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Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Welcoming Andrew Richardson: Switching Up The Genre, Ramping Up the Tension in The Door into War

This is one of the few stories Andrew Richardson has written that I had not read before it was published. The Door into War is a departure from his customary re telling of celtic legends, supernatural horror and erotic fiction. This science fiction, historical, time travel thriller bears his trademark style and is a fresh and innovative approach to genre blending. I was hooked by the end of the first few pages, and biting my cuticles until I finished. The characters were so real and well drawn, I was swept into the world he created. As always Andrew's stories are meticulously researched and executed.

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Archaeologist Rachel McKenzie expects the excavation of a World War One bunker to yield routine results – until she uncovers modern artifacts among a handful of skeletons in British uniforms. DNA testing provides evidence of a government scheme to address Britain’s shortage of soldiers in 1918 by abducting 21st century citizens and sending them back in time to fight the Germans. The authorities from both eras are desperate to keep ‘Operation Trench’ secret, and ruthlessly stamp down on anyone who might expose them.

Despite her scepticism about time travel, Rachel needs to persuade the public that ‘Operation Trench’ is much more than a conspiracy theory dreamed up by cranks. Battling against ever increasing odds to expose the plot, Rachel endangers herself and her colleagues as the government ruthlessly culls those they suspect are privy to their plan.

Can Rachel make the truth public before she and her colleagues become victims of the very scheme they are trying to stop? Or will those in power and take brutal revenge against her?


Tyrone muttered. Rachel imagined him making a gesture at her back, and anger warmed her insides against the foetid damp. Her boot stubbed something. “Bugger.”
“What is it?”
Rachel aimed the beam. “An ammunition box, I think. I wasn’t looking where I was going.” Too angry. She stepped over the box and concentrated on picking her way through the tunnel.
She pointed the flashlight at a tin, the top of which peered above the mud. ‘Abercrombie’s Cakes,’ the lid’s rusting letters said.
“A gift from home to keep up morale,” Tyrone said.
“Yeah, probably.” Rachel’s beam picked out bare concrete ahead. “Look, it turns a corner. Geophysics told us it goes round a bend. Here it is!” She drew a deep, silent mouthful of putrid air as she followed the tunnel. “It widens here.” She flicked the beam upward. “The ceiling’s higher, too.”
Tyrone grunted an acknowledgement.
Rachel swung the flashlight around the chamber’s right hand ceiling first. She aimed lower.
Rachel jerked back. Tyrone gasped.
The skeleton’s empty sockets stared from between rotted blankets.

Andrew Richardson lives in Wiltshire, England, with his wife, a rescue cat, and a son who occasionally pops home from university.   He is within easy reach of Stonehenge and other historical places whose regal solitude provides a clear mind for working out plot difficulties and story ideas.

Most of Andrew’s work falls squarely into the horror/fantasy genre, but he also enjoys writing some erotica so his characters can have some fun for a change instead of being scared out of their wits.  He has a dislike of laptops so adopts the old and quaint approach of typing with a desktop, which at least has a screen big enough to avoid the need to squint.

Andrew has a background in archaeology and has worked in several trenches.  It’s not really a surprise that most of his work reflects this interest and experience, even if it’s as peripheral as his characters living the university lifestyle.

When he’s not writing or working as a science administrator Andrew follows Aldershot Town Football Club and takes long walks over rugged countryside.

Andrew has had nine novels or novellas published (one forthcoming), as well as several short stories.  The majority include some element of Celtic myth.