About the book

Synopsis:

During the Second World War the threat of a German invasion, and fear of widespread bombing with an anthrax/rabies hybrid, forces “Initiative One” – a project which allows captured German airmen, spies, and soldiers to be experimented upon. The objective is to find a kind of vaccine to aid the defence of the country. This proves to be difficult to perfect and when the tide starts to turn against Nazi Germany, the project is quietly mothballed and forgotten about. Decades later, travellers unwittingly re-start the process when they break into one of the bunkers which housed some of the early experiments. They become infected and their condition quickly overwhelms their camp and spreads to a nearby paper recycling depot. With the authorities slow to react, the appearance of SS Zombies causes bloodshed.

Things become more dangerous as MI19 1a (a present-day version of MI19 which served in the Second World War) has since acquired a covert paramilitary capability. Its leader, Sir Charles Winters, has neo-Nazi leanings and seeks to use the confusion to achieve his own ends: the overthrow of the British Government.

 

The Inspiration behind the idea:

Some of the book is based on truth. I actually was the night shift supervisor at a paper recycling depot – only the place was in Croydon and not Biggin Hill. I decided on the move as it fitted in with the story, given the old airfield’s historical significance. The depot was quite creepy at night owing to poor lighting – and the fact that all the guys (including me) thought it was haunted. There were six of us on the shift – a mixture of Ghanaians and Somalis – and all of us had heard the strange shout which seemed to call to an individual when he was on his own. I heard the “oi” noise a few times myself generally when I was driving the JCB and loading paper onto the belt. As there were only a few of us working in a large depot, we were no strangers to the unsettling effects of the haunting. Sometimes I would be upstairs helping to extract impurities from the paper type we were working on when I’d see movement out of the corner of my eye: walking up the main stone staircase would be a man. ¬†However when I turned to look directly at our visitor there would be nothing there. Then, sometimes when I was downstairs operating the main belt (which ran straight for a short distance before angling upwards steeply and into the room above by basically going through the floor) I would feel a presence from the other side of a heavy plastic curtain. But when I peeled it back and checked – I was alone…

So…this added to the creative mix somewhat, but there were other factors – namely the deep shadows; the gypsy camp that periodically set up base next door and raided us; the strange sense of isolation even though the depot was close to the centre of Croydon. Interestingly we were worryingly close to some of the rioting in 2011 and when a local carpet shop went up in flames on Reeves Corner, I was praying that we wouldn’t suffer a similar fate as paper depots burn for days…

But in the end, the depot does¬†go up in flames (in the book anyway)…