Seventy years before the Red Equinox, the origin of the SPECTRA Files
Catherine Littlefield was raised in a seaside New England town haunted by whispers of arcane lore that remained tantalizingly out of reach to a daughter of well-to-do Baptists. But when her studies at Barnard College in New York lead to an encounter with a secret society, she is offered access to the knowledge she has always sought…if she can pass a test.
Dispatched to California to infiltrate the occult world of a rival magician—a pioneering rocket scientist with ties to the apocalyptic Starry Wisdom Church—Catherine soon discovers that she’s not the only one spying on Jack Parsons. A fledgling government agency devoted to the investigation of weird science in the aftermath of World War II has assigned a pair of hard-nosed agents to gather information on her target, whose experiments with sex magic and eldritch artifacts are approaching a cosmic crescendo.
Drawn into the volatile chemistry of Jack’s inner circle and tempted with knowledge and power, Catherine must determine what’s at stake for a world threatened by dark forces and decide where her true loyalties lie.
Featuring 25 pages of black-and-white illustrations by Mat Fitzsimmons
The standalone prequel to Wynne’s Lovecraftian Spectra Files trilogy is a tale of hair-raising, supernaturally tinged suspense … As the eager but inexperienced Catherine plunges into a world of ‘sex, drugs, and black magic,’ the threat of an apocalypse looms and Wynne’s precise, high-tension story builds to an explosive finale. Fans of occult fantasy will be happy to sink their teeth into this shadowy world.
Douglas Wynne’s Smoke& Dagger has it all: Warring cultists, espionage, government agents, sex magic, dangerous grimoires, and the looming threat of an incursion into our world by wrathful Old Gods. It’s a crackling noir thriller with a dark, diabolic edge.
–Matthew M. Bartlett, author of Gateways to Abomination
In Smoke & Dagger, Douglas Wynne has created a lively, slithering, twisting tale that combines the atomic age’s darkest science with the mad fictions of Lovecraft, revealing an entire universe of horror and magic based on the very real lives and histories of some of the last century’s most colorful characters and mysterious secret societies. Wynne weaves a spell that will take you back in time, slip you into alternate universes, and drench you in a hot, smoky world filled with tantric sex, mad scientists, mysterious cults, secret government agencies and characters that leap off the page to pull you in. Don’t miss this ride.
–Philip Fracassi, author of Behold the Void
Wynne skillfully blends ancient myth, modern events, and Lovecraftian ideas into a fast-paced narrative about the places where history official and history secret collide.
–John Langan, author of Sefira and Other Betrayals