Book No: 02 of 13
The Spook and his apprentice, Thomas Ward, have travelled to Priestown on some unfinished business. For deep in the catacombs of the ancient cathedral lurks a daemon the Spook has never been able to defeat, an entity so evil that the whole County is in danger of being corrupted by its powers. They call it ‘the Bane’.
As Tom and the Spook prepare for the battle of their lives it becomes clear that the Bane isn’t their only enemy in Priestown. The Quisitor has arrived searching the County for those who meddle with the dark – witches, warlocks and spooks! Can Thomas and his master survive the horror that follows?
“You’ve been Mr Gregory’s apprentice for six months, so you’ve had long enough to see things for yourself,” Mam said. “And by now the dark has noticed you and will be trying to hunt you down. So you’re in danger, son, and for a while that danger will keep on growing. But remember this…When you’re a man, then it’ll be the dark’s turn to be afraid, because then you’ll be the hunter not the hunted. That’s why I gave you life.”
“A pleasant room, this,” said the Bane. “One of my favourite places, it is. Full of old bones. But fresh blood is what I want and the blood of the young is best of all. But if I can’t get blood then I’ll make do with bones. New bones are the best. Give me new bones every time, fresh sweet and filled with marrow. That’s what I like. I love to split young bones and suck out the marrow.”
This was a more difficult book to write. I was still working as a full-time teacher. As a head of department, I was preparing for an inspection and finding the re-writes of the editing process difficult and time-consuming. Once again, Charlie Sheppard is to be thanked for guiding me through it. It was at this time that ‘Greenwillow’, an imprint of the USA publishing company ‘Harper Collins’, signed me for a three-book deal and I realised that I was free to become a full-time writer.