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Exciting times – The Hanged Man and the Fortune Teller is close to being released. It’s a departure from the Dr Ribero series (though don’t worry – I’m still working on the next one of those, which should be coming out next year). As such, I thought I’d give it a bit of a formal introduction.

What if death isn’t the end?

That’s a question that plenty of authors have already explored. As it’s been done to death, I didn’t want to make it my starting point for The Hanged Man, though the issue had to be considered. Instead, the ‘bulk’ of the idea sprang from the concept of ‘it’s the ones that are left behind that we should feel sorry for’.

This is such a common response after someone has died. Perhaps its because we’re familiar with the pain of grief, so our sympathy naturally lies with the person going through it. But it got me thinking – what if the person that had died hadn’t seamlessly plipped out of existence, or passed onto another place? What if they were still there; desperate to make contact with their loved ones, but unable to?

That, to me, felt like a worse suffering than mere grief. Losing not only family and friends, but also life itself. And being powerless to seek out any answers, or make contact with others. Yikes.

A pretty grim and depressing thought, admittedly. However, it set me thinking; how would a ghost cope with it? In the case of the unnamed ghost in The Hanged Man and the Fortune Teller, he chooses to try to forget – but this wilful act of forgetting has its consequences.

Structuring a death

I’ll be honest, structuring this book was probably one of the hardest tasks I’ve ever undertaken. It’s essentially ‘Y’ shaped. One ‘arm’ is the ghost’s story, moving backwards in time to the point of his death. The other ‘arm’ is the ghost as a living man, moving forwards in time to his death. The ‘trunk’ of the ‘Y’ is where the two stories converge, and the reader discovers what really happened.

So yes, there’s an element of mystery to it. There’s also some ambiguity – I didn’t want to create a book that provided all the answers, or filled in all the gaps for the reader.

Anyway – it your interest it piqued, the book will be released in hardback and eBook on 17th September. The audiobook is also coming out at some point – narrated by the wonderful Andrew Wincott (whose voice is completely perfect for it, I’m so excited to hear the finished product!).

Here’s a link to The Hanged Man and the Fortune Teller on Amazon.com.

(Dr Ribero’s Agency of the Supernatural – The Case of the Green-Dressed Ghost can be found here (US) or here (UK); and the other two in the series are also available on Amazon and from all good book-stores.)