Fight a fire-breathing dragon with a wooden airplane? It’ll take a madman...
Under the Hill, Part 2
Kidnapped by the faerie queen, Ben is confronted with his own supernatural heritage, a royal family and a lover he doesn’t remember. His first instinct is to turn his back on them all and get back to Earth. Compared to this, Chris and his wacky cohorts seem almost…normal
Back on Earth, Chris Gatrell is having trouble convincing the police that he didn’t do away with Ben and hide the body. Determined not to lose another sweetheart to the elves’ treachery, he presses his motley crew of ghost hunters to steal a Mosquito bomber…and prays the ghosts of his WWII crew will carry them through the portal to Ben’s rescue.
Meanwhile, Chris’s elf-trapped WWII love, Geoff, has a dragon and he’s not afraid to use it. If only he could be entirely sure which of the elf queens is the real enemy—the one whose army is poised to take back planet Earth for elf-kind.
In the cataclysmic battle to come, more than one lover—human and elf alike—may be forced to make the ultimate sacrifice.
Dragons dogfighting with fighter planes, time travelers and reincarnated celestial beings are all very exciting, but have your hankies ready for a bittersweet ending.
"Beecroft weaves together a wonderful pair of books with interesting characters and more than enough twists to keep the reader surprised until the end."
- Library Journal
"…brisk and engrossing sequel to Bomber’s Moon…a treat for readers who like their romance with a healthy dose of adventure."
- Publishers Weekly
"Beecroft has […] skillfully built a world that is creative and unforgettable."
- RT Book Reviews, 4 stars
Copyright © 2012 Alex Beecroft
All rights reserved — a Samhain Publishing, Ltd. publication
It could have been reassuring, Chris thought, picking his way between the brambles that had overgrown his garden path, to discover that he had begun to feel confident and at home in this decade. He must have done, mustn’t he, for the arrest and the time in a cell to feel so shattering. If he’d been uprooted and shoved straight back to the insecurity and unreality of his first weeks in the nineties, it must show that he’d begun to put down roots. They couldn’t have been severed as they just had been, unless they’d been there in the first place.
It continued to rain, the drifting, light drizzle that floats beneath umbrellas, that clings and soaks into every surface. He thought for a moment that the path was flooded at the end, until his foot crunched on broken glass. Fragments of his sitting-room window now formed a wide puddle beneath it. The hole where it should have been looked dark, except for the shards, still hanging on by threads of putty. Inside, he could see that someone had smashed the TV and spray painted Murderer on the wall in dramatic red paint. He looked down, his head bowed by the weight of care. God, this is too much. Who chose me to be the scapegoat of the universe? Isn’t it enough to ruin my life once? It has to be done on a regular basis every ten years?
The shards of window overlapped each other in the grass, slicked with the continuing downpour. He looked at them numbly, just as something stirred behind them. Somewhere between the water and the glass, between the glass and the grass beneath it, Ben looked out from another world.
“Sh*t!” The relief was so intense it made his skin feel as if it had been rubbed all over with chilli—a kind of hot/cold tingle so intense as to be almost painful. “Sh*t. Ben, oh thank God.”
Ben looked all the more like the prince of his dreams, clad in peacock silk with emeralds around his neck and wrists, and a pearl-inlaid sword belt buckled around his waist, but there was something shattered and fragile about his expression that matched the broken glass.
Heedless of the damp, Chris splashed to his knees in the mud of his garden, hunting through his pockets. Pen, yes. Paper? He found a bus ticket, wrote in large letters R U OK? and held it up.
Ben had come prepared. He grinned, looked away, and scratched a reply on the top of a long sheet of parchment. Yes. Invasion imminent. You must tell someone.
Already done took the back of the ticket, but further searching of the bins outside the front door—tricky when he didn’t wish to take his eyes off Ben in case the connection was lost—netted him a pizza box, that folded inside out and gave him ample space. I will come for you. Think I can reopen the place where you were taken. Can you go back to transfer point on your side?
Ben ran the emerald necklace through his fingers as if it were worry beads. I think so. They trust me—long story. He still wasn’t looking in Chris’s face. He dipped his quill, fiddled with the feather. Geoff is here.
A stab of something unrecognisable and that feeling of too much sensitivity grew until he felt flayed, every drop of water against his face a torment of hope and despair. You’ve seen him?
Spoke to him yesterday. He’s fine. Ben finally looked up, smiled, all challenge and fire like his old self. I hate him.
Chris laughed, the first time in a week, and something wild and giddy started up in his stomach, blue-white and tasting of oxygen neat out of the bottle. Can you bring him?
Good lad. Time, how did you synchronise time between the two universes? Ah… Just get there, OK? I’ll get the passage open. It’ll be early tomorrow if I’m lucky, but check back, yes? Check in tomorrow and we’ll take it from there.
Shadows under Ben’s eyes, and the rain slid across his smile like tears. Will do.