Black Country Bugle

A devilishly good read


HENRY Mill Phillips has just published his new novel, Black Hearts and Blue Devils, which is set in the rough streets of the Black Country in the 1880s. It’s a tale of six country orphans, uprooted and transplant­ed into a dark world of soot and smoke. They have no choice but to adapt to their new situation.

Big brother, Abraham Liveley, becomes a respected policeman in confident control of the rough streets, ready for anything the world can throw at him. However, something else comes his way, something extraordin­ary and not of this world. His world is turned inside out as he battles the forces aligned against him – black-hearted villains marshalled by non-human entities. He’s sure that there are devils at work, since he knows the locals have seen them – and they’re called the Blue Devils. Abe has also made an enemy of a little man who proves to be the greatest adversary of all – a criminal sociopath, who ensures that he ties himself up in mental knots.

Will events conspire to destroy him, or will he banish the darkness within himself, to return to the light, his true self, his family, and sanity?

It’s a case of Sons and Lovers meets Ripper Street meets Dennis Wheatley, set in the heart of the Black Country, focused on Blackheath, Rowley Regis and Smethwick. Two important mythical entities – Spring-heeled Jack and the Blue Devils of Rowley – have key parts to play in this adventure.

The author has undertaken considerab­le research to ensure authentici­ty and historical accuracy, using sources including the Black Country Living Museum, Dudley Castle and Zoo and the Black Country Bugle. The book is even dedicated to the spirit and people of the Black Country. Although it runs to almost 600 pages, it’s a cracking read in a book which is difficult to put down.

Black Hearts and Blue Devils is available from Austin Macauley Publishers and other web-sites at £15.99.

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