‘John Blackburn is today’s master of horror.’ –Times Literary Supplement
An inexplicable wave of murders has the country gripped with terror. Ordinary men and women are suddenly going mad, committing brutal and horrific killings before slaying themselves in equally gruesome ways. General Charles Kirk of British Foreign Intelligence thinks the case has something to do with the most evil man he has ever known: Tommy Ryde, a British spy who defected to the Nazis during World War II and who seemed to possess a strange hypnotic power. But Ryde died forty years ago – or did he? Kirk and his colleague Bill Easter are determined to find out. The trail takes them first to Berlin to seek answers from a notorious Nazi war criminal, then to an underwater search of a sunken U-boat off the Scottish coast, and finally to the torture chambers beneath a madman’s Gothic castle in Dartmoor, where they will come face to face with the living incarnation of evil . . .
The last of the prolific John Blackburn’s twenty-eight novels, The Bad Penny (1985) features the trademark blend of mystery, adventure, and horror that made him one of the most acclaimed British thriller writers of his generation. One of the scarcest of Blackburn’s books and long unobtainable, The Bad Penny is reprinted here for the first time ever.
‘He is certainly the best British novelist in his field and deserves the widest recognition.’ – Penguin Encyclopedia of Horror and the Supernatural
‘[A] stylish, genuinely chilling author . . . undoubtedly one of England’s best practicing novelists in the tradition of the thriller novel.’ – St. James Guide to Crime & Mystery Writers