After the Northumberland massacre, Han Whitman has returned to his normal life. But the carnage in Haydon has changed him. He is a haunted man, jaded by those bloody events. That is, until he realises that his original experiment is incomplete. The experiment must continue, but along a different path.
One survivor of Haydon teams up with the son of one of Han’s victims to hunt Whitman down.
As Han continues his experiment and also finds love in the most surprising of places, in the shadows someone else is watching the proceedings with keen, calculating interest.
The detective assigned to the vigilante killings becomes steadily more disillusioned until a chance coincidence leads her onto the killer’s trail.
The lives of these five individuals will collide with devastating consequences in the dramatic conclusion of the Sinema duology.
Kirsty Neary, author of The Stately Pantheon
A J Kirby, author of Bully
John Price, author of Suicide City
David Williams, author of 11:59
Roz Glenn, compiler of P.O.W. Watime Log of F/Sgt T D Glenn
Tony Wright, author of The War of the Worlds: Aftermath
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~ Matt Nesbitt, Oxfordshire Press
Rod’s tales cut to the bone (Thursday, 26 June 2008 edition)BY DAY he’s a mild-mannered computer shop owner, helping people with dodgy hard drives and faulty applications.Aiming to thrill: At night he becomes something altogether different, trawling the depths of pain and suffering, exploring the limits of human depravity.For Rod Glenn is an author, and his latest book, about a serial killer, looks like it might win him some awards.
Rod (37), who lives in Benton, Newcastle, recently took over the popular Computer Shop on Hencotes, buying out the last owner, Mike, who is battling serious illness.
Having spent most of his working life in computers, including working at Sage Software in Newcastle, Rod knows his stuff.
He spent 15 years, on and off, working in computer sales and marketing.
Married, since 2004, to Vanessa, who works for the county council in the corporate planning department, they have no children, although he has a 22-year-old stepson, Jason, from a previous relationship whom he tries to see regularly, once a week if possible.
Since he was at school, Rod has written short stories and novels, a practice continued throughout his other career.
His second novel was released in December last year and he has enjoyed some success with it.
The first novel, King of America, published in 2006, was a science-fiction thriller set 500 years in the future, after a devastating civil war has decimated and splintered the population of the USA.
A leader emerges to unite the disparate tribes and become king, only to be betrayed by a friend, leading to another epic fight.
It’s a story about good and evil, but with shades of grey. Rod compares it to an amalgam of Mad Max and Lord of the Rings, and it took many years to write.
“It was a long time in gestation,” says Rod. “As I grew up and changed, the novel changed with me, so there was a lot of rewriting to do.”
The latest book, Sinema, is based much closer to home and was easier to pen.
It tells the tale of a serial killer who moves into a rural Northumbrian community, the fictional village of Haydon, with the aim, ultimately, of killing them all. All 392 of them.
The murderer, Hannibal Whitman (he chooses the pseudonym because Hannibal Lecter is his favourite film character), is a charming novelist and film buff, writing a crime thriller about a serial killer in a remote Northumberland hamlet.
So, how much of the novel is autobiographical?
Rod smiles at this question. “There are definitely elements, beyond the physical similarities, of me in him,” he says.
“Obviously I don’t go around slaughtering innocents, but I’ve seen the darker side of human nature in my life and experiences.”
This may seem unlikely for someone working in computers, but there’s more to this novelist than meets the eye.
Apart from working with computers and writing novels, Rod spent time as a close protection and surveillance specialist.
He learned from former SAS men and did a few jobs as a bodyguard, as well as a couple more in surveillance.
Now he mentions it, I can see Rod is no skinny nerd. There’s a muscular frame hiding behind the smart trousers and shirt.
He looks a little like a hard Simon Pegg, of Hot Fuzz, and Shaun of the Dead fame.
“I’ve experienced my share of emotional and physical pain in my life,” he says, without drama.
“My parents split up when I was very young, which was difficult, and I’ve had painful accidents and the like.”
His attempts to brush past this are futile. I want more detail about the painful accidents.
“Well, I had a climbing accident once, where my leg snapped. My buddy came down and was trying to push stray bits of bone back through the skin.
“Another time, in training, I simply refused to tap out in an exercise we were doing, refused to give in. My arm snapped.”
These stories are told without hysteria, matter-of-factly.
I wish I hadn’t asked.
He explains how drawing on his own experiences, combined with an extraordinarily vivid imagination and voracious appetite for reading, enable him to depict situations on the page.
“Hannibal, whose real name you never discover in the book, is that dark side of me, the dark side we all have.
“It’s just I have morals and a conscience, things he only pretends to have.”
Rod took over The Computer Shop in March and hopes in time it will give him more opportunities to write.
He writes quickly, reckoning to finish the first draft of a book in about three months.
However, that’s just the skeleton of the novel, and it takes longer to flesh it out, add descriptive passages and put meat on the bones.
“When you’re working for someone else, you’re always having to find time to write,” he says.
“Now I own this business, with its superb staff, who really are excellent at what they do, I hope slowly to be able to take a back seat, gradually to spend more of my time writing.”
Rod is 75,000 words into his third novel, and has “four or five” strong ideas for future books.
In the meantime, Sinema is up for the Portico Northern Literary Prize, and may be in the running for several national awards.
So next time your computer breaks, don’t assume the man who comes to your aid is just a sun-shy geek. He could be a lot more than that.
Link to the online version of the newspaper – www.hexham-courant.co.uk/visitors_guide/arts_leisure/1.130704
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