We still have to wait a while until we can delve into R.L. Boyle’s dark world with The Book of the Baku but until then, feast your eyes on its stunning cover and read an exclusive extract from the novel right here!
Here is a synopsis of The Book of the Baku…
Sean hasn’t been able to speak a word since he was put into care, and is sent to live with his grandad, a retired author whom he has never met before. Suddenly living an affluent life, nothing like the world of the estate he grew up in, where gangs run the streets and violence is around every corner, Sean spends his time drawing, sculpting and reading his grandad’s stories.
But his grandad has secrets of his own in his past. As he retreats to the shed, half-buried in his treasured garden, Sean finds one of his stories about ‘The Baku’, a creature that eats the fears of children.
Plagued by nightmares, with darkness spreading through the house, Sean must finally face the truth if he’s to have a chance to free himself and his grandfather from the grip of the Baku.
If that synopsis hasn’t made you too scared to read on from fear of the Baku, then here’s an exclusive extract from the book…
Sean runs through the garden, his only thought to put as much distance as he can between himself and his pursuer. Rain pours down the back of his neck, and his torch slices the blackness as he pumps his arms, a rapid seesawing blade of light. He fights a path through the bracken, heedless of the way it scratches and tears at his skin, gritting his teeth against the pain in his swollen knee.
He slams into the door of the shed as he hears an abrasive grating. Without looking, he knows the stone cherubs have turned to watch him. He tries to slide the key into the lock, but his hand is shaking too much.
Snatching a glance over his shoulder, he sees the figure coast towards him, not twenty paces away now. It glides as smoothly as if it were moving on runners. Though the rain-thrashed garden is otherwise clear of mist, the figure rides upon a thick bank of fog that obscures it from the waist down.
With a sob Sean turns back to the door and uses both hands to guide the key home. The lock clicks open and he is inside. He slams the door behind him, locks it, then grabs the chair and wedges it beneath the door handle, before backing away.
He strains to hear over the muffled thump of his own heartbeat, his ragged breath, the rain drumming on the corrugated roof of the shed, the wind whisking the trees. He is trapped. Trapped by the thing waiting for him on the other side of the door.
Sean’s horror swells. He jumps back and bangs his hip against the edge of the desk, knocking the pages of Grandad’s manuscript to the floor. His legs crumble like dry sand. Huddled on the ground in a puddle of scattered papers, he points the muzzle of his gun at the door.
He is soaked in sweat.
He shakes his head slowly from side to side. This can’t be happening. This can’t be real.
A sudden burst of static erupts from the old radio on the desk. It fades, as though tuned by an invisible hand, to the voice of a male broadcaster.
‘Has died in her 102nd year. Buckingham Palace said the end was peaceful, and the Queen was at her side. Members of the royal family—’
Sean’s eyes trace the length of the cord, which lies on the floor like a dead snake. Plug pins pointing upwards towards the ceiling. Drawing electricity only from the air’s malignant energy.
Chills ripple over his skin. Breathing hard, he tightens his finger on the trigger, ignoring the sly whisper in his thoughts that says there is nothing he can do to protect himself.
‘“She was,” he said, “admired by all people, of all ages and backgrounds, revered within our borders and beyond.” Parliament is to be recalled for MPs to pay their tributes next week. The Queen Mother’s body will be—’
The broadcaster’s voice sounds old-fashioned, laced with the elegance of a bygone era.
‘…who, at times had seemed so indestructible, but whose life finally ebbed away at a quarter past three this afternoon. She died at her home close to the castle, where she’d been since the funeral of her younger daughter, Princess Margaret—’
The key pops out of the lock, lands with a dull thunk on the floor. Blowflies stream through the gap in the keyhole, the low drone of their beating wings accompanying the basal chord of Sean’s own horror. They darken every surface, an undulating mass that makes the room pulse like a living thing.
The door handle begins to turn.
Sean’s heart slams into his sternum. He wants to press his eyes closed and pretend he is somewhere else, somewhere bright and loud and warm, or just somewhere – anywhere – far away from here.
But he can’t look away.
A tear tracks a path down his cheek, like the tip of an ice-cold finger. He stares at the door handle as it twists, knowing what stands on the other side, knowing what has come for him.
The Book of the Baku by R.L. Boyle is out on 15 June 2021 from Titan Books. Pre-order here.