FINDING NEW VOICES
DEFINING NEW GENRES
Ceri Edwards and two school friends lift the lid on an ancient book of recipes belonging to Betty Williams, a volunteer at the local hospital in Pontypridd, South Wales. Two Kansas City cops step off a flight at London Heathrow and one of them falls to the ground with a painful conviction that there’s something evil in the air. United in their destinies, Ceri and the police officers are drawn into a world where prophecies are pitted against invisible forces planning to raze London to the ground and bring down the Royal Family. It all rests with Dai Williams, recently knighted MI5 agent and reluctant hero, to bring some order to the improbable events and to ensure that afternoon tea at The Ritz continues for another hundred years. A great cross between Kim Newman and Ben Aaranovitch and a thrill for any fan of contemporary urban horror.Read More
A wonderful book that will keep you flipping pages –Heather Gilbert
Great story with an interesting and surprising ending… –Rain H.
Unique story telling and unusual plot lines… –Peter Draper
Dogs are reported for their constant barking …and so begins one of the strangest stories you will ever read. Audrey Ackerman, sent to visit the dogs at a 17th century coach house, is unsettled by paranormal sightings. Stella Bridgeport – manager at The Animal Welfare Union – communicates with Audrey via emails. And those Stella receives are as startling as they are incredible: descriptions of extraordinary events concerning a science fiction writer’s journal; giant swans; bizarre android receptionist; a ghost dog. Insanity or fantasy? Fact or fiction? The only given is, it all starts and ends with two dogs at The One Dog Inn…and other stories: 12 short stories with aspects of the macabre, the surreal or the strangeness of magical realism to entertain and delight you.Read More
Infinite Rooms is a terrifying thriller that follows one man’s descent into madness. While narrating to a remembered psychiatrist, Donald Clement’s inner reality becomes infused with surreal fantasy: Neptune rising from the sea; a giant showing the wonders of the universe; an incredible stranger who promises to reveal the secrets of infinity. As Donald falls deeper into the mental realm, so his protected memories are gradually revealed again, exposing the shocking truths he has been hiding…even from himself. Like a unique, mind-bending cross between Clive Barker and China Mieville, this is a novel of wonderful psychological terrors and fantastical dreams, as one man wrestles with the thin line between fantasy and reality.
An extraordinary novel. The quality of the writing, as well as the author’s imaginative prowess, is immediately apparent. As another reviewer has written, this is a challenging read – this book will disturb you, quite probably frustrate you at times, and astound you with its imagery and dexterity with language. Is the central character, Donald Clement, undergoing psychosis, some florid schizophrenic state? Do the ‘mind rooms’ he manifests represent his salvation or his doom? Is his paramour, Bernadette, real or some imaginary and idealised version of womanhood (who then gradually corrodes to her antithesis); who exactly is Dr Leibkov? Has a crime been committed as the result of adultery, or was the adultery itself the crime which has set Donald’s mind askew, broken his soul? You’ve got to read it to find out – albeit the novel discourages a single definitive interpretation – I imagine there will be numerous ‘readings’ of this text.
Infinite Rooms contains some incredibly impressive and memorable set-pieces of descriptive writing. A dark, somewhat bitter humour pervades a narrative studded with moments of deep pathos. I found the ending strangely moving – both a release and a kind of despair. I’ve never read a novel quite like this, or had such an intense reading experience – at times, similar to taking mushrooms or being sleep deprived. To paraphrase R.D. Laing’s contention, a person’s apparent ‘madness’ or ‘psychotic’ behaviour can often be seen as explicable, and even oddly rational, when one understands their social and emotional world, their external and internal history – David John Griffin has given us, in Donald Clement, a compelling and emotionally-layered character who exemplifies Laing’s view.
Mark Mayes, author of The Gift Maker
Infinite Rooms, by David John Griffin, takes the reader inside the mind of Donald Clement, who is struggling to cope in what most would consider the real world. Through dreams and imaginings Clement travels the rooms of his mind trying to adjust his memories and construct barriers against experiences from his past that have caused him grief. In his head he discusses what he is doing with Dr Leibkov, who advises him that to move forward these barriers must be removed.
The writing is surreal. It is cleverly crafted, offering snippets of memory that enable extrapolation of the events which brought Clement to this juncture. At times I thought that I understood, then this too would become opaque, further layers hinting at an alternative interpretation. There were links but it continued to be unclear who and what was real outside of Clement’s mind.
Clement remembers meeting the beautiful Bernadette, the happiness of their early marriage and then how his jealousy drove them apart. Much of his musing occurs on a train journey when the reader is offered glimpses of how Clement perceives his fellow passengers and how he is seen by others. This disconnect offers puzzle pieces to add to the picture being created of what Clement’s life has been.
At the end I was still questionning what had just been narrated. The lack of lucidity was at times challenging, yet it was a satisfying literary journey.
Much as I wish to read eclectically and be stretched, I suspect that my analytical mind may not be capable of fully appreciating surrealism. What I can recognise and commend is the tension and disturbance created in the reader by putting them inside such a disturbed mind. Clement’s psychosis is brilliantly evoked. This is an extraordinary read.
Neverimitate, top 1000 Amazon reviewer
Libby Butler’s life is a mess. Her career as a solicitor in a prestigious London law firm is going nowhere fast, just like the ill-advised affair with her boss. Then a terrifying, life-threatening encounter with the notorious Vampire Killer, a knife-wielding serial murderer, leaves Libby with her courage and confidence shattered.
Desperate to pick up the pieces of her life, duty calls Libby to the cells of a Metropolitan police station in the middle of the night. There she meets mysterious and enigmatic stranger Gabriel Radley, a man on intimate terms with danger and who has a habit of disappearing from police custody. Gabriel is searching for a Stone he has lost, its value beyond human imagination, that will help bring a monster to justice.
When Libby agrees to help him find the Stone she senses a chance at redemption, but unwittingly plunges headfirst into a series of events that threaten to tear her world apart. A cult called The Awakened, a gangland thug and his vicious henchman, a deadly female assassin, a dedicated detective chief inspector and even the Vampire Killer – all become embroiled in the chase for the Stone and influenced by the elemental force that is Gabriel.
As the death toll rises, Libby is forced to face her true self, learn the ultimate value of life and discover the potent significance of the Sleeping Warrior within.
The novel is an action-packed exploration of good versus evil and its blend of realism and fantasy absolutely works. What a debut! One of my favourite reads of the year so far. – Lucy Literati
This is an intriguing blend of crime and urban fantasy with a sassy heroine you’d want on your side in a fight. Atmospheric and captivating. Can’t wait to see what Sara Bain comes up with next – Michael Malone
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‘Every unknown is a beginning’
Bea lives a simple life residing in a SW London second-hand bookshop. It had been an especially difficult year, first with Bea’s uncle dying, then splitting up with Brandon, her philandering, druggie boyfriend. The shop’s trivial daily conversations, local faces and ordinary calm was all she desired – but that was all about to change.
No-one expects to bump into supernatural beings, let alone two opposing sects of a forgotten race. Bea’s quiet existence turns into turmoil as she slowly starts to unravel a secret past, a lost history in which love, revenge, betrayal, magic, power and karma are not mere cycles of a soul, but a sacred journey upon a web of many possibilities.
The future is not set in stone, and the choices that Bea makes ripple through the cosmos. As the secret unfolds she realises that no matter what form your soul takes there are consequences for your actions in which time has no relevance – we call it karma, they call it Vororbla.
Will she cope with the heartbreak and truths revealed before her? What would you do if your very existence came into question?
Join Bea on her journey as she uncovers the truth of her past via a carpet of purple flowers.
When is the second book out? – Chris, Surrey, UK.
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