulation, her boots crunching gravel. ‘They’re coming out soon,’ she told him, sipping from a plastic mug she’d taken from a thermos flask. The flask itself she held to her chest as if it were a new-born child. She poured herself another cup of the steaming coffee and offered some to Newton. He declined, shaking his head, blowing on his hands instead, trying to induce some warmth and also to stop himself trembling. A few feet away he heard the quick-fire rattle of several shots from a Pentax. To his left a reporter from one of the major news shows on television was recording his location and time indent. That done, he turned towards the Parliament building and muttered something under his breath before looking at his watch again. The troops and security men watched the swarms of newsmen intently. Security at the gathering was even more stringent than usual, the presence of the security forces more in evidence than Newton could ever remember. As well as troops and R.U.C., it was rumoured there were a number of S.A.S. men present, invisible amongst the crowd. Newton glanced to his right and left, wondering if the very men he stood beside were in fact S.A.S. men in disguise. His own press card had been double-checked, the guards at the press entrance apparently unconvinced that the likeness on his card matched his actual identity. Newton had thought for one awful moment that he was going to be refused entry but the guards had finally relented and allowed him to pass. He continued rubbing his hands together, looking around. The media interest in the summit was, naturally, immense. Newton wondered if there were any reporters left in Fleet Street. Everyone, it seemed, was gathered here; they wanted to be part of the momentous event, irrespective of whether it was part of their job or not. There were foreign film crews from as far afield as Japan, though what they made of it all Newton couldn’t imagine. Probably spies from Nikon wanting to see how sales were doing, he mused, checking his own equipment again. Larger spots of rain began to fall sporadically and a number of the assembled throng glanced upwards towards the swollen clouds and passed less than flattering comments about the weather in the province. Newton pulled a baseball cap from the pocket of his coat and jammed it on. He bent forward to peer through the mounted camera once more, annoyed when someone bumped into it. ‘Careful,’ he said irritably, glaring at the offender. The man met his gaze with unblinking eyes, almost challengingly. He was stocky and in need of a shave. He stood looking at Newton for long seconds before passing off into the crowd. ‘Prat,’ the photographer muttered, making sure the other man was out of earshot. He re-adjusted the camera, peering through the telescopic lens as a sniper might study his prey. He was one of the first to see the main door of the building open. ‘Jesus,’ he muttered, noticing the armed security men who emerged ahead of the first of the politicians. And then the whole cold, wet and irritable throng of media saw what they had come to see. The weather and the conditions were momentarily forgotten. More politicians emerged, some joking about the weather, others wondering whether or not it might be more prudent to remain inside the building until the rain had stopped. The air was filled with the quick-fire rattle of a hundred cameras firing off an almost synchronized volley. Reporters tried to move forward but were held back by the line of security men and now the waiting media saw that the politicians were coming towards them anyway, sticking to the pathways wherever possible. Newton, snapping away as if his life depended upon it, caught sight of the Irish Prime Minister walking alongside two Unionist MPs. Behind them the British Foreign Secretary strode between two security guards, chatting animatedly with a member of Sinn Fein. Newton shook-his head in wonderment. The politicians drew closer, grouping together for the benefit of the posse of media. The reporters now began firing questions with a verbal rapidity that almost matched the high-speed salvos coming from the cameras. Television cameras cast cyclopean eyes over the entire gathering as the questions rained down and sound men struggled to push boom mikes close enough to catch the responses. ‘How much progress had been made in the talks?’ ‘Is it possible that a settlement could be reached before the end of the week?’ ‘What do the talks mean to both Northern Ireland and Southern Ireland?’ ‘Will the troops be withdrawn soon?’ Newton kept firing away, happy that he was covering every angle, framing every face. His nervousness seemed to have gone. He was doing what he did best now. Moving alternately between the mounted camera and the ones he carried around his neck he expertly and swiftly changed rolls of film, not wishing to leave any possible history-making shot to chance. The questions continued to pour forth, their answers sometimes vague, sometimes encouraging, sometimes non-committal. Newton himself realized that one summit meeting and four days of discussion were insufficient in themselves to cure a disease that had afflicted the province for so long but, if the troubles in Ulster were an open wound, then this summit was going some way to at least dress that wound. The healing process would take much longer. He was preparing to take another photo as the politicians gathered together when he was almost knocked to the ground. He spun round angrily. ‘What the fuck ...’ he snapped, seeing that it was the same unshaven man who had bumped into him a moment or two earlier. ‘Watch it, mate,’ Newton said angrily. ‘We’re all in the same boat here, you know.’ The man again said nothing. His eyes were fixed on the assembled politicians who were now all but surrounded by reporters, the heaving throng kept a respectful distance by the security forces. Maybe he was one of the plain-clothes S.A.S. men, thought Newton, his job to mingle with the crowd and check for any trouble. He carried a camera around his neck but it was not the camera he was reaching for. It was the gun that he pulled from inside his coat.
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Book Description Sphere, 1991. Soft cover. Condition: Very Good. mass market paperback, good reading copy, light spine and edge wear, clean. Seller Inventory # 181930
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Book Description Sphere 05/12/1991, 1991. Condition: Good. Shipped within 24 hours from our UK warehouse. Clean, undamaged book with no damage to pages and minimal wear to the cover. Spine still tight, in good condition. Remember if you are not happy, you are covered by our 100% money back guarantee. Seller Inventory # 2341-9780747407911
Book Description Sphere 05/12/1991, 1991. Condition: Very Good. Shipped within 24 hours from our UK warehouse. Clean, undamaged book with no damage to pages and minimal wear to the cover. Spine still tight, in very good condition. Remember if you are not happy, you are covered by our 100% money back guarantee. Seller Inventory # 6545-9780747407911