D. M. Mitchell has been compared to Dean Koontz, Stephen King, Ruth Rendell, M. R. James, Linwood Barclay, Umberto Eco, the Bronte sisters, Charles Dickens and many others. Discover for yourself why D. M. Mitchell is being regarded by some as one of the UK’s most original and exciting writers of psychological crime thrillers and supernatural fiction. ‘THE MOST SAVAGE OF BEASTS IS TO BE FOUND WITHIN THE HEART OF MAN.’ It is 1817, Regency England. Thomas Blackdown, a thieftaker and ex-soldier, receives word that his brother and father are in deep trouble and need his help. But Blackdown is a man that harbours bitter memories; a man banished from his homeland because of a terrible accident, and so is reluctant to return to his ancestral home in Somerset. However, once there he discovers that his brother has been savagely murdered – torn to shreds by a mythical creature the locals call the Blackdown Beast. Thomas Blackdown does not believe in a creature of fantasy, and is determined to bring to justice his brother’s murderer, encouraged by his brother’s fiancé, Julianne Tresham, and aided by the faithful servant Addison. But Blackdown is quickly drawn deep into a complicated web of deceit, power, greed and murder involving Lord Tresham – Julianne’s father – and the cold Sir Peter Lansdowne. What is the mysterious Lupercal Club? Why do ex-soldiers go missing from Commodore Pettigrew’s travelling theatre? What strange thing is happening in Devilbowl Wood where Blackdown’s brother was found mutilated? And what savage, hellish creature prowls the night? Soon, Blackdown must fight for his own life and face up to his demons both imaginary and real. He will need all his wits and skills to survive if he is ever to discover the shocking truth behind the evil that has penetrated as far as the government itself. Set in Regency England following the end of the Napoleonic wars, ‘Blackdown’ is D. M. Mitchell at his creative best, crafting a believable world of strange, larger-than-life characters, with his trademark intricate plotting and surprise ending, a novel that is a rollicking good thriller, horror and adventure story rolled into one. And in Thomas Blackdown, Mitchell has given us a hero like no other before – a Darcy with bite, a Bond in breeches…
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D. M. Mitchell has been compared to Ruth Rendell, Martina Cole, Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Linwood Barclay, Dickens and even the Bronte sisters! This wide array of writing styles is appropriate - though Mitchell is known for his psychological thrillers, he is determined that each of them will be different, so they might be set in different eras, may be straightforward thrillers or have a supernatural or horror twist, and he avoids like the plague the standard and unimaginative serial killer format! You'll find he uses different styles of writing to suit different types of books - it also keeps him from getting bored...
D. M. Mitchell was born into a small mining community in Yorkshire, England. His career advisor said he had two options - go down the mines or become a policeman. Being scared of the dark and never having much meat on his bones, he declined both and in his early years bounced like a pinball from job to job - warehouses, cinema projectionist, market trader, salesman - you get the picture. He sort of made a success of himself and now lives in a money-pit of a cottage in a tiny village in the cream tea heart of the South West of England.
His first remembered attempt at pushing the boundaries of creative writing was during a school lesson at the age of nine. Titled simply 'Rain' his proud masterpiece began with 'It started to rain' then there followed eight pages of nothing but the words 'pitter-patter', concluding with 'and then it stopped'. It was handed over and duly reviewed by his brick wall of a teacher, whose eyebrows flickered up and down ominously, his cheeks flushing bright red, before declaring it total rubbish. He tore it up into ribbons, showered him with his first, and no doubt only tickertape ceremony, and gave him a meaty slap around the head (they could do that sort of thing in 1967). He made him write 'I will not write stupid things for eight pages' for eight pages. Thus he learnt a number of valuable early lessons - the meaning of irony, writing is very subjective, everyone's a critic, and no-one likes a smart-arse.
He persevered, his first novel appearing in 1986 and disappearing into the attic the same year. It's still up there. Many manuscripts later he used to save the piles of rejection slips to paper his bare walls. So the adage is, keep at it, in these times of economic depression you'll soon have the house fully redecorated. Nowadays, writing is the one thing he feels totally comfortable with, except perhaps for a cup of Horlicks on a cold winter's night when the rain goes pitter-patter against the window panes (there it is again...).
Characterisation is an important and noticeable aspect of all Mitchell's novels. It allows him to be whoever he wants to be when he gets fed up of being himself, which is quite often. So too is a sense of mystery and the exploration of the darker side to humanity. There are always strong elements of a complex puzzle to be solved in a D M Mitchell novel, many disparate parts ultimately coming together, tragedy and comedy sitting side by side. As in life, nothing is as it first seems. He takes a keen interest in history, a thread which runs through his writing, whether it's the 1960s or 1970s, as in 'Max' and 'Pressure Cooker', or the Victorian 1880s, as in 'The House of the Wicked'.
His favourite novelists include Barry Unsworth, Thomas Hardy, John Steinbeck and Graham Swift. Top two favourite historical books: Culloden, by John Prebble and The Face of Battle by John Keegan. He also collects first edition novels and takes a keen interest in anything old, tatty and in need of love and restoration. His wife says he needs to get out more.
He has three grown children and also enjoys photography, painting and walking the Blackdown Hills with his wife and an overly excitable Border Terrier - or is that an overly-excitable wife and a Border Terrier... One of the two.
He'd like to thank his growing legion of fans for allowing him to practice being a writer and sharing in his strange and lurid imaginings.
The story 'Rain' has not yet been made available on Kindle...