QSFer William Holden has a new historical horror book out:
George Sutton, a London constable, is suddenly thrown into a battle between good and evil, brother against brother, and doesn’t know he is the key to the city’s survival. It’s the eighteenth-century and the dead are coming back to life.
When Constable George Sutton receives a summons from an old friend late at night, he only knows she is in distress. He’s little prepared to find Elizabeth aged decades in a matter of days. He’s even less prepared to learn his longtime friend and husband to Elizabeth has risen from the dead, released as the instrument of revenge by a victim of the Society for the Reformation of Manners. Hayden, a handsome outsider, arrives wanting to help, but can George trust a perfect stranger who seems to know all too well what is going on in the city?
To defeat the dead, George must come to terms with his role in their rising and accept responsibility for the city’s survival. George and Hayden work together to stop the collapse of London, hoping their tumultuous relationship and dark pasts don’t prove too much to overcome.
It’s the eighteenth-century and the dead are walking.
CONTENT ADVISORY: Part I of this story is an extensively expanded and re-edited version of a story included in an anthology of the same name, available from Bold Strokes Books.
“Excuse me, sir?” The coachman replied as he snapped the reins of the horses. He turned and noticed the aggravated look on the constable’s haggard face. “Constable Sutton, is it not?”
“It is,” Mr Sutton said. “I asked why Mrs Tennyson called for me at such an unspeakable hour?” Constable Sutton hoped he had not been taken from the first quiet evening he had experienced in months for nothing more than a quick fuck. “What was her reasoning for this unexpected demand?”
“She would not explain herself, sir.” The coachman pulled back on the reins of the horses. “Only to say she could not express her troubles to a perfect stranger then, in a fit of anger and what I can only describe as fear, she demanded I fetch you at once. She even went so far as to throw a vase at me when I hesitated.” He brought the carriage to a stop then turned to face Mr Sutton before continuing. “If you do not mind my saying so, she did not seem at all herself.”
“Forgive me for this rude and abrupt question.” Mr Sutton leaned forward in his seat. “Who in the hell are you?”
“I am sorry, sir. In the urgency of this evening, I have neglected to introduce myself. My name is Hayden, Hayden Leonte.”
“At least now I have a name, which gives me something to go on. However, your response does nothing to explain my initial question. I know all the coachmen the city affords us, how is it our paths have not crossed before now?”
“I have only recently arrived in London, sir,” Mr Leonte replied, glancing toward the night sky as the moon broke through the coal-laced clouds.
“Do you care to elaborate on this, or are we in the midst of a game of guess?”
“My apology, sir. I do not mean to sound cryptic or play games as you suggest.” Mr Leonte turned to face Mr Sutton.
They were distracted by a sudden commotion in the street. Peering out the window, they watched as a young woman ran past the carriage screaming incoherent words as if fright had stolen her mind.
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William Holden’s writing spans more than a decade, with over sixty published short stories. He is an award-winning author of such titles as, A Twist of Grimm by Lethe Press (Lambda Literary Finalist), and by Bold Strokes Books, Words to Die By (2nd place Rainbow Book Awards for best horror and finalist for the American Library Association’s Foreward Book Award for Best Horror), Secret Societies (Lambda Literary Finalist) and its sequel, The Thief Taker, also a Finalist for the Lambda Literary Award.