Book of Death: Book of Death Series Book 3
Book of Death: Book of Death Series Book 3
Book of Death: Book of Death Series Book 3

Book of Death: Book of Death Series Book 3

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Evil rises up from the depths…

To the world at large, Professor Marcus Mortlake is a brilliant academic and respected paranormal investigator. But his clean-cut, studious exterior hides a dark past. The tragic death of his mother still haunts him. And countless battles against supernatural evil have left their mark on his soul.

Now, he must prepare to face the power of darkness once more. The Book of Death, an ancient tome of horror, has left a trail of chaos and destruction in its wake. And Mortlake is determined to destroy this powerful artifact before it can cause any more harm.

His search leads him to the quaint town of Clongarron, a tiny hamlet on the coast of Ireland. At first, it seems like a peaceful little village. But something lurks in the dark, stormy waters just beyond the rocky cliffs. Something that has lingered for centuries. An unspeakable evil, aroused by the powers of the Book.

And unless Mortlake can stop it, the sea will run red with the blood of the innocent…

PUBLICATION DATE December 05, 2023


Chapter 8

Lunch was awkward, with Lynn frostily polite as she helped Keegan prepare a simple meal. Mortlake carefully introduced the topic of the merrow and the possibility of some alliance between them and the Book of Death.

“If these merrow even exist,” Lynn said. “Are we blaming evil mermaids for the disappearances? Because that sounds kind of lame.”

Mortlake pointed out that sea beings are often seen as mischievous, seductive, and sometimes dangerous. The sirens of Greek myth were the best-known example. And the events of 1846 remained puzzling. Rumors abounded at the time that the people of Clongarron had made some kind of deal with the merrow in return for abundant catches.

“A bit like that town, what’s it called? Yeah, Hartlepool,” Keegan commented. “The legend that they hanged a monkey thinking it was a French spy.”

That one took some explaining to Lynn, and Mortlake sat back and let the ex-soldier do it. The jokey story lightened the mood a little. Then, they returned to their objective. The main problem, as Mortlake saw it, was how to locate the Book of Death without entering every home in the village.

“Yeah,” Keegan said, “but isn’t it really down to the priest or the teacher lady? They seem like the only educated ones. I mean, educated in the kind of weird stuff you guys know.”

He had a point. How could the book have arrived in Clongarron except via some dealer or, more likely, a chain of dealers, shady or otherwise? Finding that connection between Ireland and the U.S. was probably impossible. But perhaps, Mortlake mused, there was another way. The last time he had seen the book, it was bleeding from a gash he had inflicted with an iron blade. It would presumably have healed itself by now. But that piercing wound must have left some psychic residue. It was a link between himself and the demon.

“So, how do you exploit that link, assuming there is one?” Lynn demanded when Mortlake had told them his ideas.

“If it’s nearby, I might find it through scrying or some other divination method.”

Lynn said nothing but looked almost contemptuous. Keegan was more enthusiastic.

“Hey, I’ve got confidence in you, Prof. Anything I can help with?”

Mortlake outlined what he wanted. They had brought a portable psychomanteum among their more orthodox supplies. Together, the two men brought the items in from the SUV and set it up in a corner of the living room. The psychomanteum was essentially a large, windowless box with a door. An angled mirror in one upper corner was designed to reflect only darkness. A comfortable seat and a very weak LED light source completed the setup.

“Originally, it was designed to communicate with the spirits of the dead,” Mortlake explained as they surveyed their handiwork. “But it can provide contact with other supernatural beings. All things being equal.”

Lynn had been looking on, not offering to help. Now, she spoke up.

“If you contact the book, you’ll be giving us all away.”

“It probably already knows we’re here,” Mortlake said. “And we have to confront it sooner or later.”

Lynn didn’t reply, just announced she was going to get some air and left.

“I don’t need to be psychic to see you’ve had a falling out, Prof,” Keegan said.

“It’s complicated,” Mortlake replied. “But the simple version is, I did something stupid, and I’m paying for it.”

Keegan grinned.

“That’s literally every relationship in the history of the world. Okay, you gonna give the old psychobilly wotsit a go?”

Mortlake shut himself in the box and waited for his eyes to adjust to the faint glow of the LED. The mirror was a black square above and to his right. There was no hint of light intruding from the outer world. He heard faint movement from Keegan.

“You all right in there, Prof?”

“I’m fine. If you hear me screaming or making any alarming sounds—”

“Yeah, I’ll yank you out pronto, no worries.”

Silence fell again. Except that silence, like darkness, was never truly perfect. The rush of blood in his ears, the sound of his own breathing, and the faint creak of the chair as he shifted his weight—all conspired to remind him of his location, his captivity in time and space. It was best to banish the everyday, the normal, and lose himself in the process.

Time passed. He repeated a simple mantra silently in his head. It was, as Lynn might have said, quite on the nose.

Where are you, Book of Death?

Where are you, Book of Death?

He lost track of time and felt his body becoming numb, unresponsive. Something moved in the black square of the mirror. It was, at first, only a hint of colorless light, then a filament of radiance. It was like nothing he’d seen in a psychomanteum before, white and gray turning to scintillating colors, green predominating. Then a face appeared. Huge, dark eyes focused on his, its gender impossible to guess.

“Who troubles my sleep?”

The words formed in his mind, cold and precise.

“I am Marcus Mortlake,” he whispered. “I seek the Book of Death. Who are you?”

“I need no name in the dark, cold realm, Englishman. But I was once a man among men and had a name.”


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