The Ninth Circle
This is The Bourne Identity… as if Neil Gaiman had written it…
A man comes round on the floor of a shabby flat in the middle of Budapest. His head is glued to the floorboards with his own blood. There’s a fortune in cash on the kitchen table. And he has no idea where, or who, he is.
He can do extraordinary things – speak any number of languages fluently, go three days without food or sleep, and fight with extraordinary prowess. But without a name, without a past, he’s isolated from the rest of the world; a stranger to everyone, including himself – until a chance encounter with a young scholar leads to his first friendship, and his first hint that someone out there knows more about him than he does.
He’s being sent cryptic clues about his past, hidden in obscure places or pushed under the door by an unknown sender. But that’s not all; Gabriel Antaeus is seeing strange, impossible things: a burning man stalks his dreams and haunts his mirrors, his visions are filled with violence from the past, and he stumbles across an extraordinary golden aura, tracing a path past his home and through the city.
Something dark and disturbing in Gabriel’s past is trying to resurface. And as he pieces the clues together and fumbles his way towards the truth, segments of his past begin to fall into a sinister shape and events around him become increasingly dangerous. Gabriel Antaeus has a question to answer: is it really better the devil you know?
Reviews for The Ninth Circle
- SCI FI NOW: “Accomplished stuff.”
- John Berlyne, SF REVU: “…highly engaging… Bell skillfully conveys the panic and paranoia Gabriel experiences as he descends into a nightmare world of revelation. Bell successfully taps into the rich vein of deep-seated biblical superstition that is so compelling in works like The Omen or even The Da Vinci Code.”
- HORRORSCOPE: “I found this to be a rather enjoyable novel – pacey, easy to read, and interesting enough to keep me turning the pages. ‘ll be very interested to see where author Bell goes from here.”
- MURDER ONE: “…powerful and bizarre British debut with supernatural overtones and a genuine quirky voice. Worth investigating.”
- Tony Chester, CONCATENATION: “This is a very readable debut novel… it will be worth keeping an eye on Bell.”
- Raymond Khoury: “A haunting, engrossing story with a unique aura of its own. Alex Bell’s remarkable debut is original, cleverly plotted and so well written the pages just flew by.”
- Eric Brown, THE GUARDIAN: “Bell’s debut novel effectively fuses theological fantasy with psychological mystery to create a gripping narrative.”
- Andrew McKie, THE TELEGRAPH: “It’s well enough done as a thriller, and the conclusion sets us up perfectly for a long-running series. [An] assured debut.”