The Shadow of the Black Earl
Welcome to the world of Leo Moran, crime fiction with a distinctly supernatural flavour.
Our hero is a singular fellow. Cultured and erudite, he is a lonely man with a formidable capacity for alcohol whose pomposity is a regular source of humour. Leo is endowed with a strange and awesome gift: he sees visions pertaining to terrible crimes. These episodes, along with his deductive talents, help him bring the perpetrators to justice. His endeavours bring him into uneasy alliances with the police, and stretch his relationship with his friend, Stephanie, a QC whose materialistic, worldly outlook contrasts with Leo’s old-fashioned, Catholic perspective.
In The Shadow of the Black Earl, Leo sets out from the splendid isolation of his Glasgow apartment to spend the summer with his new chum Fordyce Greatorix, whom he befriended during his previous adventure. Leo, recently bereaved, hopes to find solace at Fordyce’s sumptuous manor house Biggnarbriggs Hall in Kirkcudbrightshire. He is overjoyed when romance unexpectedly blossoms, but he soon finds himself once again haunted by visions after a local girl goes missing, an incident which has chilling echoes of a similar disappearance thirty years previously. And as he investigates a host of curious and dubious characters, Leo finds that the very bedrock which surrounds Biggnarbriggs Hall is fretted with an ancient malevolence that will have its terrible reckoning.
Out September 2018 on Polygon.