Sunday, July 21st, 2024

Can you spot the references to parts of Sevenoaks in spooky thriller novel by former local newspaperman?

Former Sevenoaks newspaper reporter Frank Barnard has just released his new novel, a spooky thriller titled A Remembrance Of Ghosts.

Frank Barnard

Frank based the book on his experiences as a ‘cub’ reporter working in the Sevenoaks office of the Kent Messenger in the 1950s.

Although the novel is set in an unnamed town in 1958, many older readers will identify it as Sevenoaks, with references to the old ‘La Cabana’ coffee shop in the High Street, which closed in 1968, other landmarks and local villages.

Local newspaper ‘cub’ reporter Tom Doyle follows a tip about the Looker, a legendary monster said to prowl the marshlands.

He starts by treating it as a joke but soon finds himself entangled in a world in which old values lie wrecked by war, a world of lost souls whose lives have been changed for ever, in which ancient evil stalks the ruins and superstition, sorcery and sacrifice threaten untimely death. And yet with Alice, Doyle finds fresh hope as the new world of the 1960s beckons – if first he can solve the mystery of the Looker.

Peter James, best-selling author of the Roy Grace thrillers, said: “A Remembrance Of Ghosts is superb, a wonderful book. Frank Barnard is a damned fine writer.”

The book is available as a Kindle on Amazon.

Frank has previously had four best-selling thrillers published, all set in World War Two and featuring RAF fighter pilots. 

After his time on the Kent Messenger, Frank went on to work in advertising and public relations.

He part-retired at age 52 to assume various non-executive directorships with international media groups as well as sail and race cars, both a lifelong interest. 

He retired for good in 2000, as chairman of the European arm of a leading American PR network, having been instrumental in creating a European group of agencies, to write fiction full-time.

He is married with two daughters, one of whom recently moved from Sevenoaks to Sissinghurst, and four grandchildren, and now lives in Somerset.

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