Look Out For… The Exiled by William Meikle and Touched by Joanna Briscoe

exiledLook Out For… The Exiled by William Meikle

“Mixes gritty modern crime fiction with the fey and supernatural!”

 When several young girls are abducted from various locations in Edinburgh, Detective John Granger and his brother Alan, a reporter, investigate the cases from different directions. The abductor is cunning, always one step ahead, and the only clue he leaves behind at each scene are the brutalized corpses of black swans.

When the brothers’ investigations finally converge at a farmhouse in Central Scotland, they catch a glimpse of where the girls have been taken, a place both far away yet close enough to touch. A land known throughout Scottish history with many names: Faerie, Elfheim, and the Astral Plane. It is a place of legend and horror, a myth. But the brothers soon discover it’s real, and, to catch the abductor, they will have to cross over themselves.

To catch a killer, John and Alan Granger will have to battle the Cobbe, a strange and enigmatic creature that guards the realm, a creature of horrific power that demands a heavy price for entry into its world. The fate of both realms hangs in the balance… and time is running out…

 Why we’re excited about this book: Dark re-imaginings of fairy tales have been a staple of the horror and dark fantasy genres for a while now, with writers like Sarah Pinborough and Graham Joyce showing us why these stories weren’t originally just for children. In fact, the original versions of many of these stories were very grown up…

William Meikle’s The Exiled has a similar message, mixing the gritty tropes of modern crime fiction with the fey and the supernatural. Set initially in modern day Edinburgh it tells of two brothers, one a policeman and one a journalist, trying to solve the mystery of a spate of child abductions.

But things take a turn towards the supernatural, and Meikle reminds us that modern crime fiction isn’t the only genre that often begins with the abduction of children – lots of fairy tales start this way too. How many fairy stories begin with kids abandoned in the woods, or orphaned or abducted by fairies? Cleverly mixing together these two elements, The Exiled promises Meikle’s usual storytelling and strong characterisation, and is yet another reason why Darkfuse is one of the most interesting publishers going.

This book will appeal to: people in the overlapping section of a Venn diagram showing Grimm Tales readers, Stephen King fans and crime fiction lovers.

The Exiled is out on 01 July 2014 from Darkfuse.

JoannaBriscoe_jaldenLook Out For… Touched by Joanna Briscoe

“This is Joanna Briscoe’s first foray into supernatural fiction, but let’s hope it’s not her last.”

A chilling, deeply creepy Hammer novella by Joanna Briscoe, author of the acclaimed, bestselling novel, Sleep With Me.

Rowena Crale and her family have moved from London. They now live in a small English village in a cottage which seems to be resisting all attempts at renovation. Walls ooze damp, stains come through layers of wallpaper, ceilings sag. And strange noises emanate from empty rooms.

As Rowena struggles with the upheaval of builders while trying to be a dutiful wife and a good mother to her young children, her life starts to disintegrate.

And then, one by one, her daughters go missing…

Why we’re excited about this book: As if to prove our point about stories with missing children, here’s Joanna Briscoe’s new novella from Hammer. Touched is about a mother and her family escaping from London to an old house in a small English village. It’s unlikely to be any surprise to This Is Horror readers when we say that the new house holds some surprises and is strangely resistant to the kind of redecoration that they’re always recommending on Location Location Location. And, you guessed it, children start to vanish…

Briscoe was brought up in Letchmore Heath (where Village Of The Damned was filmed) and her childhood home provided the inspiration for Touched. This novella looks set to combine the creepiness of a good old fashioned haunted house story with the more ambiguous horrors of The Midwitch Cuckoos: the original Village Of The Damned. This is Joanna Briscoe’s first foray into supernatural fiction, but let’s hope it’s not her last.

This book will appeal to: People who are secretly unnerved by quaint English villages and picturesque houses.

Touched is out 3 July 2014 from Hammer.


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