Having written There Will Be Blood I took the decision to settle on nine novels in total, which meant that the final instalment wouldn’t be a Malandanti novel, it would be the fifth Toten Herzen novel Come the Day of Revelation.
There were a number of reasons for this. With nine novels There Will Be Blood was dead centre, the pivot of the series, a suitable turning point (especially when you consider how that novel ends and how Toten Herzen’s world becomes linked to the Malandanti, Interpol and Frieda Schoenhofer.) The structure of the TotenUniverse altered.
And because the first novel of the series was about Toten Herzen, I felt the series should conclude with them. Nine novels made that possible. But what of the Malandanti? Who Among Us… set up a potential apocalyptic scenario when Jennifer Enzo looked down on the world and decided she didn’t like it any more, didn’t want to go back down to it.
There Will Be Blood generated the main theme of Lords of Misrule: frustrated by her inability to find evidence that will stand up in a court of law, Bernadette Maldini considers the possibility of a show trial in the Vatican State, the one jurisdiction in the world that is built on a supernatural premise. How can they not accept supernatural evidence in a trial.
The question is exactly the kind that schisms are made of, and the TotenUniverse likes a good schism! TotenLight/TotenDark, the Anglo-Dutch faultline running through the band, Virginia Bruck’s struggle between secular and spiritual elements within the Malandanti. And the recurring theme of innocence and guilt and whethere there is a schism there at all. (In a complex world can the old notions of innocence and guilt stand up to proper scrutiny?)
Lords of Misrule risked becoming an existential talking shop; the Malandanti novels are supposed to be paranormal action thrillers. Let me reassure you, there is still ambiguity running through Enzo’s relationship with Bruck who is still looking for Eve; Frieda Schoenhofer is still out there keeping her cards to her chest; and against the backdrop of a show trial Interpol might start playing dirty.
The clue is in the title: misrule. Let the chaos begin; let the countdown begin. . . .
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