The Castle of Heavenly Bliss is undergoing a revision. The new edition will be part of a new series of six books. TIMES OF DISTRESS will be the first book – pub. October 2020
GERDA VROUWENDIJK, under the name of Edith Bicknell, arrives in the isolated rural town of Binawarra to take up a teaching position in the local high school. Ms Vrouwendijk is confident she can keep her disguise and purpose hidden, as well as her sinister connections. But she has not reckoned on Florence Barker. Miss Barker, severe spinster, feared and avoided by the townspeople (‘you will call me Miss Barker’), is not at all what she seems. Nor has the memory of a brief meeting fifteen years earlier in Middelburg, Holland, with the crippled local priest, Fr van Engelen, come back to Ms Vrouwendijk. These slips in her otherwise meticulous planning will prove critical.
Canny Miss Barker and Fr van Engelen set about discovering what Edith Bicknell is doing in their obscure little country town, and why she has an interest in the beautiful, outwardly aloof Estella Winterbine. A tense game of cat and mouse follows as Ms Vrouwendijk’s manipulation of people and events becomes ever more complex. When a senior teacher is found dead at the bottom of a peak (called Death Rock by the local youth), and the local newspaper begins attacking the principal of Binawarra High School, Ms Vrouwendijk’s plans – whatever their aim – seem to have an unstoppable momentum. Then Estella goes missing. Former SAS captain and Vietnam veteran, Geoffrey Shawcross, sets off in a pursuit that takes him across the world to France and Holland.
The themes of the ‘Goddess’, the occult and Gnosticism are a thread through the story. The background of the series will be the cultural revolution of the 1960s and 1970s (1965-1975).
Series title: The Conciliar Series.
Due for republication 2021