Author(s): Lee Markham
Following the suicide of his lover, the last of the 'old-ones' - ancient immortal beings, as clever as they are ruthless and unable to withstand the light of the sun - has decided to end his immortality. As he sits on a bench on the edge of a council estate to await his demise with the rising of the sun, he is mistaken for an old man, held up at knifepoint by a young man and stabbed before the sun burns his body to ashes. His assailant scurries back into the belly of the estate with the knife in his pocket, the blood of the old-one seared into its sharpened edge. But once the blade cuts another person, the congealed blood mingles with that of its victim, and awakens in them the old-one's consciousness from the depths of the afterlife. It is not long before the knife draws blood again, and one by one the youth living on the estate are taken over by the old-one's mind. Determined to die, he must find and destroy the knife before his soul becomes irrevocably dispersed in the bodies of the city's children, trapped forever in its feral underbelly. But someone is out to stop him...Inspired by the murders of Baby P, Jamie Bulger and Damilola Taylor, and by the London riots during the summer of 2011, The Truants is a visceral, intelligent, gripping novel which uncovers the fragility and hopelessness of Britain's social underclass - and the horror of their everyday lives.
Lee Markham is an Eastbourne-based author whose work is inspired by writers such as Stephen King, Iain Banks, Alan Moore and Cormac McCarthy. He founded No Man publishing in 2014 and is currently the CEO of Chestnut Tree Tales.