Unit 731



Available in eBook from Darkfuse


Early endorsements:

'Saunders manages to weld interesting, true to life characters together with a fantastical plot, a splatter of gore and, as ever, a killer twist at the end. Highly recommended.' - Richard Rhys Jones, author of The House in Wales, and Division of the Damned.

Back Cover Copy:

Luke Benson is a troubled young man obsessed with the history of Imperial Japan's Epidemic Prevention and Water Purification Department, later known as “Unit 731,” a covert biological and chemical warfare research and development department that undertook lethal human experimentation.


But is it a veil to mask his more sinister passions? Reggie and Luke's sole-surviving family members are about to find out. When bad memories surface and deeds long forgotten come to light, Luke's obsession will shake their family to its core.

The family's only hope is to face the evil within themselves...only then might the good that men do shine from the darkness.

One Chapter Sample:



I.
The Memory of Blood

I asked the doctor who was about to administer lumbar anaesthesia if he wasn't going to disinfect the point of injection. ‘What are you talking about? We're going to kill him,’ he replied.” 
[...]
“It is scary. It's outrageous to murder a person. Yet it's far worse to forget that you've done it.” 
—from Ken Yuasa's firsthand account of war crimes committed under the auspices of Imperial Japan's “Epidemic Prevention and Water Purification Department,” later known as Unit 731.


One

Sleep's a long-distance journey when you get old. You have to plan it, draw up a mental list. You're going to need toilet stops. Your legs go numb and your hips, your back and neck. They ache and get
sticky and rusty and sometimes hurt like a bastard, even though all you did was sleep.
            Reggie Ellison drove nearly four hundred miles when he was a younger man and stopped just the once for a piss. Back then, you didn't have to wear a seat belt in a car. You could smoke at the movies if you wanted. Now? He was lucky to get an hour without worrying he'd wake up with piss-stinking pajamas.
            He muttered to himself a fair bit, too. His house was old, like him. Nothing grand about it. Used to be council. Good walls, shitty wallpaper. Streetlights outside were bright enough to find his way to the toilet.
            He muttered now, grunted a little, too, as he swung his legs over the side of the bed, checked the clock (2:35 a.m., the red light on his digital clock still, the colon between the numbers blinking cheerily) and began to massage his leg. Even getting out of bed needed a warm-up, these days.
            Eighty-three years old. Eighty-three.
            A hard walk down the corridor for a small splatter in the toilet bowl, a bit of swearing while he arched his back, and a dribble to finish. Reggie went back to his bedroom in the glow from the street lamps that came through the windows, softened further by net curtains. Couldn't abide the old bastards and biddies down the road watching his every move. Though Peggy...she was...limber.
            “Silly bastard,” he told himself. He couldn't remember the last time he'd had a hard-on, and she was his friend's wife, at that. Bill was dead, but there was right and wrong, and that was that.
            Luke, his great-grandson, slept sound behind his ever-closed door.
            Were we any different in our day? John? God rest him. David? Sue?
            Reggie put his bony old arse on the bed, the springs popping despite there hardly being anything to him, then hefted his legs into bed and tried to get his head comfortable.
            Downstairs, at the front door, Luke didn't move at all until he was sure the old man was snoring. Only then did he open the door and head out for the night.

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