“An absolute master of modern horror. And a damn fine writer at that” - Guillermo del Toro
Featured in Booklist's Top SF/Fantasy & Horror of 2020.
Patrick Torrington’s aunt Thelma was a successful artist whose late work turned towards the occult. While staying with her in his teens he found evidence that she used to visit magical sites. As an adult he discovers her journal of her explorations, and his teenage son Roy becomes fascinated too. His experiences at the sites scare Patrick away from them, but Roy carries on the search, together with his new girlfriend. Can Patrick convince his son that his increasingly terrible suspicions are real, or will what they’ve helped to rouse take a new hold on the world?
FLAME TREE PRESS is the new fiction imprint of Flame Tree Publishing. Launched in 2018 the list brings together brilliant new authors and the more established; the award winners, and exciting, original voices.
A sense of eerie disquiet pervades this impressive supernatural thriller from Campbell (The Influence), winner of the Bram Stoker and World Fantasy Lifetime Achievement Award. Patrick Torrington's aunt Thelma, a misunderstood surrealist artist, died under mysterious circumstances when Patrick was a teenager. Now, years later, Patrick's 15-year-old son, Roy, takes an interest in Thelma's work, including a diary where she recorded the places she turned into landscapes. Father and son attempt to piece together the truth behind Thelma's death, joined by Roy's eccentric friend, Bella. Patrick begins to suspect that Bella's wide-eyed innocence is merely a facade for a sinister motive when her relationship with Roy turns first romantic then co-dependent. In his search for answers about his aunt, Patrick discovers hints of the occult in Thelma's paintings and realizes that both his son and the world are in danger. With razor-sharp prose, Campbell layers his satisfying narrative with intricate, unsettling details to create the feeling of glimpsing something strange out of the corner of one's eye. Fans of cerebral, slow-burning horror will enjoy this twisty treat.