THE WALLS OF THE CASTLE by HWA Member Tom Piccirilli
From four-time winner of the Bram Stoker Award, two-time winner of the International Thriller Writers Award and finalist for the 2009 Edgar Allan Poe Award Tom Piccirilli comes an intense and visceral psychological thriller novella, the first title in the Black Labyrinth imprint illustrated by Gothic artist Santiago caruso.
20% of all hardcover proceeds and 100% of ebook proceeds will be donated directly to author Tom Piccirilli in his fight against brain cancer.
In the labyrinthian maze of endless corridors, annexes, and wings of the enormous medical complex known as The Castle prowls a grief-stricken man determined to redeem himself and bring justice for those victims incapable of doing it for themselves.
During the four months that his son lay dying, ex-con Kasteel lost his job, his wife, and nearly his mind. He became a fixture at the Castle, a phantom prowling the halls in the deep night, a shadow of his former self until he faded from sight and was forgotten altogether.
Now, without any life to return to, he takes it upon himself to become the Castle’s guardian. He lives off the grid hiding among the hundreds of miles of twisting passages, rooms, offices, and underground parking structures. Despair, confusion, and terror are the natural state and trade of any hospital: Not only must the patients endure disease and infirmity, but others are victims of physical and sexual abuse from the outside world or from cruel security guards.
The Castle was originally a colonial Dutch settlement: a village that grew into a town which grew into a city and at last became a hospital. Kasteel has lost his very identity to this place, taking for himself the original Dutch name for “Castle.”
Kasteel sleeps in empty operating theaters, sneaks food from the cafeteria, hacks into computers, and is privy to both staff and patient files. Using his skills as a burglar he tracks down the attackers, the deceivers, and the killers.
In the psychiatric wing’s day rooms and gardens long-suffering patient Hedgewick is Kasteel’s only friend. Hedgewick sees his father’s ghost and claims to fight in a gladiatorial arena while the hospital guards bet on the winners. Kasteel and Hedge often meet in the Fool’s Tower, a ten-story high steeple once used to quarantine yellow fever victims a century ago, overlooking acres of gardens. A place where family members go to pray for their loved ones, and the distraught often commit suicide.
But a new name is now whispered in the Castle: Abaddon, the ancient name for the angel of death. A brain-damaged woman has visions and speaks only to Kasteel. Abaddon is a killer, a man lost to the Castle like Kasteel himself, wandering the corridors searching out victims. Even as Abaddon hunts the innocent, Kasteel hunts Abaddon, eager for a final showdown that may at last set him free.
An atmospheric yet action-packed, mature psychological thriller that is part examination into the bonds of family and part treatise on the nature of identity, THE WALLS OF THE CASTLE explores the deepest areas of what makes us who we are. With a noir sensibility and complexity of character, the novella is a hybrid psychological thriller that’s part suspense tale, part family saga, and part literate mystery.
“Tom Piccirilli straddles genres with the boldness of the best writers today, blending suspense and crime fiction into tight, brutal masterpieces.” — JAMES ROLLINS, New York Times bestselling author of The Judas Strain
“Tom Piccirilli is a powerful, hard-hitting, fiercely original writer of suspense. I highly recommend him.” — DAVID MORRELL, New York Times bestselling author of Creepers
Publisher: Dark Regions Press