Many moons ago, I wrote a short story called The Third Coming. It tells the tale of a teenager who survives a plague and encounters a strange old man in the post-apocalyptic British countryside. (The story is included in my collection Pond Life.) The premise of the story – don’t want to say too much because, spoilers – nagged at me for years to come until, in May 2013, I sat down and began to describe how a manufactured virus would affect the human body. Nine feverish weeks later, writing around a full-time job, I finished the first draft of The Cleansing. Here are details of all three books.
Apocalypse unleashed. Swift and deadly. Merciless.
Seven billion people inhabit this planet in blissful ignorance of imminent annihilation. Destruction comes, not from meteors or nuclear holocaust, but from a source no one even knows exists.
The architects of doom have long moved among us, hidden in plain sight, waiting for the signal to trigger our extinction.
A handful of survivors—traumatised, bewildered—must come to terms with the new reality. And quickly. For the Cleansing is only the beginning…
* * *
A post-viral planet. Annihilation approaches.
Tom Evans and Ceri Lewis occupy a silent new world. Little more than a million people survived the Cleansing. They are spread out, weak, compelled by a force beyond their comprehension to remain where they are. Humankind teeters on the brink, its fate in the hands of the few who can resist the power that seeks to control them. But resistance may be futile.
In the midst of deathly calm, a new threat arises, one that will finish the job started by the Cleansing. Tom and Ceri face a stark choice: gamble their lives to try to stop activation of the Beacon, or lie low and wait for the human race to be exterminated. Either way, the end seems certain…
* * *
Unnatural calm. A silent storm gathers. Extinction beckons.
Survivors from mainland Europe and North America converge on Britain. Weary, confused, all come seeking answers; many come spoiling for a fight.
What began with the Cleansing, and was hastened by the Beacon, nears fruition. Time is running out, and human numbers are too few to win the last battle alone. Unless help can be found from the unlikeliest of allies, failure is assured.
Humankind faces its ultimate test. The Reckoning is upon us.