Solaris has announced the acquisition of a debut novel that brings the Dark Ages crashing into the 21st Century.

Geoffrey Gudgion’s historical supernatural thriller, Saxon’s Bane, will be published in September 2013.

A contemporary novel with a thrilling historical heart, Gudgion’s first novel is set in the 21st century but grounded in the Dark Ages, with a Saxon legend at its heart.

The past invades the present in this beautiful, lyrical and frightening tale, inspired by Gudgion’s love of ancient, ethereal places, and his eye for signs of the distant past in the English landscape of today.

“It’s a rare occasion when a submission comes in that I have to read right the way through in one go,” said Jonathan Oliver, editor-in-chief of Solaris. “Saxon’s Bane was such a book. Discovering a new writer is always a thrill, and Geoffrey’s novel is of such a high calibre that I can’t wait for people to read it.”

Fergus Sheppard’s world changes forever the day his car crashes near the remote village of Allingley. Traumatised by his near-death experience, he returns to thank the villagers who rescued him, and stays to work at the local stables as he recovers from his injuries. He will discover a gentler pace of life, fall in love ¬ and be targeted for human sacrifice.

Clare Harvey’s life will never be the same either. The young archaeologist’s dream find – the peat-preserved body of a Saxon warrior – is giving her nightmares. She can tell that the warrior had been ritually murdered, and that the partial skeleton lying nearby is that of a young woman. And their tragic story is unfolding in her head every time she goes to sleep.

Fergus discovers that his crash is uncannily linked to the excavation, and that the smiling and beautiful countryside harbours some very dark secrets.

As the pagan festival of Beltane approaches, and Clare’s investigation reveals the full horror of a Dark Age war crime, Fergus and Clare seem destined to share the Saxon couple’s bloody fate.

About the Author: Geoffrey Gudgion left school at 17 to join the Royal Navy, who sponsored him to read Geography at Cambridge University. He made his first, now embarrassing, attempts at writing fiction during long voyages in frigates and an aircraft carrier. In a subsequent business career, he rose to become MD or CEO of several technology companies, and discovered that life in large corporations was equally incompatible with writing a book. Frustrated with literary false starts, he stepped off the corporate ladder and now divides his time between writing and freelance business consulting.

He lives with his wife in the Chiltern Hills between London and Oxford. When not writing or consulting, he’s also a keen horseman and a very bad pianist. Both of these passions have been known to creep into his writing.

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