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It must have been quiet for him to hear the rattling. That’s what the noise first seemed to be: a sound like the clatter of dice in a plastic cup.
It was coming from the darkness at the far end of Back Half Moon Street. Preston pushed himself upright against a rusting roll-top bin and peered into the gloom. Now it was a stuttering chit-chit sound; something about it immediately wrong.
It made the space between Preston’s shoulder blades go cold, his back straighten and his stomach tighten. Preston realized his legs were struggling for strength. It was hard to see what might be down there – it was 2 a.m. and inkblack. Above him the outline of a fire escape. At his feet, a blown can skittered.

About the book

Fear haunts the streets of Manchester: a schoolgirl has disappeared.

Preston is drawn to investigate, exploring the city in the hunt for his missing friend. Deep in the bowels of a secret scientific institute, he discovers a sinister machine.

Captured and condemned to a cavernous space filled with problematic teens, Preston is determined to escape – but this is no ordinary jail. Friendships are forged and lives lost in a reckless battle for freedom, revenge – and revolution.

Packed full of high-octane adventure and tension; perfect for fans of The Maze Runner who crave a grittier real-world setting.

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Author notes

'What if something strange and secret was happening in your city every night? That long after you’d gone to sleep, a different world woke up and began its work? Now imagine a boy with insomnia night-walking to find a missing friend – and instead, discovering this terrifying alternate reality. These ideas were my starting points for Lifers, a super-dark prison-break adventure. It was a blast to write!'

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