Something more than guilt is haunting ex-copper, Tris McCall, when he and his husband, Xander, refurbish a crumbling Victorian mansion, Berwick House. Faced with disbelief and medical explanations for the spectral visitations from both his doctors and his partner, Tris must decide if it is the damage left by the brain injury he has suffered, or something darker that is speaking to him. Can he trust his own senses, and if he can, what are they telling him?
I really enjoyed writing this book. I might have even scared myself a few times when I was editing it late at night at home alone! ;P I am a big, big fan of ghost stories: I read and reread the likes of Susan Hill and M R James when I want a good scare. That traditional, Gothic style of story with old houses, dark shadows and vengeful ghosts is my kind of book and The Burning Web is my tribute to those terrifying masterpieces.
I've written paranormal novels (The Night Blood Chronicles) before, and I have dabbled in horror short stories, but The Burning Web is my first novel-length foray into the ghostly genre. I wanted more space to explore the idea of what a haunting can mean to modern people, and I wanted to add that rational doubt to the Gothic feel of my plot. Tris and Xander are a modern couple, dogged by trouble.
Tris is an ex-police officer, who left the force after a shooting incident, the stress of which led eventually to him suffering a brain haemorrhage. The guilt of his mistake has followed him out of the force and renovating Berwick House is his means of escape from the past.
Xander, Tris' husband, is a trauma surgeon and has become Tris' carer during Tris' recovery from the debilitating stroke. Part of the story examines how that responsibility has affected the relationship between the beleaguered couple as they start to emerge from what they think are the dark days behind them.
It is onto this backdrop of Tris and Xander's relationship that I have overlaid the ghost story. On his first night in Berwick House, Tris begins to sense something is amiss, but can he trust what his damaged brain is telling him? I will leave that up to anyone who reads the story to decide :).
Do you like a good ghost story? Share your favourites :).