Michael Baeyens was born in Oudenaarde, Belgium, in 1982. Writing has always been part of his life, but it wasn't until 2007 that he debuted with Dochter van de Poorten ("Daughter of the Gates"), a fantasy novel in his native Dutch.
His love for the fantasy genre has since broadened into a preference for all things supernatural, macabre and fantastical through a voracious reading of works by EA Poe, HP Lovecraft, A Bierce, WH Hodgson and MR James.
In 2014, he brought horror to a Belgian setting with the short story Een Erfenis ("An Inheritance"). 2015 marked his first foray into English writing with the epistolary tale Island, and in 2018 he self-published The Fen, his first full-length English novel, through Amazon.
Michael teaches English at a Belgian comprehensive school. Apart from reading and writing, enjoys exploring the dark depths of metal music, cycling and picking up and putting overhead heavy objects.
Hanna Stevenson is a Belgian PhD student whose research into Viking raids takes a dark and compelling turn. She accidentally comes across a priceless ninth-century manuscript which hints at an ordeal suffered by Danish raiders in the Ardennes forests. In some way, the events appear linked to the English kingdom of Wessex. Aided by James McCallum, a researcher at King’s College London, Hanna sees the coincidental discoveries pile up - until she realises they are anything but.
The past, both in Hanna’s own life and in the history of the world, is not always dead. Sometimes it merely sleeps, biding its time until the world is open to it and the right person can help it claim the present. Hanna might be that person, but to admit it is to leave behind all it means to be human.
When murder begins to dog Hanna’s footsteps, it appears to James that Hanna has made her choice. The question, both for James and for DCI Shalini Khan of the London Metropolitan Police, is whether anyone can stem the tide of what Hanna has unleashed...
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The Things They Carried won France's prestigious Prix du Meilleur Livre Etranger and the Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize; it was also a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award.