The Damned

Written by Andrew Pyper

Review written by Andrew Hill

A former Customs and Police Officer, Andrew Hill is just putting the finishing touches to the first book in a crime series set in the New Forest, where he lived for 30 years. An avid reader across the crime genre and regular at Crimefest, he now lives in West Sussex and works in property.


The Damned
Orion Publishing
RRP: £8.99
Released: September 8 2016
PBK

At sixteen Danny Orchard nearly died in a house fire and wrote a bestselling book about his near death experience called ‘The After’. His twin sister, Ashleigh, died in that fire and he now makes a living signing books and speaking at ‘after-lifer’ meetings.

Ashleigh’s public face was of the ‘golden girl’, grade “A” student, a talented actress, the girl every other girl wanted as their best friend, and that all the boys just wanted. To her family she was Regina George from Mean Girls, mixed with Lady Macbeth and Mrs Danvers from Rebecca. You could describe her as manipulative, cruel, controlling and vicious; turning her mother into a suicidal alcoholic, her father into a stay-away workaholic and brother Danny into a shy, introverted and socially awkward teen, who’s every attempt at finding friendship and love she to please in stamping on.

So when Ashleigh dies, it appears that Danny and his father are finally free of her…….only Ashleigh has other ideas. The connection between Danny and his twin sister is particularly strong and when he finally has a shot at a family life he has to free himself of Ashleigh’s presence, which manifests itself in a variety of genuinely twisted and creepy ways. Danny has no option but to find out who killed her. This leads him back to his former home in Detroit, the circle of girls that Ashleigh led and bent to her will; and the teacher she was having an affair with.

But, as death has hardly mellowed Ashleigh as she’s determined that the connection between her and Danny remains intact; she makes his investigation and life a gradual descent into Dante’s Inferno via Poltergeist and The Others.

Full of interesting concepts, whilst preying on our basic need for peace, our fear of the paranormal - and a hope that death isn’t the final act.

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