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AFTERDEATH:  Synopsis

 

There are many things that you don’t want to happen when attending a job interview; but dying in a horrific car crash before she got there wasn’t something that nature-loving goth Autumn Dutson had even considered worrying about.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, she begins her journey in the hereafter with three rather unhappy (and very vocal about it) animals, the victims of her careless driving: a squashed vole, a bludgeoned buzzard and a charred blue tit.

Heaven is a land somewhat different to that which they imagined; an unending, vast wilderness that has been geo-engineered to meet the requirements of the dead; a soulless world with no weather, food or buildings; and where physical contact between customers is outlawed. After all, if the dead were allowed to breed, there’s no telling what could happen.

During her journey across the great sea of the otherworld that leads to the main Isles of Heaven, Autumn learns that a fate even worse than being burned alive in a car accident awaits her: The Inquisition.

Designed by the angels as a means of conflict resolution, The Inquisition is alleged to help ‘customers’ atone for their sins by meeting, face to face, any other living creatures that they have killed during their time in the mortal realm, but only succeeds in making all parties feel as miserable as possible.

The angels themselves are, for the most part, half-witted psychopaths with a fragile grip on the day-to-day running of their own realm; with one major exception: Lord Rashnu. His lust for power knows no bounds; and he is slowly ascending through the ranks of the Seraphim.

But things are about to change. Autumn smuggles the vole, Pretty Flufftail, into the human realm of Heaven; and this flagrant breach of rules is the unlikely catalyst for Rashnu to begin his final ascent to the very Throne itself.

So Autumn, without realising, finds herself plunged into the midst of a plot to overthrow God. This is probably the last thing you need to happen to you when you’ve just died; so it’s just as well that she has some help.

All human death is here; and Autumn seems to have a talent for meeting some of the more colourful and notorious residents, and soon finds herself at the head of a motley company that includes King Arthur and Boudica amongst its number.

Shortly after Autumn’s tragic demise, a young zookeeper and the wolf that killed him follow in her footsteps. As if a wayward, foul-mouthed vole flouting the law wasn’t bad enough, Rashnu now has a far more dangerous insurgent to contend with.

Snowy, the wolf, is a single-minded killing machine, and the greatest threat that the angelic theocracy has yet known… until Boudica gets her hands on the Sword of Uriel. Then the land of the dead becomes awash with blood, as nigh on two thousand years of pent-up rage and frustration against the totalitarian rule of Heaven is unleashed.

But before the rebellion can accomplish anything, Rashnu has to be stopped; and the race is now on to prevent him from becoming the first new God that Heaven has known since… well… ever.

As anyone who’s ever tried will know, stopping a determined angel from becoming the supreme deity is never easy… and not without risk. Because, even in the world of the dead, people can still shuffle off the immortal coil.

And Autumn realises that, just when she thought things couldn’t possibly get any worse, she’s going to have to face death. Again.