A Trick of the Dark

Annis is stuck with her dysfunctional family in the South of France, watching helplessly as their relationships fall apart. Her parents hate each other, her brother Zach is in disgrace after being expelled from school, and she's stuck in the middle, hoping things will get better. Then she's the only witness to a terrible accident. For a moment she think Zach's dead. But amazingly he gets up, unhurt, and she thinks it's over...

Until she realises that something's horribly wrong. Zach behaves more and more oddly - and who is the terrifying boy in black who is haunting him, getting closer and closer?

A Trick of the Dark is my second novel. It was shortlisted for the Coventry Inspiration Prize. 

'By far the best of the current supernatural bunch...Thoughtfully structured, felt rather than formulaic, this is an accomplished novel.' - Observer

'Collins is a brave and ambitious writer, and this book is a rarer thing: a metaphysical thriller... Collins is one hell of a writer... the really strong language in this book is Collins's daring and muscular prose. She tests the lexicons of darkness and light to their limits and beyond' - Mal Peet, Guardian

'The strength of this book is its multi-layered storytelling, which allows readers to sift through the clues and dilemmas synonymously with the protagonists: the dual narrative makes this doubly effective. Mystery, metaphysical thriller, this is for able readers who are willing to embark on a thought-provoking and intelligent journey' - Books for Keeps

'Here is a book that mystifies, stirs and shakes up the reader's imagination' - Carousel

'A multilayered, metaphysical thriller... dark, uneasy and extraordinary' - Nicolette Jones, The Times

'Fine writing... Collins confirms her promise as a writer to both watch and admire' - School Librarian

'An absolutely compelling book... really intelligent, thoughtful and so original' - Damian Kelleher, Radio 4

If you liked A Trick of the Dark, here are some suggestions of other books you might like. I don't have any ulterior motive in promoting these - except that they're great books!

Waves, by Sharon Dogar - if you liked A Trick of the Dark, try this! It's got a brother/sister relationship and a supernatural edge, and it's atmospheric, well-written and touching.

Broken Soup, by Jenny Valentine - a poignant, wonderfully written story of a family that's been torn apart by tragedy.

Do The Creepy Thing, by Graham Joyce - this is a really interesting, original supernatural thriller. It's genuinely creepy but it's also about growing up and getting wiser...

The Time of the Ghost, by Diana Wynne Jones - I hesitated for a long time about this one. The Time of the Ghost is an absolutely amazing book - atmospheric, scary, touching and hilarious, written with an extraordinary intelligence, warmth and lightness of touch. But Diana Wynne Jones's books are all wonderful (she's one of the authors I admire most) and I couldn't resist putting in a link for Fire and Hemlock as well...

Seaward, by Susan Cooper - her Dark Is Rising sequence is brilliant, but this one's just as good! Two teenagers escape into a mysterious land, where they're confronted by dangers and temptations, and in the end are faced with the most difficult choice of all... Cooper is one of the best fantasy writers around.