Tuesday, May 2, 2017

The Third Twin by Darren Speegle

Release date: April 28, 2017
Subgenre: Horror, psychological thriller

About The Third Twin


Some things should never be bred…

Barry Ocason, extreme sportsman and outdoor travel writer, receives a magazine in his mailbox and opens to an ad for an adventure in the Bavarian Alps. Initially dismissing the invitation, which seems to have been meant specifically for him, he soon finds himself involved in a larger plot and seeking answers to why an individual known only as the elephant man is terrorizing his family.

Barry and his daughter Kristen, who survived a twin sister taken from the family at a young age, travel from Juneau, Alaska to the sinister Spider Festival in Rio Tago, Brazil, before he ultimately answers the call to Bavaria, where the puzzle begins to come together.

Amid tribulation, death, madness, and institutionalization, a document emerges describing a scientist’s bloody bid to breed a theoretical “third twin,” which is believed to have the potential, through its connection with its siblings, to bridge the gulf between life and afterlife. The godlike creature that soon emerges turns out to be Barry’s own offspring, and she has dark plans for the world of her conception that neither her father nor any other mortal can stop.

“Smart. Imaginative. Literate. Original. All of Darren Speegle’s fiction shares these characteristics. Add in intriguing and complex for the occult mystery of The Third Twin. Above all the novel is a highly compelling and entertaining read. It has my highest recommendation.”Gene O’Neill, Lethal Birds, The Cal Wild Chronicles

“Speegle’s very accessible voice takes you gently by the hand — and then pulls you into shadows that are subtle and deadly but studded with stars.”Michael Marshall Smith

“Creepy and atmospheric, Darren Speegle's THE THIRD TWIN is a winding, lushly written nightmare that will linger with you. Yes, you.”—Paul Tremblay, author of A Head Full of Ghosts and Disappearance at Devil's Rock 






The winter issue of Backtrails magazine appeared in my mailbox in February. Though I’d never heard of the magazine, much less subscribed to it, the following May I was on a plane for Munich answering one of its ads. It wasn’t unusual for me to respond to the call of a distant place or activity. An avid outdoorsman, I’d hiked, biked, climbed, snowboarded, skydived, even canyoned at various locations throughout the States and Europe. What was peculiar was the way in which the call was delivered.
I’d just returned from Europe, where I’d covered The Vampire Ball in Heidelberg, the Fasching parade in Maastricht, and Fasnacht in Interlaken as part of a carnival series for a travel magazine I freelanced for. My flight from Seattle, the last leg of a twenty-hour affair that had involved two nasty delays, had arrived in Juneau around midnight, and I’d slept in until ten or so. The magazine was on my desk when I woke. My daughter, Kristin, who’d ridden the bus in from Mendenhall Valley to welcome me back, had brought the contents of the stuffed mailbox when she arrived, depositing them in the office next to my bedroom. I saw the magazine before I saw her, the desk being my well-documented first stop (see the divorce transcripts) when I got up each morning. Like many writers, it was my habit to scribble down any sleep-inspired thoughts or dream fragments I could recall for possible use in my other source of income, novels. That morning of course I had no such recollections, having slept in a near flat line state after the journey. Going to the office was a ritual action.
The magazine rested on top of a pile of envelopes, paper clipped open to the quarter-page ad whose text was highlighted in yellow marker. At the top of the page was a sticky note scribbled in my daughter’s familiar handwriting: Found it in the mailbox just like this. K. My first thought as I removed the clips to look at the cover was that the note was in fun and Kristin had found something of interest to her, something she would die to have or someplace she would kill to go. I corrected my suspicion as soon I’d flipped back to the marked page and read the caption beneath a photo of a craggy ridge with evergreen-carpeted slopes: Some of the most breathtaking scenery the high-terrain backpacker will ever experience. High-country backpacking was not Kristin’s thing. I was lucky if she would do an overnighter with me at one of the Forest Service’s remote cabins, which a half day’s hike would get you to.

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About Darren Speegle:

Darren Speegle is the author of five short story collections, the latest of which, A Haunting in Germany and Other Stories, was published in 2016 by PS Publishing. His short fiction has appeared in numerous venues, including Subterranean, Postscripts, Crimewave, Clarkesworld, The Third Alternative, Fantasy, Cemetery Dance, and Subterranean: Tales of Dark Fantasy. He has two novels coming out 2017, The Third Twin from Crystal Lake and Artifacts from Dark Regions Press. Crystal Lake will also be publishing his collection Varying Distances, due in early 2018. Look for his evolution themed anthology Adam’s Ladder (co-edited with Michael Bailey) in the summer of 2017 from Dark Regions. A widely traveled American, Darren often sets his stories in interesting or exotic places where he has lived (Germany, Alaska, Southeast Asia) or otherwise explored (broader Europe). Between gigs as a federal contractor in the Middle East, Darren resides in Thailand, where he is touching up his cross-genre novel The World Is My Oyster.

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