Out for kicks on a dull summer night, a few Puerto Rican boys wander Central Park. Drunk, high, and bored they hack at an old oak tree, and they don’t notice the white-haired couple appear behind them. Murmuring in an ancient tongue, the couple attacks the boys to save the oak. By the time the police arrive, two boys have been slashed to death, and their right hands cut from their bodies.
Rupert and Rowena Comfort are druids, keepers of a religion that is older than civilization itself. For thousands of years they have lived in secret in the wilds of England, until the day that five Americans happen on their village and steal the book of shadows—a witch’s tome passed down by the druids for millennia. Rupert and Rowena will kill to save the book, starting with a spell whose recipe calls for the blood from two severed hands.
Marc Olden (1933–2003) was the author of forty mystery and suspense novels. Born in Baltimore, he began writing while working in New York as a Broadway publicist. His first book, Angela Davis (1973), was a nonfiction study of the controversial Black Panther. In 1973 he also published Narc, under the name Robert Hawke, beginning a hard-boiled nine-book series about a federal narcotics agent.
A year later, Black Samurai introduced Robert Sand, a martial arts expert who becomes the first non-Japanese student of a samurai master. Based on Olden’s own interest in martial arts, which led him to the advanced ranks of karate and aikido, the novel spawned a successful eight-book series. Olden continued writing for the next three decades, often drawing on his fascination with Japanese culture and history.
In this first book of a planned series, it follows his life from a baby up to his teenage years. Randal’s burning ambition is to become a successful author of great works. He will use his gift to achieve this, removing any human obstacles in his path who suspect his dark side. Paranormal crime is his speciality. He is exceptionally attractive in appearance and can be malevolent or benevolent, depending on his twisted sense of poetic justice. Although he has loyalty and affection for his family and others, deep down he lets nothing get in the way of his vocation. He weaves his hypnotic spell over anyone in order to climb his odious ladder of advancement.
Fran Raya currently lives in Manchester. Her career has been predominantly in music since the 1970s, both in the UK and abroad, originally as a singer-songwriter but now in later years purely as a songwriter who places original songs with other artists. Fran is a member of The Guild of International Songwriters and Composers and has performed throughout Europe as she used to live in Denmark. Fran was the support act for Eric Clapton on his Scandinavian tours in the 1980s. She has also published poetry in numerous anthologies and as a result was awarded her own book, Thoughts of the Poet.
The heist is cursed from the start.
Doug Mulcahy and his gang of career criminals hijack a fortune in black opals - gemstones with a rep for being unlucky. They certainly seem to be for Mulcahy, judging by the horrific accident that cuts their escape short. Then there is the strange house where they take refuge and the even stranger woman they take hostage - until a rogue gang member takes more than just her life.
Now, with even more blood on their hands, the fleeing thieves are forced to make a final stop. Posing as weekend hunters, they besiege a remote homestead inhabited by an innocent family. But the powers aligning against the gang have followed them to the property, giving rise to wicked portents and apparitions. Not even the worst thieves, no matter how desperate and cornered, could reckon on the evil pursuing them.
And the horrors are only just beginning...
Lydia Constanza is not cut out for prison. Since she came to the United States from Cuba, she’s twice been convicted as an accomplice to a violent crime, and done two short stints in jail. The second time, her nerves went, and she vowed never to return. Back on the outside and living in New York with a five-year-old daughter, Lydia and her boyfriend hold up a check-cashing place, tripping the silent alarm and landing, once again, in handcuffs. To stay near her child, this three-time loser offers up the only thing she has left: information.
Harlem has become a dangerous place to wear a badge. Two cops have just been killed at a traffic stop, and Walter F. X. Forster is not going to lose any more men. Informants like Lydia are the lieutenant’s last chance to stop the bleeding. It’s the bad guys’ turn to die—if his snitches stay alive long enough to tell the cops who to kill.
Annie Laurie’s modeling career has been dead since the day she turned thirty, but she is not through with that life. Now an agent, she plans to dominate the business as completely as she once did the nation’s billboards. Only one person stands in her way: her ex-husband Byron Terry, super-agent. Lucky for Annie, he taught her how to play dirty.
She uses every trick she knows to steal models from Terry’s stable, making his girls more successful than he could ever dream. But when both set their sights on signing premier supermodel Karen Dial, Terry calls in the mob for help. From here out, scorched earth is in vogue. The model wars have come to New York, and the jet set is about to witness the most stylish bloodbath in history.
The US Army is out of Vietnam, but not all of its boys made it home. Thousands remain unaccounted for, and as the years go on, their families hold out hope that somewhere in the jungle, their boys survive. Harker, an investigative reporter, has uncovered a sickening scheme designed to prey on that misguided hope. A group of con men is going to the homes of missing soldiers, telling families that their GI is trapped in a secret Vietnamese prison, and can return home for a small ransom. When the family forks over the money, they disappear. Harker has exposed the con, and now he wants to punish those responsible.
The mastermind is an unscrupulous security contractor named D. Z. Vale, who backs up his despicable scheme with a private army and an unlimited cache of ammunition. Harker has his typewriter, and it’s the only weapon he’ll need.