A devilishly dark folk horror novel set during the English Civil War. Samuel Hawke is a charlatan. His lucrative career as a witchfinder is built on fabricated evidence and forced confessions. His guilt grows with each innocent person he condemns and his only remaining motive is the financial rewards his profession offers him.
In Beckborn, Lancashire, two girls are accused of witchcraft. Samuel travels to the isolated village for an investigation which may pay enough to be his last. He finds a community torn apart by fear and paranoia. His hopes of a simple examination are dashed when the mystery of the two girls unravels in a deadly way.
Rescued by another, actual, witch-finder, Samuel is plunged into a world of the supernatural and the occult. Strange people with immense power lurk on the fringes of society, hiding behind the veil of superstition and belief, causing chaos in war-torn England. Samuel must find the sisters, before he is hunted down and destroyed, whilst navigating through the violence and suspicion of a country ravaged by war.
Due for launch: 7th June, 2022 by BRIO BOOKS
MEET SAMUEL HAWKE!
20 February 1644
An eccentric old woman. Snarling, creaky and bent. Annie Parsons hunched in her chair, dribbling and murmuring. Strings of lank, grey hair hung about her face like an abandoned spider’s web. Grime made the whiteness of her shift barely visible. It clung to her body like a loose skin about to be shed. Her bony wrists and ankles red and black with the sores of a long spell in irons.
Samuel Hawke stood over her, rigid, arms folded, about to perform his service for the town and the county of Hampshire and, more importantly, for God. ‘How many have you cursed, Mrs Parsons?’ his voice boomed.
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