An author from the borough is preparing to take readers on another thrilling trip into mysteries, myth and conspiracies with her new book.
Sheila Mughal, from Lowton, has published The Unbeknown following the success of her debut novel The Lines of Tamar.
I didn’t intend to write a sequel but quite a few people really got into the first book’s charactersSheila Mughal
Describing her writing as “a cross between Dan Brown and Steven Spielberg”, Sheila’s story begins with the local legend of the Crank Caves in Billinge and unfolds a globe-trotting suspense drama with sci-fi elements.
The borough also contributes another key feature of the plot in the shape of a grave in St Aidan’s churchyard which bears a strange symbol.
Originally called The Descent of Sheol, the book changed noticeably while Sheila was writing it as she found readers were desperate to know more about what happened to the characters in her debut book.
She said: “I didn’t intend to write a sequel but quite a few people really got into the first book’s characters and I would get emails asking what happened to them.
“I didn’t want to just carry on from before so I came up with new characters and a new storyline but then made sure it answers the questions people had.
“I started with the Crank Caves and Billinge because it’s an area that really captures people’s imaginations. There are miles of underground caves and tunnels and it’s said that in the 18th century four local boys got lost in there and one of them escaped and started telling stories of strange little humanoids living there and an underground cathedral with ritual sacrifices.
“There’s also the grave with the snake symbol for immortality on it. People have been really freaked out by it.”
The Unbeknown follows stage magician Soul who earns a living by illusion but doesn’t use a power he has to pick up energy from objects.
That all changes when he tangles with the secret group of investors Ouroborous (the name coming from the grave symbol) and finds his powers needed in an alien civilisation’s bizarre rescue mission.
Along the way Sheila promises to tie up mysteries from The Lines of Tamar including what became of Eenayah’s twin sons and who killed Katya Beselovaya.
She said: “It’s got demons getting up to all sorts of mischief but I’ve added extra-terrestrial conspiracy theories.
“I’ve had to do a lot of research to make it believable and authentic. I’m not sure where I get the stories from, I must have a crazy imagination.”
Sheila is already writing a third novel Clarah, which is part of a series called Prophesy of Tamar.
The Unbeknown is out now. For more information about the author visit www.sheilamughal.com