‘The Deleted’ – Out Now!

My new novel ‘The Deleted’ is now available on Amazon download. It tells the story of the Chance family and how they get caught up in a sinister computer game that bleeds into real life and won’t let go of them…

Here are some links.

US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B085KGFYKR

UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B085KGFYKR

Amazon haven’t quite got their shizz together at the time of writing, and have yet to include the ‘look inside’ feature or the page count. Not sure of an accurate page count after formatting, but I’m confident it’s around the 300+ mark. As for a look inside, here’s the prologue:

LUKE THRELFALL KNEW HE NEEDED TO LEAVE. There was a man outside the pub who was tailing him, had walked all the way from Luke’s house to the main door of the Darby Inn. Now all it took was some punter loitering in the entrance – fumbling over his smokes or propping the door open for a prolonged chat with someone on the street – for him to slip inside.

It. Probably best to think of him as an it.

They were in the alcove at the front of the pub that housed the pool table, and although the windows were frosted in part with the name and crest of the Darby Inn, Luke had seen it shuffle by, it’s fat bald head unmistakeable. Since then he’d not really been engaged in what Dermot and his two mates were doing, but only had eyes for the intermittent swing of the vestibule door by the entrance. He thought of that little entrance nook as being like a time locked chamber; it might get through the front door but then it would be delayed slightly in that cramped space. But not for long.

He had to tell Dermot he was leaving.

He waited for his friend to stand up from his shot. He held the cue like a staff and shook his head. ‘Can’t believe I missed that pot.’

‘Derm – I’ve got to go.’

‘What? We’ve been here for like, an hour.’ His t-shirt tightened across his chest as he turned square on to Luke. He was a head taller than him.

‘It’s just pubs, drinking; you know it’s not my thing.’

‘Yeah, I do know. Ollie’s sat on his own over there having to suffer texts from his girlfriend because you won’t play doubles.’

‘Derm, I don’t even know how to hold the cue properly.’ The vestibule door swung open. Luke fixed on it. He only breathed again when he saw it was a couple of girls. ‘Thanks for the invite, but I’m heading off.’

Dermot moved him away from the edge of the pool table so that Ollie and Matt didn’t overhear. ‘Look, I’m just trying to get you to be more sociable. Uni is over for the year, you’ve got the whole summer ahead of you. I can’t have you staying indoors twenty-four hours a day, playing computer games.’

‘I like computer games.’ It came out more defiantly than he intended.

Dermot raised an eyebrow, stared at him like a gauntlet had been dropped. ‘Alright, Luke the Lord. You’ve done nothing but play on your phone anyway since I picked you up. If you’re going, you’re going. Are you gonna call a cab?’

That would mean waiting. Tempting fate. The vestibule door swung open again. A middle-aged man came through, rubbing his hands. No confused-looking bald guy. Not yet.

‘No, I think I’m going to walk.’ Or run, he thought. Initially it will involve some running.

‘It’s about three miles back to your mum’s. Call a taxi. If it’s because you haven’t got a number-’

The vestibule door swung again, and this time Luke got a glimpse of him – it – now a step up and under the roof of the Darby Inn. It looked at him, eyes alert and anxious, fixed in the expression it had worn ever since Luke had pushed it over.

‘I’m going now. Bye.’ Luke turned and headed for the back door.

‘You haven’t finished your drink!’

Luke glanced back, intending to tell Dermot to finish it for him, but then he saw it had found its way in and was walking towards him, adjacent to the bar. Luke flapped a hand of acknowledgement at his friend and hurried through to the far side of the pub.

There was a slight bottle neck by the toilets, and he had to push past a girl to get through the gathering and out into the open air. All sorts of abuse was hurled at him. He didn’t mind; as long as no one grabbed him and held him up. He trotted through the car park and onto the pavement before turning around.

It was still to fully extricate itself from the building. It needed someone else to push open the back door. Somebody would eventually, but for now it meant Luke had a lead. Only a short one, and he would run part of the way home to extend it, but at least he now felt a little more at ease.

It would give him another entry to add to the forum. His first meaningful one had been yesterday when it had appeared in front of his house. Then when he had pushed it over in his driveway. Now he could build on that and say he’d been part of a pursuit.

Not right now though. First he had to get himself back, safe behind a locked door. He didn’t hang around to see if it made it onto the car park; he’d had enough excitement for one evening.

He turned left, in the direction of home, and started running.

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