In between reading books for Mean Streets, I also write them. My tenth novel, Secrets of the Dead, has just been published by Arrow. It’s a timeslip thriller, alternating between the high-wire politics of the late-Roman empire, and the labyrinthine violence of the present-day Balkans. In brief:
For centuries, persecuted Christians hid their dead in tunnels deep beneath the great cities of the Roman empire. When Christianity became the official religion of Rome, the catacombs were abandoned, then forgotten. But among the bones and dust lies a secret that men have sought for centuries.
As an investigator for the International Criminal Court, Abby Cormac saw the worst of humanity. Now, burned out, she works a desk job for the EU in Kosovo. But when a gunman bursts in on her weekend getaway at a villa in Montenegro, her partner Michael is murdered; Abby barely survives. Now she must risk everything to find out why.
The only clue is a gold necklace inscribed with an ancient Christian symbol, dating back to the reign of the emperor Constantine the Great. But the past isn’t buried. Abby soon realises that Michael had uncovered a secret dating back 1700 years – a secret she has to discover to untangle the riddle of his death. But others want the secret, and are willing to kill for it.
Centuries after Rome fell, the frontier of Europe is still a dangerous place. Racing against time and the powerful enemies who threaten her, Abby follows Michael’s trail in the shadow of the emperor Constantine. The chase leads her from York to Constantine’s northern capital at Trier; through the war-ravaged Balkans to Istanbul; and finally to Rome itself. There, in a lost catacomb beneath the city, she will discover the extraordinary truth.