Francis or F.G. Cottam was born and brought up in Southport in Lancashire, attending the University of Kent at Canterbury where he took a degree in history before embarking on a career in journalism in London. He lived for 20 years in North Lambeth and during the 1990s was prominent in the lad-mag revolution, launch editing FHM, inventing Total Sport magazine and then launching the UK edition of Men’s Health. He is the father of a young son and baby daughter and now lives in Kingston upon Thames. His fiction is thought up over daily runs along the towpath between Kingston and Hampton Court Bridges.
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Felix Baxter, entrepreneur extraordinaire, is going to rehabilitate New Hope Island. Rich and manipulative, he wants to convert it into a glamorous getaway destination, ‘The New Hope Experience’. But will the restless ghosts of Seamus Ballantyne’s 1825 colony allow the project to go to plan? Helena Davenport has an opportunity that could be pivotal in her career as an architect – Felix Baxter has commissioned her to oversee his New Hope vision. But nothing is as it seems in this mysterious part of the Scottish Hebrides. Helena’s site manager is the first to go missing with one single, eerie scream. Accompanied by the survivors of the last group to visit New Hope, Ruthie Gillespie must travel back to the island one final time to end this ordeal not only for those on the island, but for themselves too… But is New Hope Island ever worth returning to? And will this concluding trip end a curse that has afflicted all who have had the misfortune to visit it for nearly two centuries?
Ruthie Gillespie’s efforts to find out the truth about a mysterious missing rock star lead her on a terrifying journey into the past.
Researcher Ruthie Gillespie has undertaken a commission to write an essay on Martin Mear, lead singer and guitarist with Ghost Legion, the biggest, most decadent rock band on the planet, before he disappeared without trace in 1975. Her mission is to separate man from myth – but it’s proving difficult, as a series of increasingly disturbing and macabre incidents threatens to derail Ruthie’s efforts to uncover the truth about the mysterious rock star.
Just what did happen to Martin Mear back in 1975? Is he really set to return from the dead, as the band’s die-hard fans, the Legionaries, believe? It’s when Ruthie’s enquiries lead her to the derelict mansion on the Isle of Wight where Martin wrote the band’s breakthrough album that events take a truly terrifying turn …
This is the tale of a deadly conspiracy, an all-consuming obsession, and an unlikely heroine.
Michael Aldridge, talented architect and devoted family man, has built his dream home on the Isle of Wight, but when strange coincidences take a sinister turn, he must uncover a long-forgotten secret before it’s too late.
A wonderfully sinister new novella from the master of the chilling ghost story, The Going and The Rise questions how far you would go to realise your dream… and what you would risk to protect the one you love.
Five years after a tragic expedition put New Hope Island back in the headlines, past-his-prime crime author Dennis Thorpe leads a writers retreat to that secluded corner of the Hebrides… The group is never seen again.
Ruthie Gillespie, the beautiful, heavily-tattooed, hard-drinking author of dark tales for children, was supposed to be among their number but something stopped her at the eleventh hour, and it isn’t long before the police come knocking. Ruthie falls deeper and deeper into a web of dark magic and darker secrets as it becomes clear that the writers’ pasts are not what they seem.
How far can you take an investigation when your own life is threatened? Do you continue, knowing that you must find the answers before the Island claims another victim? Or do you run and hope that it never catches up with you?
THE LAZARUS PROPHECY — Buy it here
There is a killer loose on the streets of London, one that evades security cameras, is not held by locks, and savagely mutilates his victims. When the murderer switches from unknown prostitutes to Julie Longmuir, a beautiful actress at the height of her success, no woman feels safe.
As the press begin to draw uncomfortable comparisons with Jack the Ripper, Jane Sullivan, heading up the police investigation, grudgingly has to agree. But the religious writing, scrawled on the wall in Julie Longmuir’s blood, is outside Jane’s area of expertise. Roping in Jacob Prior, a disillusioned theologian, they attempt to pick apart the demonic delusions of this Ripper copycat. They must act quickly, as events are spiralling out of control, and Jane is next on the killer’s list.
Jane will be tested beyond the limits of standard police work, as the esoteric insinuates itself into the investigation. For events are linked to the clandestine Priory in the Pyrenees, the home of a secret Christian sect that pre-dates the Knights Templar. Jane and Jacob are faced with a deeper mystery than they had ever dreamed of; are they simply dealing with a psychopath, or is this something bigger, is this The End of Days?
PUBLICATION DATE: 9th September 2014
SLAPTON SANDS – Buy it here.
The long, hot summer of 1976 and American student Alice Bourne is heading for the south Devon coast to research an event that took place 32 years earlier: a catastrophe which claimed the lives of 1,500 American marines. No one seems to know exactly what happened that fateful day in April, 1944. But as Alice learns more about the farm boys from Iowa and Nebraska who came to an alien land prepared to battle against Nazism, she determines that the true story of their sacrifice should finally be told. Herself a stranger in a strange land, Alice is only just becoming used to the English and their peculiar ways. But someone is making her increasingly unwelcome. Minor disturbing incidents escalate until Alice believes she’s being haunted; targeted by a malevolent individual with his own dark reasons for preventing her from finding out what really happened at Slapton Sands. A poignant love story and a chilling tale of suspense, this beautifully-crafted novel gradually peels back the layers of past and present to reveal the harrowing truth about a tragic wartime event and its devastating repercussions.
PUBLISHER: Pocket Books
PUBLICATION: January 2005
Buy it here.
Set in WWII London, in the last months of 1940 when the Blitz and destruction and firebombing were at their worst and morale was at its lowest. A young man, Jack Finlay, is called back from the African front to mastermind the firefighting in a small but crucial area of the City of London, looking after 5 rather mysterious buildings in particular. In the pre-war period he was a legendary firefighter, though his past is rather murky – poor Liverpool Irish Catholic, sent to Borstal for fighting, and generally suspect because of his unnatural interest in fires, thought to be an arsonist. His father was a WWI hero – and one of the beautifully handled themes of the novel is the effect of that war on those who survived to fight another so soon after, and on their sons. Our hero finds himself a pawn in an Intelligence game, and in British Intelligence’s attempts to feed false intelligence to the Germans at a crucial point in the war. He falls in love with a young woman who’s the curator of one of the buildings which was built by her German (disgraced) architect father – she to is being manipulated (or is she?) and the crisis comes when she is caught in the burning building. With its brilliantly vivid evocation of London in the Blitz, an unusual love story, an emotional heart but a cynical eye, and devastatingly good descriptions of fire (how it moves and works and destroys), this unusual and assured first novel has real appeal for men and women alike.
New updated edition of this bestselling paranormal mystery, The Colony, from F. G. Cottam.
For over a century, the mystery of the New Hope Island vanishing has intrigued and tantalized. How did a community of 150 souls disappear and leave no trace behind?
As abruptly as the crew of the Mary Celeste, they went missing from their lonely Island in the Hebrides without a single clue as to the nature of their departure; doomed to remain an enigma forever.
…Until media magnate Alexander McIntyre decides to harness his prodigious energy and bottomless wealth in solving the New Hope mystery once and for all. He gathers a crack team of experts, sparing no expense in his pursuit of answers.
What they discover is as terrifying as it is inexplicable… Are some mysteries safer left unsolved?
The Shadow World: Book One
When student Adam Parker unearths a mysterious metal artifact during an archaeological dig in a Scottish forest, little does he realize that his life is about to change forever. For it is a sign that Adam has been summoned to fulfill his destiny, playing his part in an epic battle for supremacy that has been waged for centuries. Introduced to a dark shadow world that exists alongside our own, a place of despair and willful cruelty, Adam will be tested to the very limits of his endurance. For within that shadow world lurks Rabanus Bloor, the man who has sworn to seek out Adam and destroy him – whatever it takes.
PUBLISHER: Severn House Publishers Ltd
PUBLICATION: January 2014
MEMORY OF TREES – Buy it here
Billionaire Saul Abercrombie owns a vast tract of land on the Pembrokeshire coast. By restoring the original forest that covered the area before medieval times, he believes he will rekindle the spirits of ancient folklore. But the re-planting of the forest will revive an altogether darker and more dangerous entity – and young arboreal expert Tom Curtis will find himself engaging in an epic, ancient battle between good and evil. A battle in which there can be only one survivor.
PUBLISHER: Severn House Publishers Ltd
PUBLICATION: July 2013
BRODMAW BAY — Buy it here.
Brodmaw Bay seems to be the perfect refuge for James Greer and his family. When his young son is the victim of a brutal mugging, Greer wants to leave London – the sooner the better – for the charming old-fashioned fishing port he has just discovered.
But was finding Brodmaw Bay more than a happy accident? What is the connection between the village and his beautiful wife? When his friendly new neighbours say they’d welcome some new blood – in a village where the same families seem to have lived for generations – are they telling the whole truth?
Perhaps the village isn’t so much welcoming them as luring them. To something ancient and evil. As it has lured others before . . .
PUBLICATION: November 2011
THE RESIDENT — Buy it here
Every year, three million single women in America move into an apartment for the first time. Few of them change the locks.
Juliet Devereau can’t believe her luck: after weeks of looking for a place to live, she’s found a beautiful spacious apartment overlooking Brooklyn Bridge. It almost seems too good to be true.
It is… Over the weeks, a chilling sense of being watched stalks Juliet. Strange sounds wake her in the night, the mirror in the bathroom trembles, and doors she thought shut are open. Then the silhouette of a man standing in her living room makes her realise that she’s not alone in there. But what’s haunting her is far more terrifying than a malevolent spirit; it’s alive, strong and obsessed. Suddenly Juliet is caught up in a deadly game of cat and mouse, and there’s no guarantee that she’ll come out alive…
PUBLICATION: March 2011
Buy it here
Having been wounded on the Russian Front, Martin Hamer, a heroic and principled German officer, is seconded to a labour camp in occupied Poland. Gradually, Hamer finds himself drawn to one of the inmates, Julia Smollen. As the burgeoning relationship between the German officer and the Polish prisoner causes mounting tension in the camp, Hamer’s troubled past is gradually revealed in a series of flashbacks. But, as he’s about to discover, much of his life has been based on a tragic lie. And just as Hamer is forced to reassess and reevaluate his past, he is faced with a heartbreaking choice – and a chance of redemption. A chance which would mean forsaking his rank, reputation and homeland. Is he brave enough to take it?
PUBLISHER: Simon & Schuster
PUBLICATION: 1 September 2003
A SHADOW ON THE SUN – Buy it here.
Polish war exile Julia Smollen has escaped the horrors of a Nazi labour camp to forge a new life in California with her daughter, Tasha. Sent to the best school her mother can afford, growing up through the Cold War and the Space Race and coming into contact with the aspiring young Democrat, Jack Kennedy, Tasha is precocious, wilful and politically engaged. As intensely close as Tasha and her mother are, however, she remains unaware of the true identity of her father, the courageous German officer Martin Hamer, who was fatally wounded helping the then-pregnant Julia flee her occupied homeland. But Julia cannot keep the truth hidden from her daughter forever. A sinister figure from the past is about to emerge, with his own dark, vengeful agenda.
PUBLISHER: Bloomsbury Reader
PUBLICATION: 22nd August 2012
DARK ECHO – Buy it here
Dark Echo is an unlucky boat.
Despite this knowledge, Martin Stannard falls under her spell and prepares to sail her across the Atlantic with his father. But his lover Suzanne is uneasy and begins exploring the yacht’s past.
What she finds is terrifying. Dark Echo isn’t just unlucky, it’s evil. It was built for Harry Spalding, a soldier and sorcerer who committed suicide yet still casts his inexplicable spell nearly a century after his death.
Suzanne must uncover his last, terrible secret before Dark Echo destroys the man she loves…
PUBLISHER: Hodder & Stoughton
PUBLICATION DATE: November 2008
THE HOUSE OF LOST SOULS
The Fischer House was the scene of a vicious crime in the 1920’s – a crime which still resonates as the century turns. At its heart was a beautiful, enigmatic woman called Pandora Gibson-Hoare, a photographer of genius whose only legacy is a handful of photographs and the clues to a mystery. Paul Seaton was lured to the house ten years ago and escaped, a damaged man. Now three students will die unless he dares to go back. But this time he has Nick Mason at his side, and maybe Mason’s military skills and visceral courage will be enough.
PUBLISHER: Hodder & Stoughton
PUBLICATION DATE: November 2007
THE MAGDALENA CURSE – Buy it here.
It only takes a couple of visits to convince Dr Elizabeth Bancroft that Adam Hunter is not just having bad dreams. He’s a child possessed. His father is desperate: adamant that his son’s affliction is the result of a curse he incurred in the depths of the Amazon, where a badly misguided military operation ended in a terrifying and macabre encounter. There he met two women – one more bad than good, who placed the curse – and the other more good than bad, with whom any hope of saving his son resides.
Mark Hunter leaves the Scottish Highlands to beg help from the mysterious woman, leaving his son in the care of Elizabeth – who is about to discover there are equally dark secrets on their own doorstep. And in her blood…
PUBLISHER: Hodder & Stoughton
PUBLICATION: November 2009
THE WAITING ROOM
Martin Stride is a retired rock star, enjoying the quiet life with his young family on their beautiful estate. On the edge of his grounds lies a derelict Edwardian railway station waiting room once used to transport troops in The Great War. Silent for many years, it has become a playground for Martin’s children but now they won’t go near it.
Strange occurrences in the waiting room lead Martin to seek the help of TV’s favourite ghost-hunter Julian Creed. But Creed’s psychic ability is a fabrication to gain viewers. He doesn’t believe in the paranormal. Until he spends a night in The Waiting Room.
PUBLISHER: Hodder & Stoughton
PUBLICATION DATE: June 2010