Strange, the workings of fate. Four hundred years and more I have waited for a learned man, a scholar eager for worldly recognition and fame – someone, in short, with whom I can do business – to leaf through these books until he reaches the One. And what do I get? A boy. Another boy.
Yet he may serve my purpose. Two young souls – why should one suspect the other? The second can catch the first and my task will be done.
Lots of people have asked me if my next book, The Tragickall History of Henry Fowst is a sequel to Ante’s Inferno. Well it is – and it isn’t. Set in the same place, Northwell School, it’s nearer a companion volume; the years have moved on and the characters are different. More of the school’s strange history comes to light, in particular the Elizabethan library with its collection of ancient books where for hundreds of years a demon has lurked, waiting his opportunity…
When 13 year-old Henry Fowst, desperate to escape his problems, stumbles on a sixteenth century diary written by a boy his own age, he sparks off a chain of events that brings a four hundred year-old mystery to life. Soon Henry’s absorbed in diary writer John Striven’s battles with his murderous foster brother, and when John decides to summon an ‘Angellick Spirit’ to his aid, it seems a really good idea to Henry too.
Until, that is, Mephistopheles arrives.
As with Ante’s Inferno, Hilary Paynter has created a stunning wood engraving which Pete Lawrence has designed into an atmospheric cover.
The Tragickall History of Henry Fowst will appear with Matador (www.troubador.co.uk) in August 2015.