THE RING IN THE GLASS is dark and authoritative yet beautifully written.
It has practically no equivalent when it comes to scaring its reader.
This is thrilling stuff, dispatched with all the careful effort that is
Nathan Toulane’s expertise.
Furthermore, if the reader is eager to hitch a ride into true biblical, religious horror
then THE RING IN THE GLASS will not disappoint. Turn the pages if you dare!
A painting depicting the events of ‘The Temptation of Christ’, where Satan tormented Jesus Christ in the desert haunts a boy—Samuel Morgan. In addition, the boy’s prior involvement in the occult with Alan Wilson, an insane satanic scientist, has transferred the Devil and a demon called Beelphegor inside of him, with devastating consequences. Samuel’s mother, Marilyn Morgan, a successful Pharmaceutical director demands help from psychiatrists and doctors in an effort to cure her son—who now suffers from demonic possession. Their help though is ineffective.
This drives her to desperate measures. She seeks out a priest, Reverend Stephen Mason, begging him for assistance. Mason agrees, but first, he has to fight his doubts and inhibitions about God, before confronting the demon Beelphegor that resides in the boy. This is not an easy tale to read. It’s a roller-coaster ride of terror—which digs deep into all our fears about the never-ending struggle between the true evil in our world, and the concept of true faith in God—that can ultimately defeat it.
Myself talking about the story behind the novel.
Also available on kindle
The story behind THE RING IN THE GLASS
After my previous novel Slaves To The Generals, I wanted to write something that had epic-like proportions running behind the plot - and a thrilling like tempo and pace that would keep the reader captivated.
The trouble is, the more characters you place in a novel, the more twists and turns will come into being with the story. And trying to hold the plot together can get extremely difficult and perilously confusing.
I remember when I watched a particular horror movie from the 1970s - and the thing that drew me towards its story was its type of character plotlines and the number of avenues it explored with them. It kept me hooked. The movie had a number of interesting perspectives, and for this reason, it gave me the determination to do a similar type of story - with my own personal components added.
As for my characters in The Ring In The Glass, the main ‘one’, which my novel centres around is Samuel Morgan. He is a disturbed child and is going through the usual messy stuff of growing up. Then there’s Marilyn Morgan, his workaholic mother. Jessica Wells, her flirty personal assistant. Jason Owen, her handyman, who is sometimes a right burke and partial to too much alcohol.
As for our heroes, well they are in the form of a priest-counsellor called Reverend Stephen Mason - who is filled with doubts about his own self worth and diminishing faith. His best friend, a bishop called Martin Fielding. And then we have a child psychiatrist, Dr. William Baldwin and his associate Dr. Hopkins.For something extra I added an Egyptian Exorcist, called Macmood to the fold. He is strange hermit-like character who lives in a cave in the Sahara dessert. Macmood has an array of advice and demon fighting tools at his disposal.
The rest of the crew in The Ring In The Glass are a peculiar bunch, one being a spiritualist Medium called Mackintosh. Then there are academics, eccentrics, young lovers, drug-using kids, music producers, and other nasty pieces of work. One of them is Alan Wilson, the main bad guy, and his demon sidekick Beelphegor.
I knew when I was writing my novel that I had to get some kind of religious’ theme to hover behind the story. So as I said in the preface of my book, a painting about the ‘Temptation of Christ’, which I saw as a young child growing up in East London was the holding point for the boy - Samuel Morgan in the plotline. In hindsight, maybe I overused some religious undertones and the ‘Exorcism Ritual’. But I needed these elements if my book was not going to fade away and end up as a irrelevant piece of literature, dumped in a bargain bucket with various other novels - all gathering dust in some bookshop in the yonder.
I spent the first six months of 2008 putting the outline of my narrative together. However, I knew I had created a lot of trouble for myself by doing such a varied and complicated plot. So consequently, I had to spend the next four and a half years getting this to gel together and form into some kind of coherent storyline. There were constant rewrites, changes to the ending, and other aspects to do with the characters that needed rearranging. Snappy dialogue is something else that I really focused on, as I wanted the characters in my book to have their own unique identity.
When I finished The Ring In The Glass in late 2012, early 2013, I felt so much relief and accomplishment - as it is the hardest piece of writing that I had ever attempted. When you take on writing a one hundred and forty thousand word novel - sometimes you don’t know where it will lead you, and sometimes you think you will never get it completed. It is like being an adventurer, because you will sit at your writing desk one day and wait for inspiration but nothing will come. But yet, on the other hand, you could be watching a television soap and an idea would just pop into your head. So consequently when this happened to me, I would quickly dash to my pen and paper situated in my bedroom and scribble down some notes on my writing pad.
The Ring In The Glass is a stern novel with a forthright message behind it. This being, that mankind has the capacity to be creative, loving, helpful and resourceful. But yet if you go to the other extreme, mankind seems at times hell bent on war, destruction, and complete mayhem.
Nevertheless, I do hope my novel will connect with you in someway. For in essence ‘we’ are all descended from the same source. It’s just how we develop in our own selves that make us what we are in the end.
Samuel lifted his head with a dejected pose—his eyes had darkened pupils enlarging and his heart skipped a beat. He then blinked with rapid flicks to the chair opposite.
Baldwin sat down, removed his case and prepared the consultation. ‘First session will be two hours,’ he pronounced.
‘Just counselling?’ asked Marilyn, the shadow lifting from her expression.
‘Yes, if it’s works, though at times, hypnotherapy—maybe obligatory!’
‘Mother,’ blurted Samuel. ‘I’m scared.’
She kneeled beside him. ‘No need to be frightened darling.’
Samuel’s fears flooded back as he whispered, ‘The dreams. They hurt.’
Marilyn smiled and gave her son a chewy sweet.
Baldwin coughed—his plastic folder opened and his eyes glanced with submissiveness and calm. ‘My skill, technique,’ he said. ‘Works like a drill screwing a metal pin into a hole. Similar, to the building of a model aeroplane: it’s my creation and proven to work.’
Marilyn upped and paced back—sitting in the far armchair, her eyes fixated onto Dr. Baldwin with intrepid curiosity.
The doctor checked his watch. Next he began. ‘I’ll ask some simple questions. Nothing complicated. Don’t be squeamish young man.’
Samuel gave a thumbs up, rubbed his eyes and his head locked towards Baldwin’s stare.
‘These fears…Talk to me about them,’ asked Baldwin. ‘Why are they so obsessive? What are they about?’
Samuel whispered hoarse, ‘They’re…religious.’
‘Religion, scares you?’
‘Yes. Because of nightmares.’
‘The nightmares, still crop up, do they?’
‘Explain their meanings, their actual purpose. Who do they represent?’
‘Jesus Christ on the Cross…Dark churches! The painting of “The Temptation of Christ”. Demons. My friend Tara.’
‘Mmm.’ Baldwin exhaled noisily. ‘Did the dreams make you run to the river the other night?’
Samuel’s arm hairs went static, ‘Yeah! Cos I wanted to die. I wanted to be with my friend Tara, in the spirit world. And escape my nightmares.’
‘How…’ Baldwin’s eyes narrowed, ‘did she die?’
‘A demon killed her. She told me its after her in my dreams.’ Samuel became withdrawn, his head hunched.
Baldwin raised himself from the chair and paced around with his hands stuffed into his trouser pockets. ‘Explain to me about the demon?’
Marilyn thumped her brow. C’mon! Get to the problem doctor she thought.
Samuel cupped his hands and blew a short breath, ‘I can’t!’ Fear was his words. ‘Because of a warning.’
‘—An admonition,’ replied Baldwin.
‘A nasty man has forbidden me to talk about it—’
Samuel hesitated, his mouth felt full of marbles.
Dr. Baldwin abruptly turned and stared. ‘I want to know!’
‘The man said, I’d go to Gehenna. If I told anyone. Bad children are punished there. Sent to be burnt alive.’
‘Strange word,’ intervened Marilyn.
‘Mrs. Morgan,’ Baldwin’s tone petered to a whisper, ‘“Gehenna” was a valley in biblical times, below the city of Jerusalem. A place where children were sacrificed and unclean things burnt at the time of King Solomon. All religious balderdash!’
‘I’m frightened,’ begged Samuel.
‘You’re safe. You’ll never go there,’ said Baldwin.
‘I will.’ Samuel’s voice dipped down an octave. ‘I’m not speaking anymore.’ His breathing expanded his frame with menace—and his eyelids gradually closed. Marilyn revolved in Samuel’s direction. A pullback vision with sparks made her gasp. ‘My son’s changing—more introverted.’
‘The subconscious is fighting my probing,’ said Baldwin. ‘Mrs. Morgan! It’s time for hypnotherapy.’
Marilyn’s head felt like a rapid stream full of rolling rocks.
Baldwin went to his black case—two clicks and it opened. A rush of adrenaline cranked up Baldwin’s heartbeat. His Hypnotherapy technique would begin. ‘I’ll seek out these problems,’ he said. ‘Rest assured.’ Baldwin circled the room and instantly faced the boy:
‘At the count of six—Samuel. I’ll click my fingers. Your body, and mind—will be totally relaxed. Under my total control.’ The first click of Baldwin’s finger and thumb made Samuel shock upright, and his face had nervous ticks controlling it. The second, the third, and the fourth clicks made him go into a paralysis’ state—then a hibernating sleep seized him. Bang! Hiss! Samuel blacked out when the doctor clicked his finger and thumb for the final time.
Baldwin’s tone of voice deepened. ‘I’m asking for the fears, its manifesting voice—inside of this boy to talk to me. I’ve full control… you’ll strictly adhere to my commands.’
Samuel moaned—his body twitched and his head flung back two times: his inner consciousness had now appeared. Baldwin struck out a question: ‘Obsessions with the painting of “The Temptation of Christ”. ‘Samuel! It can do no harm. It’s only a piece of medieval art. A drawing. A symbol of a painter.’
‘The display of Christ’s power,’ scowled a voice. ‘Vulgarising on canvas. All, to intimidate—me!’
Baldwin recoiled at these words—a heartbeat, his own, became loud in his ears—he asked another question. ‘Who is this voice?’ A chill stroked his heart, ‘Which speaks from within the boy?’
‘I HAVE NO NAME! Arghhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!’
Baldwin stepped back and Marilyn’s eyes packed with shock. Rapping’s and knockings on the ceiling then pulled their attention upwards.
Samuel had entered into a black-void-world—hearing the screaming torrent of ‘Gregorian Chants’ reciting Latin in reverse— and the darkness was suffocating.
Samuel’s vision could see nothing. He heard in the darkness mechanical machines pushing and working. The scent of thick candle smoke was nauseating and a pit of flames lit up in front of him, blazing a trail of orange light.
Baldwin nudged nearer, his features only a whisker from Samuel’s. ‘I’m addressing the creature in this boy. You’ve not given your identity? And for this reason, I demand that you identify yourself —’
A sentence of Latin uttered from the boy’s lips: EGO sum immune ut vestri probitas Dr. levis. ‘I am immune to your probing Dr. Baldwin.’
Baldwin and Marilyn became engrossed by the voice.