We reach the final book of the series, with the monstrous ego of Doctor Palmer apparently free to fulfill his ambitions, whatever they may be. Spoiler alert—there’s nothing very kind or cuddly about his ambitions.
There are a few unusual ingredients in this one. For the first time I used Guy Fawkes’ Night, a strange but very English folk tradition, to add to the general air of horror and weirdness. This night of bonfires and fireworks on November 5th was originally a pagan fire festival that survived into the modern era. The darkness, flames, and gathering of folk makes for an atmospheric occasion, ideal for strange and disturbing events to take place.
I also enjoyed discovering what happens to the various characters introduced earlier in the series—people like the detective Farson, and Mike the loyal friend of Paul the hero. Above all I wanted to see what happened to Neve Cotter and her bright but vulnerable daughter Ella, who can’t seem to escape the shadow of Rookwood Asylum.
Most of all, though, I enjoyed giving my characters a final showdown worthy of the series. I like to end books with a battle royale in which characters, good and bad, stake everything on the conclusion. Will the Dark Deity prevail? And even if it does not, what sacrifices will the forces of good have to make to stop it?
For the best reading experience, download the first two books in the Asylum series:
See you in the shadows,