The Thomas Berrington Historical Mysteries
A killer who can’t be stopped. A request that can’t be refused.
In 1482 the Englishman Thomas Berrington is living in the last remnants of Moorish Spain. A physician, he is an unwilling friend to the most powerful man in the kingdom. When bodies start to turn up, each showing the marks of a savage attack, Thomas is asked to investigate.
When one of the Sultan’s wives is brutally murdered, what begins as a reluctant task turns into a fight for survival. Together with the eunuch Jorge, Thomas attempts to hunt down the killer before they become his next victims. Except nothing is as it seems—friends turn into enemies and enemies into friends.
Thomas’s investigation lays bare the secrets of the Red Hill and the people who inhabit it. His discoveries culminate in a battle not only for his own life, but for the lives of those he loves.
March 1483, and Spain is preparing for yet more war.
Surgeon Thomas Berrington makes a reluctant journey to Qurtuba at the request of his master. He expects only to operate on a Spanish prince and return home to Moorish al-Andalus. But fate has something else in store for him and his companion, the eunuch Jorge.
A warped killer has been murdering young women and creating twisted creatures from their bodies. When Thomas is tasked by Queen Isabel to hunt down the culprit he is propelled into an unfamiliar world of religious mania where it is impossible to tell who can be trusted. Meanwhile Jorge is on a quest of his own—to track down the family he hasn’t seen in almost twenty years.
When Jorge’s new found niece is chosen as the Bonebreaker’s next victim the pair are faced with their most dangerous challenge yet. Will they be able to expose the killer in time, or is there yet another life to pay for one man’s madness?
Sometimes only sacrifice can save those you love.
He comes in the night to steal your final breath.
For Thomas Berrington, torn between two warring civilisations, Ronda is meant to be an escape from the madness engulfing Gharnatah. For al-Zagal, the default leader of al-Andalus, it is a return to his mountain stronghold. In the year 1485 this should be a time of recovery and replenishment.
Until the Spanish army arrives, spreading across the plain below towering cliffs. And in the town women are being murdered, so subtly the first deaths go unnoticed.
Once more Thomas and Jorge are thrown into the pursuit of a killer as the world around them changes, and the end of a once great civilisation draws closer. Can they unmask the Incubus before he steals the breath of more victims?
Set in the final years of the Moorish Empire that once ruled Spain, The Incubus is the fourth book in the acclaimed Thomas Berrington mysteries.
Moorish Spain, 1484, and no-one is innocent.
Thomas Berrington, emigre Englishman who has made the doomed city of Garnatah his home, is once again attempting to solve a series of mysterious deaths. Accompanied by his companion, the palace eunuch Jorge, Thomas struggles to discover the truth while those in power seek to distract him. As his investigation continues, his personal life splinters into chaos and he finds the Spanish once more demanding his presence.
As Thomas and Jorge draw closer to their quarry, the killer’s attention turns on them and those they love. The pair must race to unmask the Sin Eater before the lives of those close to them become forfeit.
What price a man’s soul?
Summoned to attend the Spanish Queen, English surgeon Thomas Berrington discovers Sevilla in turmoil. Plague ravages the city, and the Inquisition takes both innocent and guilty alike.
Amongst this chaos Thomas must investigate a series of killings. Two victims are taken together, but for what reason? Seeking his help is an old enemy, but can a man change so much? Thomas has to decide whether to trust or not, and if he makes the wrong decision his own life may be forfeit.
When the eunuch Jorge joins him events take on a new urgency as the killer’s attention turns toward Thomas and his friends. Only by risking the life of a woman he loves can Thomas succeed, but is he willing to make the ultimate sacrifice if his plan fails?
My 1970s Science Fiction
From 1972 until 1980 I wrote science fiction exclusively. All I ever wanted to be was a writer, and I did the things you have to do. You'll have probably heard of the rule of 10,000 hours, which says you have to practice something - anything, everything - for 10,000 hours before you get any good. Playing the guitar, painting, writing... it doesn't work for bricklaying, because that only took me three weeks, and probably not for some other skills, but in general anything creative takes 10,000 hours to master.
So... I put in the hours. Starting from my teens I wrote stories, parts of books... just wrote... and wrote, and wrote, and wrote.
Eventually, I got good enough and started seeing my work in amateur fanzines. Later on I had some short stories published for money. And then I had a book. Then another. And another. All because I had put in my 10,000+ hours.
I was over the moon, which I guess is a good place to be for a science fiction writer. Unfortunately, as the years passed the achievement of my ambition was not matched with monetary reward. I was paid the grand sum of £200 for my first book. And the second, and third, and fourth. That was my advance, and none of the books earned beyond their advance.
At 20 I could afford to get by on that kind of money, with help from my parents and by living at home. At 24 no way... so I buckled and got a job. Later I got married. Fortune favoured me and I sold a paperback translation in Germany and received the astronomic sum of £500. It paid for our engagement ring and a pair of walking boots each.
Work, married life, the rigours of studying for an Open University degree, all pushed out the writing. I still wanted to do it, but other things got in the way. But I do still want to do it, and at my age I decided I finally had to make time for writing before body and mind started giving out. I'm not writing science fiction now... except certain fantastic elements keep creeping back in however hard I try to keep them out.
A tired world, and a tired woman wandering alone in her gardens. A dead man who comes back to life. Tarnished metal vultures, and a force field which maintains the illusion of an earlier time. Ninety percent of the earth's surface is desert or mutated forest, people by the weary remnants of the human race, sharing their planet with creatures no man has even seen - and which no man ever wishes to see.
One final city remains, isolated and rotting from within.Into this world come the aliens with an offer of salvation - but on their own terms.
The Tower is an illusion. Older than legend it bursts from the ground to hang in the air, defying gravity and sanity. Those that live in the surrounding city shun it, dismissing it from their minds as they would an hallucination they know to be unreal.
But Aran is not from the city, and his innocence appeals to the jaded appetites of the Tower women. They court him eagerly, unaware he will be the one to end their timeless reign.
And they in turn are watched by those who are older even than the tower.
In a land reverted to a pastoral existence there is little to disturb the passage of time, until one warm afternoon a young man is killed by a strange apparition appearing from the past. The only man willing to fight back is one the villagers mistrust almost as much as the killer.
In the only remaining city, the computers that supply tranquility and entertainment are beginning to behave erratically, and those who have relied on them for so long are suddenly forced to rely on themselves.
In the ruins of London, a tall man walks in search of the dead, on a private task that has meaning only to himself.
While all around them the world is shaping itself for a new change.
The time-trippers are renegades. In a society which values conformity above all else, they are unwanted reminders of the permissiveness before the days of chaos. Now, with the start of a new century, the world wants only stability and the 'trippers are a threat to the dream.
Not a time-travel story, Out of Time is an exploration of people who have control over that commodity everyone has too little of but which we all seem to waste.