Posts

Welcome to The Brooligan Press

Image
Scroll down to see our titles, or the menu for a list of links to each book's page. Please note that certain of the ebook links are temporarily suspended, with an important announcement to come.

What began as an initiative to pimp my own backlist is expanding to become a curated selection of titles, some of them making their first appearance in paperback. Laurence Staig's The Companion was originally published in a YA list as Shapeshifter, and here makes its first appearance under its author's original choice of title and in his preferred version. Tim Lees' Frankenstein's Prescription was first available in a limited fine-edition run of 300 from Tartarus Press, and we're happy to offer its first mass-market edition. More books are in the pipeline, and they'll be announced in due course.

The Brooligan Press is not open to submissions at this time.

 The Northern Crime Quartet
A retrospective ‘umbrella title’ that’s become attached to four consecutive novels w…

Melody James: a novella

Image
Publication November 2nd 2018. Paperback and ebook.

In the lobby of a Blackpool hotel, one year after the end of the Great War, Britain's spymaster recruits a young sideshow fortune-teller for a mission of historic importance.

A standalone novella from the author of the Sebastian Becker novels The Kingdom of Bones, The Bedlam Detective, and The Authentic William James.

MELODY JAMES: a novella Stephen Gallagher The Brooligan Press $7.95 (102p) ISBN 978 999920784
The Sebastian Becker Stories: Reviews

The New York Times: "The Kingdom of Bones... shows the occult mystery in its best light. Vividly set in England and America during the booming industrial era of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, this stylish thriller conjures a perfect demon to symbolize the age and its appetites… although Gallagher delivers horror with a grand melodramatic flourish, his storytelling skills are more subtly displayed in scenes of the provincial theaters, gentlemen’s sporting clubs …

Follower

Image
A story of modern terror and suspense set against an authentic and spectacular background.

The Follower—one of Scandinavia’s most intriguing myths. It brings together geologist John Visco, chasing a survey job that may not exist, and Sara Hansun, a woman sticking to her side of a lovers’ agreement in an affair gone cold. Their shared destination: the Arctic fishing village of Tromstad. 

But the roads are closed. And the snow is falling. And out in the darkness, the Follower waits; half-human, half-beast, a demon spirit rejected by its maker to live independently and in misery.

The Follower’s sole and driving purpose; to achieve a return to human form.

To find a new host.

"If thriller reading were a sin, Stephen Gallagher would be responsible for my ultimate damnation. His work is fast-paced, well-written, infused with a sense of dark wonder, and altogether fresh."—Dean R Koontz

"Gallagher knows the secret of good supernatural horror. He keeps the gunk and gore to a bare…

The Authentic William James

Image
“The only bad thing about his books is that they eventually end. Brilliant.” —Jonny Lee Miller

As the Special Investigator to the Lord Chancellor’s Visitor in Lunacy, Sebastian Becker delivers justice to those dangerous madmen whose fortunes might otherwise place them above the law. But in William James he faces a different challenge; to prove a man sane, so that he may hang. Did the reluctant showman really burn down a crowded pavilion with the audience inside? And if not, why is this British sideshow cowboy so determined to shoulder the blame?

The Authentic William James is the third novel to feature ex-police detective and former Pinkerton Man Sebastian Becker, joining The Kingdom of Bones and The Bedlam Detective. Praising “this superbly crafted thriller”, Kirkus Reviews named The Bedlam Detective one of their 100 Best of the Year and called it “that rare beast, a literary page turner”. MysteryTribune.Com described it as “a rare literary masterpiece for lovers of historical crime f…

Frankenstein's Prescription

Image
First appearance in paperback.

"A philosophically insightful and literary tale of terror" Publishers Weekly

Banished to an isolated rural hospital for killing a fellow student in a duel, Hans Schneider meets the mysterious Dr Lavenza and learns about Frankenstein's prescription—the secret of eternal life. Together, Schneider and Lavenza set out to collect the missing pieces of the formula. But they are not alone. From Germany to Rome, from Rome to Paris, to the failed and wretched Eden of an all-too-human God, a dreadful creature follows in their wake and brings destruction wherever they go. 

A unique piece of work; fast, funny, and with a terrific sense of period and place. Frankenstein's Prescription reads like the bastard creation of Jonathan Swift and Jimmy Sangster.

"It is, quite frankly, a brilliant novel, one which takes the old stereotype and fills it with vibrant new life. The story is gripping, with each and every element of the plot fitting into place…

The Companion

Image
"A finer, more chilling ghostly novel than most of those recently published. Mr Damp deserves a place in the gallery of great English night creatures. M. R. James might have been proud to have created him, and I certainly would be.” Ramsey Campbell

A broken church window, smashed in a bid to contain the power trapped within its stained glass... The desperate sobbing of a child who isn’t there... When restoration expert Kit Farris moves into the adjoining Grange with his three daughters, how can he know what dark forces his work will unleash?

“A high energy fantasy with very powerful scenes. . . a chilling and dramatic end.” Books for Keeps

“This is an excellent book, which celebrates and transcends genre. As much family story as ghost story. A tense drama of abuse, neglect and longing. An old-fashioned ghost tale with a modern edge, consciously a tribute to M R James in its setting and atmosphere. It echoes a book such as Margaret Mahy’s The Changeover in its depictio…

Down River

Image
“Gripping—part thriller, part something darker”—Neil Gaiman

“A powerhouse psychological thriller… in a stunning denouement you learn that, dead or alive, people will do what they have to do. Death is no obstacle, The ending is sledgehammer stuff— hard-hitting and merciless. Gallagher is a master of abnormal psychology and he just gets better and better” —Mystery Scene 

Johnny Mays. The moral conscience of a selfish child in the frame of a plain-clothes cop. When Johnny starts a car chase, he pushes it too far. Soon they're fishing for his body at the foot of a dam while his partner Nick Frazier is left behind to pick up the pieces. Then the killings start. Killings of people Johnny didn't like. And when Johnny's car is dredged up empty, Johnny's last words still echo in Nick's mind. “I'm going to remember this,” he said, a dark fire in his eyes. “I'm coming back for you.

“Stephen Gallagher’s most ambitious, most committed book to date… the novel’s disti…

Nightmare, with Angel

Image
“A moving, shocking, compelling psychological drama with a mesmerising plot… impossible to put down and, once read, impossible to forget”—Booklist

After rescuing Marianne Cadogan from an incoming tide on a lonely and forgotten part of Britain’s coast, ex-con Ryan O'Donnell is cornered into helping her escape a supposedly abusive father to reach the safe custody of her mother. Too late, he finds himself compromised, the subject of a trans-European manhunt while he struggles to deliver the child and prove his motives pure. The deeper in he gets, the more trapped he will become.

“A world class, first-rate novel”— Elizabeth George

“A fast, smart, emotionally involving and authentically new thriller which confirms Stephen Gallagher’s particular fictional talent” –John Williams, The Independent

“High marks for psychological terror”—Daily Telegraph

“A powerful exploration of evil and redemption”—Publishing News

“A taut, engrossing thriller that transcends genre to examine the fragile, contrad…

Oktober

Image
The ITV miniseries starring Stephen Tompkinson, Maria Lennon, Lydzia Englert

“A gripping combination of thriller, horror story and romance” —Bookworld

There’s an apparently fatal incident when schoolteacher Jim Harper opens the wrong door in a mountain research station owned by multinational giant Risinger-Genoud. Even treatment with their untried and experimental superdrug cannot save his life. Or so it seems. For Jim Harper, though left for dead, has survived. And in the long haul back to health and sanity, he begins to realise that some terrible change has taken place. Step by horrifying step, Jim Harper unravels his story and then designs the perfect act of vengeance, an act that takes him to the brink of madness...

“In the best tradition of the international thriller and horror fields, Gallagher, author of the fine Valley of Lights, has created another blend of genres that shouldn’t disappoint the dedicated reader of either. Is it still paranoia when everybody really is af…

Out of his Mind

Image
Magpie 
Not Here, Not Now
By the River, Fontainebleau
Driving Force
The Visitors' Book
Little Angels
The Drain
Old, Red Shoes
The Horn
Modus Operandi
The Jigsaw Girl
Fancy That!
Life Line
Like Shadows in the Dark
No Life for me Without You, Vodyanoi
God's Bright Little Engine
O, Virginia 
The Sluice
Casey, Where He Lies
In Gethsemane

From the introduction by Brian Clemens: "These stories are varied and imaginative, each with a fascinating premise. They take you by the hand and lead you through Steve’s uniquely angled take on the world . . . often embodying stunning twists and featuring real stings in the tail. In one, Steve slips into the head of a recalcitrant driver with terrifying accuracy, and then, in another, he moves just as smoothly into the minds of pubescent boys, with all their fantasies and cruelties. It’s always controlled in masterly fashion and while his characters may occasionally be unable to see the truth their creator always does."

Buy the paperback

Buy the ebook

Out o…

Plots and Misadventures

Image
“Capable of being either subtle or blunt depending upon the needs of his plot, Gallagher has assembled a fine and varied collection of weird fiction” Publishers Weekly

Contains:
Little Dead Girl Singing 
The Back of his Hand
Restraint
The Plot
Doctor Hood
Jailbird for Jesus
Hunter, Killer
My Repeater
The Wishing Ball
Like Clockwork
The Blackwood Oak
Nine Horrors and a Dream

Following the World Fantasy Award-winning Out of his Mind, this further collection of short fiction includes stories originally published in Weird Tales, The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Night Visions, The Dark, Winter Chills, and Subterranean Magazine.


Buy the paperback

Buy the ebook

Plots and Misadventures Stephen Gallagher Paperback: 270 pages £7.99 Publisher: The Brooligan Press (16 Feb. 2018) Language: English ISBN-10: 1999920740 ISBN-13: 978-1999920746

Rain

Image
“Hard to put down, impossible to forget… subtle and disturbing”—Today

Lucy Ashdown is a girl with a mission - to find the driver who ran down and killed her sister Christine. Now she has a lead and she's off to London. Disgraced Detective Joe Lucas is as dedicated as Lucy. His aim is to bring her home. By any means necessary. Stepping into her sister's shoes, this small-town girl is thrust into a terrifying night journey of deceit, danger, and degradation. By recreating her sister's journey, she unwittingly heads toward her sister's fate; and even as she believes that she's closing in on the murderer, the murderer is closing in on her.

“A strange, powerful story of love and vengeance”—Felicia Lamb, Mail on Sunday

“Gallagher's descriptions pin down London's underbelly with deadly accuracy” The Times 

“Since Valley of Lights he has been refining his own brand of psycho-thriller, with a discomforting knack of charting mental disintegration and a razor-sharp sen…

Red, Red Robin

Image
“A classic of psychological suspense that sets this year’s benchmark in written terror… Plot, pace and prose skewer you on page one and keep you pinned until the very last line”—Christopher Fowler 

When Ruth Lasseter hires an escort to cover for a workplace affair, she lets a deeply disturbed young man into her life. Though she survives the consequence, she’s left with the lingering suspicion that he hasn’t simply disappeared. He’s still out there, taking out his problems on other women just like her. There was a moment when Ruth had her chance to stop him for good. But she didn’t take it. Now she sees that closure—for both of them—lies on the other side of that line. 

“The final, inevitable showdown proves as powerful as the promise that Gallagher has built up, page upon gripping page of this compelling, unusually sensitive chiller”—Mystery Scene 

“A satisfyingly twisty suspenser with a truly menacing villain”—Kirkus Reviews 

“A smashing serial-killer thriller that embraces all the conve…

The Boat House

Image
“An elegant stylist, a shrewd psychologist … and a powerful storyteller with enormous range and depth” Ed Gorman

A dark love story, and a disturbing tale of a divided soul. In the days leading to the fall of the Soviet empire, a young woman with a deadly secret slips unnoticed into the West. And when Alina Petrovna first appears in Three Oaks Bay it’s clear that her frail, luminous beauty is likely to cause some ripples in the surface calm of the peaceful resort town. For Pete McCarthy, the boatyard worker who gives her shelter, she’s an enigma. A complex, well-meaning young woman with a difficult past. Someone whose mystery deepens as the season gets under way, and the deaths by drowning begin...

“Gallagher handles the balance between mundane reality and stomach-turning horror with reassurance and offers a nicely twisted ending to boot. Highly recommended” Nigel Kendall, Time Out 

“A master of pace and suspense, Gallagher has the dark, neon-splashed imagination of a true original” …

The Painted Bride

Image
“Cold-blooded murders follow in the race to the climax. Chalk up another winner—brief, merciless and punchy—for Gallagher.” —Publishers’ Weekly

"Stephen Gallagher’s tense melodrama is spun from the mysterious disappearance of auto dealer Frank Tanner’s wife Carol, the stalled police investigation into Frank’s possible guilt—and the complications ensuing from the obsessive actions of Carol’s burnt-out, former drug-taking younger sister Molly, who knows Frank did away with his wife, and devotes her dwindling energies to protecting the children now in his care and bringing him to justice"—The Washington Post 

“If thriller reading were a sin, Stephen Gallagher would be responsible for my ultimate damnation. His work is fast-paced, well-written, infused with a sense of dark wonder, and altogether fresh.”—Dean R Koontz 

“The finest British writer of bestselling popular fiction since le Carre.” —The Independent

“Since Valley of Lights he has been refining his own brand of psycho-thril…

The Spirit Box

Image
“The finest British writer of bestselling popular fiction since le Carré … Gallagher, like le Carré , is a novelist whose themes seem to reflect something of the essence of our times, whose skill lies in embedding those themes in accessible plots.”—The Independent 

Rachel's in trouble. She's a ticking bomb. A couple of co-workers bullied her into stealing a radical new drug from their employer, and now it's lodged inside her. They're watching her like hawks and her time's running out. John Bishop runs security for the company; as a father who once lost a teenaged daughter to an accidental overdose, his drive to hunt down the thieves and rescue their victim grows more intense with every lost minute. He can never bring his own child back. But he can save someone else's. Then his superiors realise that if the swallowed package bursts and Rachel dies, their secrets are kept safe and their problem goes away. Though Bishop's on the trail, he's an easy man to…

Valley of Lights

Image
“Gripping, suspenseful, and tight—I enjoyed it immensely”—Neil Gaiman

THE CLASSIC FUSION OF CRIME AND HORROR 
When Phoenix Police Sergeant Alex Volchak discovers the true nature of a predator that has survived among us unnoticed for generations, he places himself and those around him in mortal danger. It’s older than the desert, a thing without a name, but as vicious, jealous and self-preserving a creature as ever walked the earth. And it hides in plain sight. 

“An excellent thriller… a cracking pace… large helpings of deadpan gallows humour and a genuine ability to create a sense of evil”—Glasgow Evening Times 

"Some fine grisly scenes, utterly necessary to the story, and the pacing is spot on” —Charles de Lint, Mystery Scene 

“I wasn’t the only one blown away by Valley of Lights… his work has that kind of beat and boogie that only writers of character and style have. He plots well. But his strength is in the purity of his storytelling and in the development of his chara…

White Bizango

Image
“A master storyteller, a master stylist. Stephen Gallagher is both”—Joe R Lansdale

A new kind of predator is on the loose. When the middle classes began to adopt vodoun as a lifestyle fad, their doors were opened to a ruthless white male with a command of the religion’s darker practical secrets. Rescued from the morgue and a bizarre and unpleasant end, Louisiana detective John Lafcadio owes his life to the Cult Crime Co-ordinators. Known also as the Voodoo Cops, their job is to dispel superstition and nail crimes of ignorance. But how do you hunt down a killer whose victims are also his protectors? And how can Lafcadio hope to identify a man whose eyes he once stared into, but whose face he can’t remember? 

“Fast-paced, beautifully crafted, sinister, funny and cold… …unhesitatingly recommended”—Infinity Plus

"There is no doubting the tension that is built up across the events of White Bizango, and I defy any reader not to feel compelled to read on when confronted with chapter endi…