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  • Writer's pictureLee Murray

Taine McKenna is back!

A couple of days ago, my military thriller INTO THE MIST was re-launched with Australian publisher Severed Press and with its original stunning Dean Samed cover art. Already the move to Severed feels like coming home, since some of my favourite writers make up the stable, including Greig Beck, Matt Betts, JH Moncrieff, Jake Bible, Tim Waggoner, and of course, my Kiwi colleague and good friend, Paul Mannering, whose quick-read thriller titles include Hell’s Teeth, The Trench, Eat and Hard Core.

At Severed Press, Into the Mist sits alongside a strong list of monster horror and high action suspense thrillers, although I am proud to say that it is the first to offer readers a New Zealand setting, set as it is deep amongst the mists and the beech of Te Urewera National Forest…

When NZDF Sergeant Taine McKenna and his squad are tasked with escorting a bunch of civilian contractors into Te Urewera National Park, it seems a strange job for the army. Militant Tūhoe separatists are active in the area, and with its cloying mist and steep ravines, the forest is a treacherous place in winter. Yet nothing has prepared Taine for the true danger that awaits them. Death incarnate. They backtrack toward civilisation, stalked by a prehistoric creature intent on picking them off one by one. With their weapons ineffective, the babysitting job has become a race for survival. Desperate to bring his charges out alive, Taine draws on ancient tribal wisdom. Will it be enough to stop the nightmare? And when the mist clears, will anyone be left?

“Cinematic and evocative, Into the Mist is a tension-packed expedition into primordial terror.” ‒ Greig Beck, bestselling author of the Arcadian series

“For those familiar with the movie Predator, this book turns the concept up by 50 levels, and you honestly can’t go wrong with that.” ‒ Shawn Pryor,

“Creepy and addictive, Into the Mist is an irresistible tapestry of military action, dark myths, and an ancient and terrifying horror.”‒ Matthew Summers, SmashDragons

Fiordland Photo by Guide to NZ

Also coming from Severed, is the sequel, INTO THE SOUNDS, which readers should expect to see later in the year. This time, Taine and Jules are deep in the southern sounds of Fiordland…

On leave, and out of his head with boredom, Sergeant Taine McKenna of the NZDF joins his girlfriend, biologist Jules Asher, on a Conservation Department deer culling expedition to New Zealand’s southernmost national park, where soaring peaks give way to valleys gouged from clay and rock and icy rivers bleed into watery canyons too deep to fathom. Despite covering an area the size of the Serengeti, only eighteen people live in the isolated region, so it’s a surprise when the hunters stumble on the nation’s Tūrehu tribe, becoming some of only a handful to ever encounter the elusive ghost people.
But a band of mercenaries saw them first, and, hell-bent on exploiting the tribes’ survivors, they’re prepared to kill anyone who gets in their way.
A soldier, McKenna is duty-bound to protect all New Zealanders, but after centuries of persecution will the Tūrehu allow him to help them? Besides, there is something else lurking in the sounds, and it has its own agenda. When the waters clear, will anyone be allowed to leave?

“Murray pretty much nails small unit tactics.” ‒ Justin Coates, author of The Apocalypse Drive

And a third title in the Taine McKenna series, set in the volcanic central plateau Into the Ashes, is currently in the works, so watch this space. In the meantime, get your copy of INTO THE MIST here.

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