Get a FREE short story, plus character sheets for White Haven Witches and Hunters! Learn MoreFREE Short Story!

Another can’t-put-it-down read in the White Haven/Hunters series

Amazon reviewer

A citadel crowned in ice. An ancient message that contains a warning. The clash of ancient powers.

Nahum thinks he’s accompanying Olivia on a simple retrieval for The Orphic Guild, but finds something far more sinister. Relics connected to the Fallen.

But the Nephilim are spread thin. JD needs an artefact to unlock the Emerald Tablet, and Gabe and Shadow are sent to Egypt to steal it.

Behind everything lurks the threat of Black Cronos. The hunt for the mysterious Comte de St Germain continues, taking Barak and Estelle to the Pyrenees, and a remote citadel on a snowy mountain top.

With the Nephilim tied up with their various pursuits, Harlan, Jackson, and Olivia are vulnerable.

They think they’re prepared. They’re not.

As events connect, everyone must remain vigilant, or they will lose everything.

Get the sixth book in the White Haven Hunters series now, and prepare for a wild ride into the unknown.

Chapter One

The clouds were heavy with the promise of snow over the narrow valley in the Yorkshire Dales, and Nahum was glad he was wearing a thick coat and boots. Especially seeing as Olivia Jameson, a collector employed by The Orphic Guild, had led him up a bleak hillside coated with frost to look over the small village nestled below.

“Couldn’t we have done this in the car?” he asked her. “It would have been warmer.”

“But less spectacular.” She gave him an impish grin. Her cheeks were a rosy red from the biting cold, her face framed by the fur-lined hood of her jacket. “Besides, the exercise is good for you.”

“I get plenty of exercise, thanks. Do I look unfit?”

“No. You look delicious.”

Nahum laughed. He had got used to Olivia’s flirting and found that he liked it. However, that was all it was going to be. Olivia flirted outrageously with everyone—unless he’d become rusty with reading her signals. He shrugged it off. He had a job to do. “So, what am I looking for?”

“I just thought we could get a good impression of the place from up here. Make sure I wasn’t missing anything.”

“I thought we were planning on stealing from a vicarage, not a fortified castle?”

“I have learned from long experience that you should never presume.” She frowned, her eyes narrowing as she studied the buildings below. “As you know, I have been searching for this reliquary for a long time. It has been very hard to track down. It’s almost like it has a life of its own.”

Nahum had flown to Leeds late the previous afternoon, collected his rental car, and met up with Olivia in the small town in the Yorkshire Dales. They had spent the evening in a boutique hotel they were both booked into, discussing Olivia’s search for the reliquary, as well as answering her questions about his past. She was fascinated with the Nephilim and their history. In fact, they had spent more time discussing that than the job. Now he had a lot more questions. The reliquary was for one of Olivia’s regular clients, but it had taken months to locate. She was convinced it was in the vicarage in the hamlet below, owned by the local vicar named Jacobsen.

He watched her profile, noting her tense jaw. “What aren’t you telling me, Olivia? I sense that you are very capable, and I’m sure not averse to stealing from a vicarage. Why do you need me? Or should I say, a Nephilim?”

She cocked her head at him. “The more I’ve asked around up here—discreetly, of course—the more I’ve realised that this vicar is quite unusual. I’m wondering if he’s a necromancer—or something of the sort. I thought backup might be important.”

“A necromancer! You didn’t think to mention this last night over dinner?”

She looked sheepish. “I wondered if I might be letting my imagination get away from me, but I’ve learned to trust my instincts.”

Nahum hadn’t wanted to pry too much into the background of the object they were stealing. It didn’t seem necessary; it was just a job. As long as he understood the basic requirements, that was fine. Plus, he was only supposed to be there as a hired hand. The muscle. But now… “Why does it seem to have a life of its own?”

“The reliquary contains some of the remains of St Ignatius, an obscure saint who was originally from the Alps. He was a monk who preached the word of God in the surrounding villages, and lived in a monastery in the mountains, a small order that has long since gone. The monastery, too. It vanished, like many do. Anyway, he visited a village known for its paganism, and an angry mob turned on him and he was stoned to death. His body was collected and laid to rest in the monastery, and a while after that he was beatified.” Olivia shrugged. “Well, his resting place became a place of pilgrimage. It was said he could cure madness. Draw out devils. His bones were split up and ended up who knows where, but his skull was placed in a highly decorated reliquary. Over the years it’s been in different churches, and then a religious museum, but then it disappeared. Stolen, presumably. I managed to track it down by a lot of hard work.”

“Revolting, of course, but that still doesn’t explain why you say it has a life of its own.”

“Well, now it seems that where the reliquary goes, madness follows. Odd outbreaks of violence or hysteria that the perpetrators can’t explain. Not all the time, of course, just sometimes. I wonder if it’s cursed or something, or can be manipulated by whoever owns it. Reliquaries are supposed to heal people, or offer solace…” She trailed off, perplexed.

Nahum stared down at the small hamlet with smoke pouring from its chimneys. It looked peaceful. “Has something happened here?”

“There’s been a smattering of violence in the surrounding villages. Fights that came out of nowhere—pubs, schools, restaurants. A broad area—not small.”

“Unfortunately, violence happens.”

“But it all occurs around the area that this priest is in. It’s not just the reliquary. He moves around, you see. Every few years he goes to a new church. Always small villages, remote, lonely. Attendance goes up, more convert to the church. I wonder if the priest is manipulating the reliquary somehow to swell his numbers.”

“That sounds extreme! Besides, the monk, St whatever, didn’t sound violent in life.”

“Ignatius. No, he wasn’t. Like I said, I suspect the priest is using it for his own ends. I’ve done a lot of research on this.” A gust of wind whipped a strand of hair from beneath her hood, and she tucked it back inside again. “Let’s walk a little higher.”

Without waiting for his response, she led the way further up the steep sides of the valley, along a narrow track that weaved between heathers and ferns. Snow lay thick on the surrounding peaks, and suddenly the air seemed menacing. The wind tugged Nahum’s hair and whipped his breath from his lungs. This was wild country. Remote, breathtakingly beautiful, and deadly if you misjudged the weather. If snow started to fall now, it would white out their surroundings in seconds.

Although he’d followed Olivia up the hill, he called out, “Olivia, wait! Let’s turn back. There’s nothing I can see up here that I can’t from down there.”

“Just a few more meters. Around the bend!”

Reluctantly he followed her around the rugged, boulder-strewn curve of the hill, and into the shadow of a ruined stone building. Immediately the wind dropped as they tucked themselves into its shelter. There was a small camping stool in there and the remnants of a camp.

Nahum laughed. “You’ve been spying on him!”

“Of course I have. It’s sheltered, and I sit up here in the late afternoon and watch at night.” She tapped her pack. “Night vision binoculars, as well as the usual.”

“I’m impressed.” He surveyed the area, the church a short distance from the village. “The vicarage is the old, grey-stone building by the church, I presume?”

Olivia nodded, binoculars already trained below. “He scurries to the church at night. Not every night, of course, but several. I see lights in the nave, long after everyone has gone to bed.”

“That doesn’t necessarily mean anything sinister.”

She lowered the binoculars and clucked at him. “Really?”

“I’m playing devil’s advocate.”

Her eyes didn’t leave his. “Something is very wrong here. I know it. I don’t think it will be easy to steal this reliquary. I think he’ll do anything to keep it.”

“What does your buyer want it for?”

“To admire it, catalogue it, and fawn over it in private.”

“Are you sure he doesn’t want it for anything more sinister?”

“I’ve known Charles for a long time. He’s a collector. That’s all. I think it’s better in his hands.”

Glad to be out of the wind, Nahum leaned against the remnants of the stone wall, the roof long since gone. “Okay. Let’s discuss the job. You think the reliquary is in the church or the vicarage?”

“I suggest we try the church first, but I think he moves it around. I should stress that it is not on show. No one actually knows it’s here.”

“So, we check out the church, and if it’s not there, we go to the vicarage, make sure we keep Jacobsen secured, steal it, and go. The car will be close by, I presume?”

Olivia nodded. “Hire car, under a false ID. It’s not my first clandestine hit. We drive out tonight. Job done. Couldn’t be easier, right? If the worst happens, you use your fabulous wings and fly it out. I will escape in the car. Either way, we must get that reliquary tonight. I can’t waste any more time on this. Besides, I’ve done my homework. I don’t think there’s much else to find out about this guy.”

“Other than the possibility that he might be a necromancer, or using the reliquary to spread bad mojo, or something else…”

“Okay.” She smirked. “I admit there’s stuff I don’t know, but I do know it’s the right reliquary. I caught a glimpse of it. I’ve also tracked it historically—picked up where my client left off. As I said, strange events follow it. Unless you were looking for a connection—like me—no one would really know. And I’ve seen the priest. He’s middle-aged, gaunt, not a physical threat. He’ll be easy to deal with.”

Nahum still wasn’t convinced. He had an uneasy feeling about it, and it was obvious that Olivia did too, or else he wouldn’t be there. But if the man was as odd as she suggested, and violence did seem to follow this reliquary around, then it was best they removed it. And he was a Nephilim. He could handle most things.

Finally, he nodded. “All right. Tonight, then. Now, can we get off this freezing hill and into a pub?”


Gabe watched Shadow put the final decorations on their huge Christmas tree in the corner of the living room in the old farmhouse in White Haven, distracted by her swaying hips.

“Can’t we do something more interesting? Like, go to bed?”

She tossed her silvery hair over her shoulders as she turned to look at him. “This is interesting!”

“Not as much as your naked body draped over mine.”

Niel groaned behind him as he entered the room. “Shut up! Other people are in the house.”

Gabe grimaced. “I thought you were busy in the barn.”

“I was, and now I’m here.” Niel gave a malicious smile at seeing Gabe’s disappointment. “Take it to your room!”

“Perhaps you should stop sneaking up on us!”

“I’m not sneaking! I can’t help it if I’m naturally stealthy.” He stared at the tree. “Please don’t put an angel on the top of that thing.”

Shadow had a mischievous glint in her eye. “Will it make you nervous?”

Niel’s blue eyes turned to ice. “No. It will annoy me. As if my father would be watching over me benevolently!”

Gabe had already vetoed all angels from the house for Christmas decorations. Fortunately, Shadow had zero interest in deities of any kind, and was happy to dress the tree in a more naturalistic fey fashion. So far, branches of spruce and pine were festooned around the house. It was a huge fire hazard, but Gabe had to admit that it smelled good.

They were celebrating the winter solstice rather than Christmas, but like the previous year, they had agreed to exchange small presents…if they were even going to be at home. JD had called with a request—well, more like a command, because JD wasn’t good with polite requests. However, Gabe had yet to break that news to everyone.

Reluctantly shelving the idea of spending a couple of hours in bed with Shadow, Gabe sat on the corner of the sofa. “Where’s Ash?”

“Upstairs I think, researching the Comte—again.”

Ash, always loving research and learning, had almost become as obsessed with the Comte de Saint-Germain, the man they believed to be behind Black Cronos, as JD and Jackson. He was helping in the search for possible bases, hoping to isolate a place that might be a centre of operations. It was Estelle Faversham and Barak who suggested that the Comte and Black Cronos might have an alchemical centre somewhere mystical, with history, energy, and power. A confluence of Ley Lines perhaps, or an old religious site. While that was a great idea, Europe and the UK were littered with such places. Some were easily dismissed; others, however, needed more careful screening. There were also hundreds of ancient castles around, many abandoned, but all offering discreet places to set up a secret headquarters.

Gabe’s brothers were split doing various things at present. Barak was often with Estelle, in and out of London and The Retreat. Eli and Zee continued to work in town with the witches. The rest of them picked up occult-hunting jobs with The Orphic Guild. Currently, Nahum was helping Olivia Jameson, Harlan’s colleague, steal a religious reliquary in Yorkshire. He was supposed to be there for only a day or two, but since yesterday, he hadn’t heard a thing. Gabe, much to his annoyance, was being regularly contacted by JD, the demanding, immortal magician to Queen Elizabeth I.

Four months earlier, in the thick heat of August, they had found the Emerald Tablet belonging to Hermes Trismegistus in the Templar treasure hidden within Temple Moreton, and they had given it to JD. It was like all his Christmases had arrived at once.

However, after finding that vast treasure, they were still yet to receive any money for it. The collection was still being catalogued and valued, and no doubt there would be a lot of wrangling about money. Fortunately, Harlan and Theo were very good at dealing with the museum, something Gabe was glad to let them do. Shadow, of course, with her avaricious and shrewd, gold-loving heart, was also making sure they received their cut. He hoped they would, for their sake. Shadow was wont to exact retribution in any way she saw fit, usually at the point of her sword or the tip of her arrow.

“Why do you want Ash?” Shadow asked, her question drawing him back to the present.

“JD has a job for us.”

Niel virtually growled. “I will not be experimented on!”

“Neither will I!” Gabe considered the weird conversation he’d had with JD about Alexander the Great and Hermes Trismegistus. “He wants us to go to Egypt. He thinks there’s something there that will help him understand the Emerald Tablet.”

He had Shadow’s full attention now, her violet eyes wide with hope and excitement. “We’re going on an adventure?” Her hands settled on her hips. “And you didn’t tell me?”

“I just did! The details elude me right now, but once we go to see JD, I guess he’ll explain everything. Just to be clear, I haven’t agreed to it yet.” And he wouldn’t if he didn’t like the job, no matter how much JD might sulk.

Niel still scowled. “Why can’t he come here? Everyone runs after him!”

“He’ll pay us. The least we can do is head to his estate.”

“In a few months we won’t need his pay.”

“But we like the work,” Gabe reminded him. “Unless you want to lounge around here all day, getting fat?”

Shadow marched over and poked Niel in his very flat abdomen. “Who knows? If he needs us to steal something, we may need a thief to help us. A small, petite thief…”

Any mention of Mouse, the thief who had captured Niel’s interest only to seemingly betray him during their last big job, still made him scowl. “I think not. We can manage perfectly well without her. Besides, you’re a thief.”

Shadow grinned. “Just looking out for you.”

“I’d rather you didn’t.” He turned to Gabe. “When are we going to see JD?”

“Tomorrow. Potentially, we’ll fly out the next day.”

Niel nodded, his gaze distant. “Fine. I’ll tell Ash. I guess Egypt before Christmas will at least be warm.”

Buy it now by clicking here! It’s on all retailers.