‘The Devil Upstairs’ by Anthony O’Neill was published last September by Black and White Publishing in hardback and eBook formats. It is being released in paperback next year on the 30th June 2021.
I would like to thank Kelly Lacey of Love Books Tours for inviting me to participate in this tour. It really is a pleasure to be taking part.
I have an excerpt from the ‘The Devil Upstairs’ for you all which I hope you enjoy. Let’s just take a look at what this book is about first though.
In a quiet corner of Edinburgh, Cat Thomas is going through hell.
She’s tried everything. He respects nothing.
If your neighbour was making your life hell …
Would you call upon the devil?
Cat Thomas, a brilliant fraud investigator, has just relocated from Florida to a dreamy flat in historic Edinburgh. Everything seems perfect. Everything seems serene. Except for the unbelievably noisy wannabe rockstar upstairs.
Soon Cat’s blissful new life is in ruins. Desperate, she’s willing to try anything. When all else fails, she makes an appeal … to Satan.
And suddenly everything is eerily quiet. But her nightmare has only just begun …
‘When I bought the place,’ Cat admitted, ‘I didn’t even realise there was an apartment upstairs. You can’t really see it from the street – the roof slopes in dramatically – and I just assumed it was a storage space or an empty loft or something.’
Agnes grunted. ‘Lots of buildings in Scotland have old nooks and crannies that’ve been converted into living spaces. You should’ve been more careful.’
‘Uh-huh. And then, for my first five or six weeks in Edinburgh, the flat was empty. The guy who lives there was away somewhere. I think he was away when I inspected the place, too, or just super quiet. But now he’s back. And suddenly I get why the previous owner was so eager to sell.’
‘He’s some sort of maniac?’
‘He’s a musician.’
‘And he makes noise. Lots of noise.’
‘All musicians do.’
‘But it’s not just the music – though that’s bad enough. It’s all sorts of things. Dropping stuff. Stamping around. Banging doors.’
‘All through the night?’
‘Day and night. Every night. He never seems to sleep.’
‘Just kill the cunt.’
‘I wish I could,’ Cat said, grimacing. ‘I wish I could.’
It was an unusually humid early August evening and, with Agnes at the wheel, the two women were hurtling down the A91 towards Edinburgh after interviewing staff at the ABC branch in Montrose. It had only been Cat’s third such expedition since reviving her career in Scotland, so she had let Agnes take charge while familiarising herself with the local idioms and procedures. In fact, Agnes, though wildly different in most ways – as plump as Cat was slim, as loud and impulsive as Cat was prudent and methodical – had become her closest colleague in the department, and the nearest thing to a friend outside office hours, for all her fondness for booze, deep-fried food and the c-word.
‘Is the cunt renting?’
Cat grimaced again. ‘I don’t know . . . I don’t know.’
‘Complain to the landlord, if he is. Tenants need to maintain good records, you know – especially in a compact city like Edinburgh.’
‘The previous owner surely would have done that, if it was going to do any good.’
‘Complain to the factor, then.’
‘I don’t know what a factor is,’ Cat admitted.
‘The building superintendent.’
‘I don’t think there is one.’
‘How many flats in the building?’
‘Six, one atop the other.’
‘Maybe the place is too small.’
Honking the horn at a motorist who swung into her lane, Agnes mouthed the c-word again.
Cat shook her head. ‘In Florida I lived for a while in a condo, and there were strict rules in place. Anyone with floorboards had to cover at least seventy per cent of them to reduce noise.’
‘Got bare floorboards, has he?’
‘They creak like ship timbers. And – I swear to God – I think he deliberately leans on them, at their weakest points, just to make a racket.’
‘It’s an existential thing,’ Agnes said.
Like the sound of ‘The Devil Upstairs’? It can be purchased from Amazon UK – https://amzn.to/372fbkd
About Anthony O’Neill
ANTHONY O NEILL is the son of an Irish policeman and an Australian stenographer. He was born in Melbourne and now lives in Edinburgh. He is the author of seven novels including The Dark Side and Dr Jekyll & Mr Seek, recommended by Ian Rankin as ‘clever, gripping and reverent’.
Website – https://www.anthonyoneill.net/