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Author: Shaun Hutson
Publisher: Caffeine Nights Publishing, 2015

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Book Type: Novel
Genre: Horror
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"When you have eliminated the impossible whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth..." Arthur Conan Doyle

On the banks of the river Thames a massive new building is being completed. A stunning creation of glass and concrete that will be a new landmark on London's skyline. And people are dying because of it...

Dozens of mysterious unexplained accidents have claimed the lives of workmen during the construction and journalist Jessica Anderson is convinced that the owner of the building, a billionaire Russian businessman, knows more about the accidents than he is revealing.

Enlisting the help of a former colleague, Jess tries to investigate the shadowy industrialist but finds that far harder than she imagined. Protected by a private security force and cocooned by his entourage, this powerful man proves to be as elusive as anyone she has ever known. He values his privacy and seems willing to go to any ends to protect it. But what is he hiding?

As she delves into his background she discovers that one of his ancestors lived in London during the 1930's on the same site where the Crystal Tower was constructed and death and destructionsurrounded that ancestor too. Is there a link between these two men? Jess is convinced there is and when a series of horrific attacks and murders take place, perpetrated against men who want to stop the Russians next building project, she finds herself plunged into a maelstrom of fear and events that threaten not just her life but her very sanity...

Something from the darkest reaches of myth and superstition has been unleashed upon a modern world and it seems no one can stop it...


PROVOCATION LONDON; JUNE 1933 The window exploded inwards showering glass in all directions. Seconds later another impact against the large expanse of glass caused more of the crystal shrapnel to erupt inwards, spraying the interior of the building. Two more bricks followed, each one shattering more glass. The little man on the stairs had heard the first crash and that was what had woken him, by the time he heard the second he was already out of bed and heading for the top of the stairs. Despite the fear he felt he knew he had to get down to the scene of destruction, to see exactly what was going on and, if possible, to prevent more of it. He had felt fear like this before and he swayed uncertainly on the narrow wooden steps, dreading what might await him but knowing he could not hide from it. He had hidden too much during his life already. Either run or hidden. Those two methods of existence were becoming much too large a part of his way of life and he'd hoped that they had ceased. The sounds from below him now told him that they had not. He wiped his face with one shaking hand and advanced further down the stairs, ears alert for more sounds. When none came he swallowed hard, wondering if the ordeal was over. Hoping that it was. He rubbed his hands together now, large liver spots visible on the thin flesh of both. A legacy of his advanced years. He moved with surprising assurance for a man in his mid-seventies though, just the occasional pain of an arthritic left knee slowing him down. He stood at the bottom of the stairs listening for interminable moments then moved towards the door opposite him, selecting a key and pushing it into the lock. He unfastened the door and waited a second before he opened it. Even through the gaps in the frame he could feel a cool breeze blowing and he shook his head and clucked his tongue as he realised what must have been done inside the shop itself. Sure enough as he emerged into the area beyond the door he felt the breeze more strongly and saw that it was indeed coming through the shattered front window. There were several bricks or lumps of concrete lying on the floor and he knew they had been used to inflict the damage. A quick glance around the inside of the shop told him that nothing had been stolen. That had not been the motive behind the attack. The glass display counters were untouched. Whoever had broken the windows had done so in a display of pure anger and aggression but not coupled with a desire to rob him too. He wasn't sure whether he should be thankful for that or not. At least if they'd robbed him then the ordeal may be over but, he reasoned, once the windows were replaced again then they could repeat their frenzied attacks again and again. It would become a cycle of destruction and renewal. As it had been before. He wandered over to the broken window and peered out into the narrow street but it was silent, wreathed in blackness as it stretched away on either side of him. There weren't even any lights glowing in any of the other windows that he could see through his thick spectacles. The night sky was the colour of burned wood, pure black apart from a sprinkling of stars but there were clouds gathering to the East, buffeted by an increasingly strong breeze. He sighed and ambled over to a cupboard near the front door of the shop. From inside he pulled out a broom and he began to sweep up the broken glass, pushing it all into a pile so that it could be gathered up and collected more easily. The task caused him to stop for breath on more than one occasion and once he actually leaned against the nearest glass counter for a moment to regain his composure, feeling a little dizziness. This wasn't right, he told himself. He shouldn't have to endure this. No one should. And yet the overriding emotion he felt wasn't anger but sadness. Of course there was annoyance at the stupidity and ignorance of those who would cause such damage but he also felt sadness that people found it necessary to act like this against him. When he'd collected all the glass together he put it carefully into a cardboard box and carried it to the rear of the shop. He'd dispose of it later he told himself, after he'd contacted the police. Not that they would be able to do anything. After all he had seen no one attack his shop, he could identify no one, give them no names. Was it even worth bothering the forces of law and order? There was a way to fight back, a way that only he knew. Perhaps that time had come.

Copyright © 2015 by Shaun Hutson


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