Good day to you lovely folks, today I have a cheeky sneak peak at Anthony O’Neill’s newest book The Devil Upstairs that was published by Black & White Publishing on the 5th of September, you can purchase a copy here.
Anthony O’Neill is the son of an Irish policeman and an Australian stenographer. He was born in Melbourne and now lives in Edinburgh. He is the author of seven novels including The Dark Side and Dr Jekyll & Mr Seek, recommended by Ian Rankin as ‘clever, gripping and reverent’.
The author of Dr Jekyll & Mr Seek brings us a shadowy beauty entwined with dark witty humour – a macabre thriller with elements of Rosemary’s Mary.
The time has come for you to check out the extract that may wet your reading appetite:
He’ll be in attendance tonight? The Laird?’
‘He might be.’
‘And the others?’
‘People from all over. Slovakia. Japan. Austria. Ireland. Sri Lanka.’
‘The United Nations of Witches.’
Agnes giggled again. ‘Some of them were in Montenegro for the autumn equinox celebrations in September. Then they were in Norway last week for Hallowe’en. That was one of the reasons it took a few weeks to organise.’
‘They’re not all coming for me, I hope?’
‘No, not really. Not really.’
But Agnes didn’t titter this time. Didn’t answer at all.
In awkward silence she steered down a serpentine side road flanked by bristling conifers. They passed what looked like a ruined granary and a deserted cottage. The forest thickened and darkened, and Cat had the disorientating sense of having visited the place in a dream. Finally Agnes flicked the indicator and they turned into a driveway, pausing before ornate wrought-iron gates flanked by sentry boxes. Two slab-faced guards in padded jackets lumbered up to the windows. One of them lanced Cat’s face with a flashlight beam. Agnes nodded at them and muttered a strange word: ‘Shenhamforash.’ Still expressionless, the guards drew back, the gates swung open, and the VW eased into the thickly wooded estate. Mounted cameras rotated to follow them.
Cat looked around. ‘What’s going on here, exactly?’
‘I told you,’ said Agnes. ‘There’s been a lot of trouble lately.’
‘But do they really need all this security?’
‘Sad, isn’t it?’ Another evasive laugh.
The driveway seemed endless. Cat thought she saw more guards moving like wraiths among the trees. She could’ve sworn that some of them were carrying assault rifles.
Eventually the VW entered a clearing. The headlights swept across several parked vehicles – a Rolls, an Aston Martin, a Porsche 911 – and Agnes pulled up in a spot that seemed reserved for her.
‘Now I see why you advised me to dress up,’ said Cat.
‘Aye,’ said Agnes, ‘some of these folk have done pretty well for themselves.’
They got out of the car to the sound of owls hooting in the forest. They passed a surreal oak tree with a trunk that resembled fifty serpents entwined around one another. Cat was again ruffled by déjà vu. The Laird of Howgate’s residence – the top of the castle – looked like a well-tended hunting lodge, but as they approached she discerned a huge gulf behind it. She made out a precipitous slope. She thought she heard flowing water.
She spared a moment to appreciate the absurdity of the situation. Five months earlier she was shielding her face from the Florida sun. Now she was approaching a remote and well-guarded Scottish castle to participate in some mysterious Satanic ritual. Or game. Or something.
‘I’m not going to regret this, am I?’ she whispered.
‘If things go to plan,’ Agnes assured her, ‘you’ll more likely look
back on this as the greatest moment of your life.’
It was Saturday, 4 November.
If that isn’t enough for you to run out ad grab a copy of the book, you can check out a Q&A with Anthony O’Neill oer at Bella’s blog here and the first review of the blog tour from Kelly at Love Books Group here! Both brilliant posts!
Thanks to Jaz at Black & White Publishing for the tour invite.
Have you already grabbed yourself a copy of The Devil Upstairs? What are your thoughts? Let me know!