Suspense is defined as a play on anxiety, and when reading a book or watching a show or movie, “suspense” leaves one “on tenterhooks” as if one is holding one’s breath waiting for some event to happen. Mystery novels and horror novels and crime novels are loaded with suspense, and likely all novels have some suspense attached to them.
There is plenty of suspense in The Prodigal Band Trilogy, but in only a few instances is the suspense of truly “being on tenterhooks” level exists in this three-books-in-one trilogy. Below I will “snippet” perhaps the most suspenseful part of the book, which takes place in Chapter Twelve of The Prodigal Band.
The six members of the band Sound Unltd had just been rescued from their burning private 747 jet at a London Airport, and have been picked up at the airport by their manager, Joe Phillips. Phillips is the son of an evil man, Baron Torquay-Lambourgeau, head of a satanic secret society called the Hellyons, head of another evil secret group called the Novordos, as well as head of the Directorate, an amalgam of entertainment industry head honchos; the band members are also on the Directorate as a ploy to keep them ‘in line’ with the Directorate’s nihilistic pop culture agenda. Phillips owns a small hotel, near the royal palace, which is where he is now living, and the band members are staying on the second floor of this hotel. The band is in London to attend a ‘mandatory’ Directorate meeting–or so they think. They meet with Phillips in his living room to discuss this supposed event. The band are already suspicious that Joe’s evil father ordered the burn of their jet. The snippet is narrated by pop culture journalist Lloyd Denholm, who narrates The Prodigal Band. The character Marty Effingchester, a Duke, is another member of these evil groups. The time frame is July 8, 2001, evening.
Later in the evening, in a hotel room near a palace
At some point Joe got tired of living in a three-room flat, wanting more space. Then the townhouse, which he also got tired of. So, he bought a small, family-owned, but up-scale hotel a few blocks from the palace, with three floors, with staff taking the first floor and him occupying the third floor with enough room left over to accommodate his personal guests. When the six went to Directorate meetings, the second floor of this hotel is where they stayed. But Joe usually wasn’t there.
This time, however, he was scared for their lives, and ultimately, his own. He had told me years ago that he would reveal to the six what they needed to know to defend themselves against his father’s evil exactly when they had to have this information. When they got to his suite of rooms on the top floor, they all met in his main room so that he could impart to them exactly how he believed they would be dealt with by his father and the Novordos.
As usual, they arranged the available chairs in a circle, and, as usual, Joe faced Jack, the leader. “Did you bring the Directorate meeting letter, Jack?”
“Yeh.” Then Jack read the letter word for word.
“Did you all get the same letter?”
“I asked that because that is not the same letter that Marty Effingchester got.”
From opened mouths to wide open eyes, six hearts raced.
But Jack’s raced faster, as he nearly bounded out of the chair. “So what the bloody hell was in his letter? And how the hell did you find out?”
Joe then stood up to get attention. “Now pay attention, guys, because I am only going to say this once. I had the place debugged about three hours before your jet exploded, because minions of my father have been doing surveillance on me for months. Yes,” he shouted to the stunned six, “freaking spy agencies are spying on me for my father and the Novordos.”
Calmed. “So I will only say what I have to say once. First of all, Marty’s letter was not for a Directorate meeting, but for a Hellyon Inner Sanctum meeting at Torquay Hall, in that dungeon I told you all about. The same dungeon I used to have to sneak through when I sneaked into my own house the night I found you boys. That same dungeon is where the Hellyons do their blood sacrifices.”
Mick couldn’t help interrupting. “Blood sacrifices?” Then louder so all London could hear. “You mean they actually sacrificed—!”
“Yes, Mick. And your good friends Allyson and Melanie are part of that group.”
Still infuriated. “They’re not my friends, not now, not since Ally lied to get us banned!”
And while Mick couldn’t help himself, the other five just looked on in horror, as if five collective consciousness’s suddenly understood the gravity of their situation.
“So, Joe,” Tom tried to say normally but his voice shook, “is that what they gonna do to us?”
Joe, now squatting down to get into Tom’s face for attention, hissed as a viper, “Yes!” Then he got back up and stood in their midst. “One by one. They will either sacrifice one of you while the others are locked up in cages, then do another and another. Sacrificing one to Corion and another to Satan and another to some other bogus god. Baphomet. Or Horus. Or Osiris. Until all six of you are dead, and my father and the rest will drink your blood.”
More suspense follows this snippet, but I’ll leave it at that.
Only one or two more snippets by genre category remain to be posted. Then I will post snippets by character, and other snippets.
In the meantime, one can buy the e-book or softcover print version from various sellers using this link.
The Prodigal Band Trilogy © 2019 by Deborah Lagarde, Battle of the Band © 1996 by Deborah Lagarde, The Prophesied Band © 1998 by Deborah Lagarde and The Prodigal Band © 2018 by Deborah Lagarde. Permission needed to copy any materials off this page.