Author’s Showcase: Masters of Imagination

The Book: The Fragile Peace

The Author: Paul Anthony

The Story: About the Province where no one talks, this story tells it like it is. This Ulster novel reaches to the very roots of sectarian life and death. Written by a member of the security forces, it penetrates behind the media-screen to reveal a human landscape that is unknown, yet startingly believable.

It is a world where sworn enemies may exchange confidence over a game of snooker; where a kneecapping operation turns into a deadly vendetta fuelled by sexual jealousy and where the fate of the United Kingdom could rest in the hands of one punch-drunk bruiser with a dangerous addiction.

Everything is here, from the glamour of high-tech intelligence work to the despairing pub-talk of men locked in the past. Trace the origins of these relentless tit-for-tat killings, often starting in childhood and see how the lives of vastly different people may be mysteriously linked forever against the fatally beautiful backdrop of Northern Ireland.

Is it Eugene, the hit man with a gambling problem? Or Dermot, the most formidable bomb-maker in Ireland? Or Shelagh, daughter of a favourite IRA martyr?

Suspicion and mistrust plague this tight-knit terrorist cell all the way from the Bogside to Westminster Bridge, as the drama reaches it climax with the unknown traitor still poised to sabotage the mission the surest way – by wiping out the rest of the team.

A Bomb Will Explode in Downing Street in Half an Hour.

The chilling Ulster accent echoing a world of grey streets and grim death.

The correct password confirming a deadly threat to the UK governement.

Fanatics hate peace.

As more Irish republicans come to the negotiating table, one fanatical group sets out to smash the peace talks beyond hope. Highly trained and well-armed, they have the power to strike a devastating blow at the very heart of the British establishment, but the police keep intercepting their plans – until they gradually realize that one of their own number must be a double agent.

Paul Anthony points out: “Some will tell you this book is about war. I will tell you it is about peace.”

The Book: The Forever Girl

The Author: Rebecca Hamilton

The Story: Solving the mystery of an ancestor’s hanging might silence the clashing whispers in Sophia’s mind, but the cult in her town and the supernaturals who secretly reside there are determined to silence her first.

As Sophia unknowingly crosses the line into an elemental world full of vampire-like creatures, shapeshifters, and supernatural grim reapers, she meets Charles, a man who becomes both lover and ally.

But can she trust him?

It’s not until someone nearly kills Sophia that she realizes the only way to unveil the source of her family’s curse: abandon her faith or abandon her humanity. If she wants to survive, she must accept who she is, perform dark magic, and fight to the death for her freedom.

HarperCollins wrote: “I was really drawn in by the writing from the first instance. The voice is clear and easy-to-read; it’s rare to see such natural flow and tempo from a debut author.”

As another reviewer pointed out: “Rebecca Hamilton has created a whole new take on the vampire genre. Her mythos is intricate and completely original. The story features twists and surprises that keep you reeling. Even some of the twists have twists.”

The Book: Unholy Alliance

The Author: Neil Low

The Story: During the height of Prohibition Sergeant Knuckles McMurphy finds Beat Officer Hacksaw Sawyer shot twice in the face, his body wedged between car seats inside a locked garage. The death is hastily ruled a suicide, which leaves the widow craving justice, while others wonder what happened to the fortune Sawyer amassed during his Dry Squad tenure.

At the time of his death, Sawyer was being punished, assigned to walk a beat in Dark Town’s Jazz Alley because of his alliance to corrupt officials and his dubious connections to Chinatown’s kingpin, Goon Dip Wong.

Nine years after Sawyer’s suspicious death, Chief of Detectives Mike Ketchum is still haunted by the death of his former star detective and wants the case solved before he retires, so he turns once again to hard-boiled, private detectives Alan Stewart and Vera Deward, asking them to investigate a case that’s too hot for the department’s detectives, who have been ordered by the Chief of Police, “Leave this one alone.”

P.I. Alan Stewart is forced to work undercover and underground, where he enters Goon Dip Wong’s gambling, drug, and prostitution emporium, seeking to unravel this mystery, while his beautiful partner waits in the subterranean underworld.

Once inside, Stewart finds himself going further and risking more than anyone intended in his search for clues.


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