Some things should not be messed with.
Somewhere, fools are playing with fire.
Sometimes, a slight mistake can tip the balance.
Someone is about to kill us all.
Deep in the heart of the Kaiser’s Reich, scientists work desperately to produce a form of germ warfare that could provide the elusive breakthrough on the Western Front, thereby bringing ultimate victory to the Central Powers. One young Englishman is willing to risk his all to try and prevent them from succeeding.
Author: Simon Laffy
Title: Seed of Satan
Genre: Historical Fiction
Expected Publication: October 1st 2016 by ACM RETRO
I received an advance review copy of this book courtesy of the author.
Seed of Satan tells the story of twins William and Michael Weiss. Despite being twins, William and Michael couldn’t be more different. William’s personality is much like that of his German father: arrogant, disdainful of his supposed inferiors, and fiercely loyal to Germany. Michael is a kinder, gentler soul who had little in common with either his brother or his father, feeling a greater kinship with his English grandparents. It’s no surprise that when war breaks out, they find themselves on opposite sides of the conflict.
Karl Ziegler is a chemistry student, working on his Masters degree in the immunology field. His work catches the attention of military agents looking for researchers whose work might potentially lead to the creation of new weapons. Specializing in germ theory, Karl is promptly recruited and sent to a top secret lab where the goal is to create a devastating biological weapon to use against Germany’s enemies.
Fans of historical fiction will find it hard to put down this impressive debut novel from Simon Laffy. His writing style keeps the reader engaged throughout, with vivid characters in credible situations that fit the circumstances and chaos of wartime.
I enjoyed reading this book very much, and I’ll be watching for future novels from this author. If you enjoy historical fiction, you don’t want to miss out on this one!
Seed of Satan
By Simon Laffy
Abomination of nature.
Hand child of the devil.
These were phrases so familiar to him, words that could never be forgotten. He’d felt their stabbing pain since early childhood and would taste their bitter poison for the remainder of his turbulent, young life.
He wandered along the northern edge of Lake Geneva in the early morning mist. The clatter of horseshoe against cobblestone reverberated from a few streets to the north, yet his gaze never lifted from the path dead ahead. A bustling dawn chorus swirled in the canopy of trees above, but he was deaf to all the birdsong. Down Rue de Lausanne and in the direction of the Pont du Mont-Blanc, he made for the bridge simply because the road in front was deserted. The sole purpose of his route was to avoid all human contact. He had to be alone with his thoughts, his concerns; his cherished work. Solitude was his hunting ground, a revolution in science his quarry.
However much he hoped for invisibility, his quirky, erratic movements were destined to betray him. Inevitably, they drew the unwelcome gaze of a passing horseman or a cart driver working at the far end of an empty street. Who could not help but notice this strange figure as he halted, swung about face to retreat three steps, before turning yet again. Or as he crouched momentarily, hovering barely above the pavement and scratching like an infested primate, ahead of springing back to his feet and speeding on his original path once more. No observer could be blamed for watching with a heightened sense of anxiety. They might assume a measure of caution against the actions of a man seemingly deranged or even criminally insane. At the very least, they would plot a path that kept them safe from close proximity with this troubled individual.
The twentieth century was nearly eleven years old and Halley’s Comet had recently made the latest of its 76-yearly visits. William Howard Taft had replaced Theodore Roosevelt as US President and King George V had succeeded to the throne of the British Empire upon the death of his father, King Edward VII. Yet, to this lonely individual, it seemed as if the weight of the last decade bore down on him alone. It was his life that mattered more than any others; only his work that would provide the pivotal breakthrough for all humanity.
No distant street noise, no joyous birdsong, no common or familiar sound was able to penetrate his hearing because this man generated his own accompaniment as he walked—a low, continuous stream of barely audible mutterings. Karl was conducting an endless conversation in his head with some of the most brilliant minds in history. The rest of the world would know of them as the great masters of Science, but to him they were his mentors, his guides, and his source of inspiration. Every piece of work he produced was derived from their fields of academic conquest. They provided both his ancestry and his bloodline. Only they could understand him or grant the necessary validation for his output.
Simon Laffy, after 30 years of professional music making, is extending the ladder and contributing to the arts and culture magazine, Trebuchet, writing ‘Make Better Music’ – an insider’s view to the creative processes and the obstacles to climbing that mountain.
He’s also working on his third novel.
His first book, SEED OF SATAN, takes us deep inside the Kaiser’s Reich, where scientists work desperately to produce a form of germ warfare that will provide the elusive breakthrough on the Western Front. They hope to end the years of stalemate and slaughter by bringing total victory to the Central Powers. One young Englishman is willing to risk his all to prevent them from succeeding.
His second offering, RED SUNRISE, is a literary thriller based in the Pacific southwest at the end of WWII that brings the reader into the mind of a warrior turned anti-war hero. He seeks redemption for the loss of both his ship and his family, but how can his natural fighting spirit triumph against the growing tide of US Cold War policy?
Born in the middle years of the 20th century, Simon wasted little time before signing three recording contracts with major record labels, working as a composer, performer, producer and live artist, and appearing on 35 albums, several film soundtracks, many headline and support tours, and numerous TV & radio appearances.
In 2004, Simon’s continuing music career saw him become a member of Manraze, a glitter punk experiment alongside Paul Cook of the Sex Pistols and Phil Collen of Def Leppard. While also working commercially with members of Duran Duran, he gathered enough latent material to start writing novels.
Simon has plotted synopses for a further nine historical fiction mysteries, including:
– FIRE IN THE NIGHT, based upon the Great Fire of London and intended as a ‘Bourne meets Perfume’ thriller;
– TOMORROW MAN, in which a half-Cherokee clairvoyant foresees the assassination of President Lincoln, attempts to alert the White House and gets drawn into the murder conspiracy; and
– FROM THIS DAY ON, a murder/mystery political intrigue involving time travel and set in 2948.
Simon’s novels are breakneck lights-out rides through the big story scenery of familiar historical events with hairpin twists and telegraphic destinations. Do we ever really know the whole story?