Liverpool is in the grip of an intense heatwave, and strange things are happening.
A woman dies in an apparent case of Spontaneous Human Combustion; a truck explodes on the dock road; the charred corpses of pets litter the city; forest fires ravage the pinewoods…and there are birds everywhere, silent flocks drawing in ominously.
Detective Inspector Darren Swift thinks there are connections, and his investigation delves into the worlds of football, nightclubs and organised crime. But is he imagining things?
Dr. Helen Hope doesn’t think so. And she believes the key lies in a mysterious seventeenth-century occult book which has gone missing from Liverpool Library.
In the blistering sequel to Reprobation, DI Swift is forced to confront some inconvenient ghosts from his past, as a terrifying shadow lies over his city’s future….

Consuming Fire: The Playlist

It’s publication day for my ‘tricky second novel’ Consuming Fire and I’m feeling… pretty stressed out. What if nobody reads it? What if everybody reads it? Perhaps that writer’s self-doubt will never go away. Consuming Fire is a sequel, and I hope that everybody who enjoyed Reprobation will feel the same about this one. As with Reprobation, this is a crime thriller which readers can choose to interpret as a straight police procedural… or they can consider the possibility of a hidden world beyond our own. Detective Inspector Darren Swift continues his journey from cynicism towards an acceptance of the supernatural, aided by the academic expertise of Dr. Helen Hope.

But this book has a different feel; whereas Reprobation was cold and wintry, Consuming Fire takes place during a heatwave and is set in the colourful worlds of football, nightclubs and organised crime. It also has a different structure. I employed the gothic technique of the ‘found text’, the main narrative being interspersed with extracts from a mysterious seventeenth century grimoire that may or may not be real. My research delved into the worlds of traditional pagan healing, demonology and epic religious poetry, as well as human trafficking and modern slavery. Metal fans may be disappointed that the death metal band Total Depravity doesn’t feature in this book. But although there isn’t a band, the themes are pretty damn metal: religion, demons, fire, cosmic horror… you get the picture. People who fell in love with guitarist Mikko Kristensen may be disappointed that he doesn’t star in this one. Fear not – he will make a spectacular return in book three! But it’s time for readers to get to know the other characters a little better.

As I wait with bated breath for the first Consuming Fire reviews to come in, hoping that people get it, I’ve put together a playlist to accompany the book. And since it’s me, there’s a distinctly metal flavour to this compilation… Try these tracks with an open mind, and you might discover something you love!


I conjure you again, O Lord Adramelech, by all the names of the demons in your service:
Astaroth, Nergal, Baal, Leviathan, Belphegor, Mammon, Anamelech.
Come hither from the Infernal Abodes!


Click to view the playlist in Spotify

  1. Firestarter – The Prodigy
  2. Fire Sermon – Dawn Ray’d
  3. Lvgvs – Eluveitie
  4. The Book Of Souls – Iron Maiden
  5. The Smoke Of Many Fires – Be’Lakor
  6. You’ll Never Walk Alone – Gerry and the Pacemakers
  7. Fire, God and Fear – Rotting Christ

8. Vespers of 1610 – Monteverdi
9. Grannus – Eluveitie
10. Insomnia – Faithless
11. Magnificat I – Bach/Rutter/The Cambridge Singers
12. Evil To Cast Out Evil – Nile
13. The Book Of The Worm– Adramelech
14. A Dying God Coming Into Human Flesh – Celtic Frost
15. Dark 3.11 – Darkspace

You can buy Consuming Fire (and Reprobation) here: