FAQ: (well, not really frequently asked questions, but who knows, maybe in future...)
Q: What is Wolf's Hill?
A: It's the third novel in the Black Road Quartet, following on from Hell's Ditch and Devil's Highway.
Q: What is the Black Road?
A: It's a series of novels set in Britain twenty years after a nuclear attack. The country's mostly still in ruins, and controlled by the tyrannical Commanders of the Reclamation and Protection Command and their soldiers: the Reapers.
Q: What's the story so far?
In the first book, Hell's Ditch, a Commander called Winterborn is looking for an ultimate weapon to consolidate his bid for supreme power. This takes the form of Project Tindalos, a paranormal weapons system developed at REAP Base Hobsdyke by Dr Mordake. Project Tindalos ran wildly out of control and was only stopped when Winterborn's old enemy Helen Damnation (no, I couldn't resist calling her that) and her rebels destroyed Hobsdyke.
Devil's Highway saw Helen's rebellion gaining strength, aided by an assorted band of allies - among them, Gevaudan Shoal, the last of the genetically-engineered warriors known as Grendelwolves. Winterborn attempted to crush the rebellion with an assault on their base at Ashwood Fort, spearheaded by the monstrous Catchmen, created from the remains of Project Tindalos. The rebels survived, but now the conflict is moving into a newer, deadlier phase...
Q: So what's in store in Wolf's Hill?
A: Dr Mordake, the creator of Project Tindalos, has resurfaced, and is advising Winterborn in his war against the rebels. The Reapers having failed to crush the rebels militarily, Mordake seeks to break their unity and divide them against one another - and against Helen in particular. And central to his plans is Helen's closest ally, Gevaudan Shoal.
A new enemy will emerge. The rebels will face a deadly threat from within their own ranks. And secrets will be revealed: Helen's past, Mordake's journey, and what really lies beneath the ruins of Hobsdyke.
(You'll also learn how Gevaudan got his name. No particular relevance to the plot there, but just in case you were interested...)
Q: Where can I get hold of it?
A: You can buy it on Amazon (US or UK.) It should be up on the Snowbooks website soon: Hell's Ditch and Devil's Highway are there already, or at least pages showing a huge range of links where you can order a physical or electronic copy.
Q: Will it be any good?
A: Well, only you can judge. But here's what the reviewers have said abouit the series so far:
"Grabs you and won't let go." - Pat Cadigan.
"I loved the time I spent on the world of Hell’s Ditch and I look forward with much anticipation to the follow ups. It’s a book I recommend highly." - Dark Musings.
"Hell’s Ditch is a magnificent achievement, the work of a writer who knows how to tell a story and make it hurt, but in a good way, and putting on my fortune-teller’s cap I suspect that the best is still to come." - Black Static.
"Hell’s Ditch is the epic you always knew Bestwick had inside him... There is loyalty, bravery, self-sacrifice, tenderness, and loss. And some of the best writing on the planet, but you were expecting that if you’ve ever read Bestwick’s work. Aaannnddd, there is also violence, gory imagery, that kind of language, sexuality, and reference to torture. The very thing you don’t want your teenagers reading and the very thing you should buy them…things aren’t looking good for us right now and they might be the ones to make some tough decisions." - Hikeeba.
"There’s genuine poignancy in this novel... It actually made me tear up... But overall, what an incredible ride this is. With the Black Road Quartet now half complete, the bar is set impressively high, but Simon Bestwick gives us no reason to think that the rest of this tour-de-force in progress will be anything less than superb." - The Hellforge.
"Part post-apocalyptic horror, part military action, Bestwick has crafted a thrilling tour-de-force novel full of military grade action sequences and complex characters. But also moments of intense emotion and the lightest touches of romance which combine to deliver a compelling story that pulls you in and refuses to let go." - This Is Horror.
"In the hands of another writer, Helen might have become a dull caricature of a ‘strong female character’. Here, though, her flaws and failings are put under a narrative microscope and viewed alongside her strengths and triumphs: she is a brave warrior, a survivor, a leader of men. She is also weak and selfish and dangerously impulsive. She is imperfect, and all the more interesting a character for it... A potent mix of grim, dystopian sci-fi and visceral horror, combined with a vibrant imagination, lift a standard ‘Good vs Evil’ narrative and have turned it into something quite special indeed." - Ginger Nuts of Horror