As I write this, there is only two weeks remaining until the release of my debut novel, Badlands, from Darkstroke.
As we approach release date, let’s take a deeper dive into the characters in this tale of surf, sand, smuggling and murder…
The story follows Megan “Willow” Rae, a runaway in her early twenties. Haunted by guilt after betraying her friends, and devastated by the row that saw her relationship with her sister, Ellie, fall apart, Willow has reinvented herself Down Under.
When she gets a cry from help that she believes to be from Ellie, Willow runs home to North Cornwall, desperate to help her sister and save their relationship.
When she gets there however, Ellie is nowhere to be found and appears to be embroiled in a local scandal. The only person who seems willing to help Willow find Ellie is the Reverend Richard Goddard.
Goddard is St. Agnes’ surf and salvation guru, a former Reverend now running his own surf and prayer meets in between managing the eco-farming business he took over from his father. Goddard uses his local reputation to campaign for social change across Cornwall, and is ramping up pressure ahead of a key council vote that could see his ambitions met.
But behind Goddard’s social conscious and spiritual trappings lies a darker creature. Manipulative and ruthless, Goddard is the hidden heart of a dark network of smuggling, blackmail, coercion and murder.
Key amongst this dark web of lies and violence is Goddard’s ruthless enforcer, a hooded and masked killer who hides behind the name Raven, her true self lost in the fire that claimed her family and sister a few years earlier. Driven by revenge, Raven is merciless, cruel and unyielding. And Goddard is gradually losing control of her.
While Goddard and Raven work against Willow from the shadows, she is aided by allies old and new; her ex-boyfriend, Harrison Gould and Ruby, a barmaid with a sharp tongue and a fragile soul, chief among them.
Willow’s journey to find Ellie will force her to face up to the dark secrets of her own past and bring her closer than ever to Richard Goddard. But can she uncover the truth about him before he hands her over to Raven and she becomes another victim of the Badlands?
A dark suspense tale, with hints of the paranormal, Badlands is released on 21st January 2022 and the eBook is available to order now.