A terrifying tale set in a malevolent call-centre that just might be alive - affirming Tom Fletcher as the dark master for the zero-hours generation.
When Artemis Black is assigned to manage a call-centre on behalf of a mysterious multinational corporation called Interext, the isolation and remoteness of the place encourage him to implement a decidedly unhinged personal project, installing what purports to be cutting-edge AI technology, with a real, 'human' voice, on the automated answering systems.
As a result of Artemis' actions, one of his employees, Arthur, becomes aware of an intangible landscape inside the labyrinthine systems of the call-centre - a landscape in which he can feel some kind of otherworldly consciousness stirring and in which, perhaps as a result of his father's increasingly alarming eccentricities, he feels that he could find his recently deceased mother.
Arthur takes refuge in this belief as his father, his job, and his house slowly deteriorate around him. He begins to conflate the mysterious, interstitial region that exists down the phonelines with the sea, as that was where his mother drowned. In a way he is right - Artemis' meddlings have attracted something, it is just not as benevolent as he thinks . . .
Tom Fletcher is a writer of horror and dark fantasy novels and short fiction. His first three horror novels, The Leaping, The Thing on the Shore and The Ravenglass Eye, were followed by Gleam and Idle Hands, the first two books in The Factory Trilogy, his first fantasy series. His new novel, Witch-Bottle, is a deeply atmospheric modern gothic tale of grief and guilt. He lives in a remote village in Cumbria with his wife and family.