THE DARK MASTERS TRILOGY

(PS Publishing, October 2018)

 

Order your copy here 

Whitstable - 1971

Peter Cushing, grief-stricken over the loss of his wife and soul-mate, is walking along the sea shore near his home when a little boy approaches him. Taking him to be the famous vampire hunter Dr Van Helsing from the Hammer movies, the child asks for his expert help...

"A beautiful piece of work... heartfelt, respectful, elegant, brave" Dread Central

More on Whitstable (including more reviews) here

Leytonstone - 1906 

The young Alfred Hitchcock is taken by his father to visit the local police station. There he suddenly finds himself, inexplicably, locked up for a crime he didn't commit - the catalyst for a series of events that will scar, and create, the world's leading Master of Terror...

"Volk possesses a questing mind and an expansive heart and paints dark and light sides of the human equation like few others" Mick Garris

More on Leytonstone (including more reviews) here

Netherwood - 1947

Best-selling black magic novelist Dennis Wheatley finds himself summoned mysteriously to the aid of Aleister Crowley - mystic, reprobate, The Great Beast 666, and dubbed by the press 'The Wickedest Man in the World' - to help combat a force of genuine evil...

 

"Beautifully written. Perfectly nuanced. I loved it"  Neil Spring, best-selling author of The Ghost Hunters and The Watchers

"With Netherwood, Stephen Volk gives us the night-side of nature, a journey into the mesmeric and demonic. As a reader I was overjoyed to feel a palatable unease that this tale of dark supernatural agency stirred within me. An instant classic of the genre"  Johnny Mains, series editor, Best British Horror 

"Netherwood is the best thing I've read this year. Wry, clever, creepy and quietly heartbreaking. It's a killer. Each of these novellas is pure gold"  Gary McMahon 

"I loved it. The perfect finale to the Dark Masters Trilogy. Packed with word magic, full of illuminating darkness"  A. K. Benedict, author of The Beauty of Murder and Jonathan Dark or The Evidence of Ghosts 

"The Wickedest Man in the World meets the Dan Brown of his day... but Volk finds the men behind the cliches... and they're not what you might expect"  Phil Rickman, Phil the Shelf, BBC Radio Wales

Hear an interview with Darryl Jones, Phil Rickman and Stephen Volk on Dennis Wheatley, Aleister Crowley and Netherwood, on Phil the Shelf (BBC Radio Wales)  (limited time only)

"A very fitting grand finale to the book... Volk is truly one of the modern masters of weird fiction... The Dark Masters Trilogy is densely packed with all manner of biographical goodies that will repay many a revisit, but I think it's the often profoundly touching journeys we take into the private lives of these characters that will have you coming back time and time again. And hence this is a book that deserves a permanent place on the bookshelves of any lover of the weird and the wonderful"  Jim Moon, Hypnogoria

Read the full review on Hypnogoria here 

"Volk's prose is beautifully crafted, evoking days gone by, and capturing the spirits of his three dark masters exquisitely"  Matthew Johns, British Fantasy Society book review

Read the full review on the BFS website 

"Netherwood is the capstone to an evocative and beautifully written trilogy - highly recommended. 10/10"  Paul Simpson, Scifibulletin

Read the full review at Scifibulletin 

"Should be at the top of every horror fan's to-read list... The quieter start of Whitstable means that there feels like a gradual increase in disturbing content throughout the book... Leytonstone, in its re-creation and further probing of a real-life event in Hitchcock's past does well to ground it in the themes of voyeurism and angst towards women so well-recognised by genre fans. Netherwood allows for passages dedicated to horrific dream sequences, while also grounding these fears and experiences in the fall out of the Second World War. Overall, the book is a treat for genre fans. Confidently but sensitively written, it is both an appreciation and exploration of the figures within it and the power of the horror genre itself"  Caitlyn Downs, Scaredsheepless.com  

Read the full review at Scaredsheepless.com 

"Any aspiring author (and a few established ones) should use this trilogy as a masterclass in character development... It's sublime stuff... Humanity - or, more precisely, human nature - has been the underlying theme of all three books... A strange clam perhaps, given the black magic and Satanism which is so much a feature of Netherwood, but my feelings on finishing this final part of the trilogy were ones of optimism, not leaat because of the stirring meditation on the nature of art - and artists (another theme of the whole trilogy) - on which it ends. Each book is a masterpiece. Combined, they produce a kind of synergy, creating an outstanding reading experience. Perhaps their greatest achievement is to provide convincing portrayals of their protagonists despite being fictional accounts, all done through the skill and craftsmanship of the writing. Now that's real magic!"  Anthony Watson, Dark Musings

Read the full review by Anthony Watson on Dark Musings 

"An absolute masterpiece. The strength of the series has been an incredibly evocative sense of time and place - (in Netherwood) Volk outdoes himself, bringing to life 1947 England with an incredible eye for detail and atmosphere... Similarly, Wheatley is brought to life in a loving yet unsentimental portrait that rings with psychological authenticity... Like the finest works of the genre, the narrative walks a fine line between the supernatural and the psychological. Volk's footwork in navigating this tightrope is the smooth, assured step of a master, leading us every step with hearts in mouths. This novel is simply a tour de force, and the crowning achievement of a quite remarkable trilogy of tales. With it, I think Volk has given us a collection that, like the men he writes about, will stand the test of time, and bring joy (and discomfort) for generations to come. Unconditionally recommended"  Kit Power, Ginger Nuts of Horror 

      

 

   


"Coven Ready: From Instragram to TV: Why are Witches so Popular?"  Occult dramas are a feature of the new season's TV. Is this a response to the uncertainty of contemporary politics? (Neil Armstrong, The Guardian, 15 Sept 2018)  

Read the exclusive interview about Netherwood with Kit Power on Ginger Nuts of Horror